How to talk about the election with your relatives this Thanksgiving

And you thought the boyfriend question was bad

This past election has seemed to do more collateral damage to relationships than any political event should. Friends, significant others, family — no one was safe in the war zone that was the month of November.

There’s an unspoken rule about not bringing up politics during joyous celebrations (Thanksgiving falls under that category), but this election was more personal than political, which means this year might be an exception.

If the thought of Thanksgiving this year with your outspoken, ultra right or left-wing family members makes you a little nervous – fear not.

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You have two options this Thanksgiving: host the fourth, and bloodiest, presidential debate of 2016 in your dining room, or follow this little guide.

Repeat after me, “I will respect all views. Even the ones that I think will destroy this country……. I will be open to other perspectives from people with different experiences than mine. Even if I’m right, I will be open-minded.”

Scenario #1: “So how do you feel about Trump, eh?”

Pay attention to this answer — it shall be noted as the Golden Answer and you will see it again.

“I would be happy to share my opinions and views on president-elect Trump if I thought that you were asking because you’re genuinely interested in hearing, with an open mind, someone who believes differently than you. However, I feel like this wouldn’t be a civil conversation and you’re only asking me to judge and attack my beliefs and opinions, which isn’t going to get us anywhere in life, so I’m going to respond in a one-worded answer: happy or sad” (choose one).

Scenario #2: “So what are you like a feminist or whatever?”

If you are: “Yes, yes I am.” (Then utilize the silence that will inevitably follow to show off your best ‘Hillary looks right into the camera’ stare.)

If you aren’t:  “No, no I’m not.” (Then go watch Emma Watson’s UN Speech.)

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Scenario #3: “I don’t get why all you college students are so butthurt about Trump winning.”

Option #1 – Modified Golden Answer:

 “I would be happy to share my opinions and views on President-elect Trump if I thought that you were asking because you’re genuinely interested in hearing, with an open mind,  someone who believes differently than you. However, I feel like this wouldn’t be a civil conversation and you’re only asking me to judge and attack my beliefs and opinions, which isn’t going to get us anywhere in life, so I’m going to respond in a few words: because people are scared.”

Option#2 – Try to redirect the focus:

You know what? Why doesn’t everyone go around the table and say what they’re thankful for. I’m thankful for science, the Environmental Protection Agency, equal pay for equal work, my education, my reproductive rights, marriage equality…oh wait.”

Scenario #4: “How could you vote for a woman who supports murdering unborn babies?”

Typically, abortion isn’t on the list of go-to Thanksgiving topics. However, Hillary supporters should be prepared for any situation they might find themselves in. 

One again, the modified Golden Answer:

“I would be happy to share my opinions and views on abortion if I thought that you were asking because you’re genuinely interested in hearing, with an open mind,  someone who believes differently than you. However, I feel like this wouldn’t be a civil conversation and you’re only asking me to judge and attack my beliefs and opinions, which isn’t going to get us anywhere in life, so I’m going to respond in a few words: A woman has the right to her body and her choice, disagreeing with that statement is disagreeing with your right to choose to not have an abortion.”

Now pass the mashed potatoes and pray those questions didn’t cause Grandma to almost have a heart attack.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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