Five steps to the best political discussion this Thanksgiving


Mary Grace Heartlein

art by Mary Grace Heartlein

Izzy Colón, technical web editor

*this piece is entirely satirical

Everyone knows Thanksgiving is about good food, spending time with family and kicking off the holiday season. But, like every true American celebration, it wouldn’t be complete without a polarizing political discussion that leaves everyone feeling a little less thankful for their family members on the opposite end. Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without a little divisiveness to go alongside the mashed potatoes. So, I decided to make it easy for you. Here are five steps to ensure your political discussion this Thanksgiving is worthwhile.

1. Cut to the chase. 

To get the best possible conversation going, you have to set the tone for the night early. As your relatives file in through the door I recommend pairing your hello with a question to get the discourse going. (Ex: Did you vote for McCaskill or Hawley?) Bonus points if you can whisper it in their ear with a welcome hug.

2. Be as partisan as possible.

Talk about only the most divisive issues whenever you can. It’s important to bring core values into the equation. Make abstract jabs to entire political parties when possible. Bring your most complex and intelligent ideas forward by simply attacking the other side. There’s nothing quite like calling your 86-year-old grandma Ivanka II to jumpstart the holiday cheer.       

3. Know that you can always change people’s minds if you try hard enough.

If you find yourself engaging in discussion with a family member who agrees with you, switch your ideology mid-discussion to challenge them. It may be confusing, but it’s the only way you’ll ever be able to engage in the balanced discourse that Thanksgiving is all about. If your uncle who’s been a Democrat for 50 years isn’t ready to vote Trump 2020 by the end of the night, you have failed as a political instigator.     

 4. Never separate the person from the politics.

If your cousin voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, know that he practically pressed the delete button on the emails himself. Because after all, your political choices are a reflection of what you believe in. It’s only fitting that you hold everyone accountable for the actions of the people they support. And if you don’t, the weight of knowing you let your loved ones form their own ideas without immediately correlating them with someone else will haunt you well into the new year.           

5. Take notes.

If there are any points brought up against you that you don’t know how to respond to, write them down. You need to be fully prepared to start additional research the minute you finish Black Friday shopping. And don’t procrastinate. There’s only so much time to prepare for the next political discussion guaranteed by the December holidays.

Now, your prowess in political discourse will certainly give you the upper hand in being the most influential contributor to spreading the love this holiday season. Of course family is important, but never forget what brought us all together in the first place: politics.