Dear Lefties: Sit Down, Shut Up, Take the Day Off
They never stop, they never sleep, they never quit. From the folks who brought you "the personal is political," this deranged screed in The Nation:
It has only been a few days since the stunning election. It will take a lot more time to understand the full implications of what happened in America on November 8. But one outcome is already clear: Half of Americans are convinced their country is on a steadier path, and the other half are filled with fear and despair about its future. Half think they have avoided catastrophe; the other half know they have collided with it head-on. These divisions will not disappear simply because one side won and the other lost. So where do we go from here?
Eight months ago, it was still possible for me to think this way about Trump voters: that they were mostly strangers, people I met when I left my little bubble in California. But since then, I’ve discovered Trump supporters in my own extended family. These people do not live in neglected industrial towns, nor are they suffering economically. One complains about his high taxes, another loves guns, and yet another is vehemently opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage. Our conversations haven’t been easy, because they dismiss, almost always out of hand, anything critical about Trump that appears in the major newspapers (the “liberal media,” in their parlance). When citing a particular news article or study as evidence fails me, I try a different approach: I mention that I fit the profile of everything Trump hates—as a woman, an immigrant, a Muslim, a progressive—and that voting for him means, by extension, rejecting someone in their own family. But they show no empathy. Their response is the same as the one given to me by that stranger in Florida. “Oh, that’s all just talk,” they say. “He doesn’t mean you—you’re fine.”
But I confess to a great deal of apprehension about the Trump voters I do know. I’m not sure what will happen when we sit down across the table from each other at Thanksgiving this year. Will my relatives bring up their victory over “Crooked Hillary”? Will I take the bait and say that, regardless of my policy disagreements with her, studies showed her to be the most truthful candidate of the entire presidential field? I fear I may end up exhausted hours later without having convinced anyone. Even if we don’t argue about the election, as we have for the last year, politics is likely to come up. Talk about the weather, I tell myself. But what if someone says something about climate change? OK, then, talk about sports. What if Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality comes up? And isn’t that football team from Washington with the racist name playing on Thanksgiving? Compliment the food, then. All right, that’s easy—let’s just hope no one asks for the green-beans recipe; my husband got it from TheNew York Times. The liberal media strikes again!
Blah, blah, blah. Honest to God, do these people ever shut up? Must they inflict their deracinated world view -- a view that comes right out of the can of cultural Marxism -- 365 days a year? If they win, they blabber and strut; if they lose, they cringe and whine.
Maybe this poor woman should meet my friend Kurt Schlichter, who has some sage advice today:
Thanksgiving is a magical time when families gather together in a traditional celebration featuring gratitude, joyous fellowship, and the cruel mockery of insufferable millennial relatives. We are also seeing the rise of a new Thanksgiving tradition: tiresome, geek-scribbled columns about how to talk to your obnoxious conservative uncle at the dinner table that pop up every year on essential millennial websites like Vox, Salon, and Perpetual Barista.
But how about some guidance for those of us who eagerly embrace our inner obnoxious conservative uncle? Well, here are some helpful hints for when that smug tool spawned by your sister and her twitchy second husband opens up his piehole for something other than inserting pie.
Welcome Him to Dinner: Extend a hearty greeting, like “Good to see you! Of course, when I was 25, I spent Thanksgiving in a fighting position eating reconstituted pork patties, but your part time Chore Monkey gig is pretty much the same. Come on in!”
Be patient when he inquires whether you have anything “infused” or “curated,” and assure him that “Oh yeah, I got something locally sourced for you right here.” Listen intently to his list of dietary restrictions, then helpfully explain that “Your vegan option is not eating.” Explain that you won’t let him say the blessing because “I don’t want to hear an invocation to some weird goddess or any other blasphemous crap.” Ensure that your prayer concludes “And we thank you for our police and firefighters, and for all our veterans, and for our warriors fighting evil across the globe. May you protect them and grant them total victory over our enemies.”
I wonder how the "female Muslim immigrant progressive" would enjoy that. Maybe, for once, she'd just eat her pumpkin pie and stifle.