I held my Kentucky Kitchen Table Dinner at my house in North Carolina. In attendance was (from Left To Right) Robert (Not pictured because he was taking the picture), Me, Jacob, Marilyn, Thomas, Brian and Katherine. Robert is my Dad. He works at Wells Fargo. His diet mostly consists of meats such as steak, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, turkey and fish. Marilyn is my Mom. She used to work at the Federal Reserve with my Dad but stopped working after my older brother was born. Jacob is my older brother. He currently attends Northeastern University in Boston. He has split time between taking classes and doing co-ops with companies in the field of chemistry. He’s not particularly talkative. Thomas is my younger brother. He is currently a sophomore in high school and isn’t very fond of school. Thomas is also a teacher assistant at religious school. My Dad, Mom, and brothers are all Jewish (with varying degrees of how religious they are). Katherine was recently hired by my Dad to work with him at Wells Fargo. Brian is Katherine’s husband. Brian and Katherine are vegan. We had pasta for dinner because that was something that everyone could eat. My parents insisted on cooking dinner so it would be acceptable to everyone.
During the dinner, we talked about being obligated to do things to help other people in the community. We didn’t list out any specific obligations because we believed that everyone should do what they could. It didn’t make sense to us to force people to do things because everyone has their own needs and responsibilities. We also recognized that different people in different communities have different needs and so not every community needs the same form of help. This ties into our discussions of Jane Addams and how she tried to help the immigrant communities in Chicago and how some of the things she did didn’t work because she wasn’t understanding the needs of the community in some of her attempts for solve problems such as giving candy to children who worked in candy factories.
We also talked about the need for a better-informed democracy. Most of us were (and still are) very concerned about the rise of Donald Trump. My personal concern was that people don’t take the time to look at the candidates and learn about them. I had voted early in the North Carolina Primary that day. My Dad, who also voted with me on that day, didn’t take the time to look up the candidates so he just asked me who I was voting for while we were waiting in line to vote. While I was ok with my candidates getting an extra vote, my dad didn’t do his own research to see why I chose those candidates. Another issue that bothered many of the adults at the table was that people are not actually looking at the contents of the candidates messages and paying attention to the flaws in it, such as candidates wanting to do things that are not within their power or are against the law, or that some of the language used is discriminatory towards minorities such as Hispanic immigrants, Muslims, or African-Americans. Some candidates have also been changing their positions wildly and sometimes within the course of a week. The anger felt by voters is reflected in the remaining candidates but clearly at a cost of candidate quality which we felt could be damaging to the country, depending on which candidate gets elected. Some candidates were viewed differently than others by different people. This relates to the lecture where we talked about local politics being reflective of national politics.