I hate to be the one to point this out, but the holidays will be here before you know it.
Not that there is anything wrong with the holidays. But on holidays families get together. And they talk. And one of the things they talk about is politics.
Always a contentious topic, politics has become toxic, vehement and sometimes violent.
And being a member of the same family might not dilute that toxicity much.
Political beliefs might run in the family. Siblings tend to have the same political outlook. At least that is the way it used to be pre-Trump. Nowadays we can’t take such unity for granted.
Children shared the beliefs of their parents. Not always, I grant you. Some children are revolting. That is, they rebel against their parents and their parents’ values. But, by and large, families tend to stick together, politically speaking.
But children grow up and marry, which adds a variable to the political equation.
Spouses may share political viewpoints but the families of spouses may not. Holidays are times when in-laws see a lot of each other. In today’s fraught political climate it might be wise to put at the top of the list of holiday etiquette: No politics.
Remember, no amount of brilliant argument will persuade an in-law that a border wall is – or is not – a great and patriotic idea. All that argument will lead to is angry shouting across the drumsticks and the green bean casserole.
So, don’t go there. People already believe what they believe. Everyone has chosen sides. People who say they are undecided are lying, maybe even to themselves.
A holiday family political argument could get very ugly. Don’t have one.
Of course you are right. It’s as clear as clean glass that the other side is wrong.
You are not going to change their mind. And they are not going to change your mind – because you are of course right.
So, at your holiday family gatherings, stick to such holidayesque subjects as whether to serve mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. (I recommend serving both.)
And if you have to talk about other stuff …
How about religion?
That’s a nice, safe topic.
Paul Sassone is a freelance columnist.