Thanksgiving talk of current politics


An odd tradition emerging this time of year is the slate of political figures (and left-leaning magazines) offering advice on how to talk to your conservative relatives at the Thanksgiving table.

The Democratic National Committee even has a website called ""

"The holiday season is filled with food, traveling, and lively discussions with Republican relatives about politics sometimes laced with statements that are just not true," the DNC says.

Does your uncle doubt the scary claims of climate change believers?

"Why are conservatives more likely to believe that climate change is a conspiracy than to acknowledge what 97 percent of climate scientists - and the majority of Americans - believe?" you're supposed to ask. "Climate change is real, and it's man made. The Republican presidential field is living in denial."

Let's talk about that Republican field. The DNC has a field day with this.

"Look, most economists say that Jeb Bush's plan for getting 4 percent economic growth is pretty darn unlikely," you're supposed to say. "And when he was governor of Florida, the state's economy grew on a housing bubble, then quickly collapsed when the bubble burst."

How about Sen. Ted Cruz? The DNC gives you the recipe to roast him like a holiday gobbler.

"Ted Cruz led the 2013 government shutdown that cost the US economy $24 billion," you should say. "And he thought that turned out so well that he wanted to do it again over Planned Parenthood funding this year."

Now, the Obama administration has famously urged its supporters to bring up the topic of the Affordable Care Act during the Thanksgiving meal.

The DNC agrees, and offers this to respond to your relatives' doubts: "Nearly 1 in 3 Americans who were uninsured a few years ago have coverage today - that's more than 17 million people. If the ACA were repealed, millions of Americans would lose access to quality, affordable health care. And none of the Republican candidates for president have a plan to solve that problem."

To be sure, conservatives have countered this year, with Jon Gabriel's "How to talk to your progressive niece about Obamacare."

"You are excited to see your sister and brother-in-law for the first time in three years. As you welcome them into your home for an overdue celebration, their twenty-something daughter walks by your hug," Gabriel imagines. "‘We need to talk about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,' she says, pulling an iPad from her Netroots Nation tote bag. Her parents offer a resigned look and mention that she just got her Master's in Gender Sustainability."

Specific rebuttals aside, Gabriel has the right take on those turkey-fueled political debates.

"Today isn't about arguing. Thanksgiving is about counting our blessings and sharing just one day with family from around the country.

"It's time to level with your ThinkProgress blogger niece," he writes. "Honey, everyone at this table loves you very much. But today isn't about arguing. Thanksgiving is about counting our blessings and sharing just one day with family from around the country."


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