An accused child molester for U.S. Senate? Really?
No, the point is just that we live in mutual contempt, right loathing left, left loathing right. It makes the ritual of Thanksgiving feel jarring, an ideal starkly at odds with the bitter reality of the moment.
Or maybe not. After all, the ritual began during the Civil War, as brothers slaughtered one another over momentous questions of slavery and freedom. It survived the Depression, when the jobless and hungry filled the air with threats of revolution. It survived the '60s, when Vietnam loomed between parents and children at the family table.
It survived other times when we hated each other. It survived when some of us hated the country itself.
Now it arrives in this moment of existential chaos, this era when so many have lost themselves in cognitive dissonance and situational morality. An accused child molester for U.S. Senate? Really?
Yet even in this charged moment, over the river and through the woods we go, maybe not because we want to, but because we have to, because that's what you do. We will arrive to tables laden with turkey and dressing, cakes and pies and other good things, where many of us will sit in awkward tension and even open rancor with people we love because they are family and friends, yet hate because they are monstrously wrong.
It makes one thankful for Thanksgiving itself. However grudgingly we mind it, this ritual still binds us. It still makes us one.
And right now, little else does.
(Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132. Readers may contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.)