From “Trick or Treat” to the Thanksgiving SMACKDOWN?

From “Trick or Treat” to the Thanksgiving SMACKDOWN?

  • The numbers behind America’s growing economic and political divide
  • Increased political polarization has led to shorter Thanksgiving dinners
  • How to prevent political arguments from ruining family time 

Joyful pirates, Oompa Loompas, and Harley Quinn hit the streets this week, but we all know that the 2019 Thanksgiving Dinner Smackdown is just around the corner….

It starts out with “so what have you been up to lately?” and all to quickly escalates to yelling about ‘those crazy politicos who don’t think like me’ and suddenly mashed potatoes are flying and Grandma’s pile-driving the Turducken and… 

Ok, yeah. Maybe that’s not exactly how your Thanksgiving is… there’s no Turducken at yours. But you get the point, right? Political differences have caused us to cut Thanksgiving dinner short by 30 to 50 minutes!

Why do we get so passionate about politics?

Because just about everything, especially our lifestyles, or children’s futures, and the Paychecks that fund them, are all impacted in the political arena. 

And, aside from your grandma’s Turducken wrestling moves, it’s some of the best reality tv content out there today!   

Why do people disagree with what’s clearly the right opinion (aka my opinion)? 

Because they’ve got an urban big city perspective, while you’re used to chopping your own firewood. Or perhaps the opposite.

As the Brookings Institution puts it, Democrats are now solidly in richer, urban cities living in 20% of the land area of our nation, while Republican areas now hold “traditional” industries like manufacturing and resource extraction and span 80% of the nation in less urban centers.

Which, interestingly enough, is the reverse of what it used to be.

And that’s probably why you find your nephew who flies in from New York to be the most annoying person at the table. (Assuming our readers are all rural?)

How to save the holidays from being ruined by politics

Have we really gotten to a point where we need therapy to get through a few hours of Thanksgiving dinner? Hopefully not… but maybe we could use some tips to deal with that one family member who’s likely to say something so ridiculous that it makes us want to throw a pumpkin pie in their face.

If your family never has a political dispute and you’re rolling your eyes right now, then share these Thanksgiving survival tips with that one neighbor whose family argument kept the entire neighborhood awake last Thanksgiving.

The obvious, but probably most difficult, solution is to set a rule that no one can discuss politics. Set it in stone before the buttermilk biscuits are out of the oven. A more realistic, fun solution is to set a politics zone for those two family members who look forward to hashing out political arguments each holiday season. You could even go so far as to put a sign on the door of the guest bedroom that says “WARNING: YOU’RE NOW ENTERING A POLITICS ZONE.” 

If neither solution works, just remember it takes two to tango (aka argue) and that you don’t have to take the bait when a family member tries to talk politics. When your nephew says something that gets under your skin, just let it go and don’t get into a back-and-forth discussion that will likely escalate into an argument. Another tip is to treat family like strangers, because we’re much less likely to be rude and abrasive to someone we’ve just met.

The bottom line

There’s no denying that America has become more polarized, and that it relates directly to where we live and what our economic status is. But data is one thing, and family time with our loved ones is another.

Remember that each family member sees the world based on their individual situation. Follow the tips above to keep Thanksgiving dinner a strong American tradition!

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