News & Politics

New Study Shows Donald Trump Ruined Thanksgiving

President Donald Trump reacts to the song as he arrives at a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A new study created by a couple of academics has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Donald Trump is guilty of ruining Thanksgiving.

Go figure. Trump is guilty of ruining everything else, so why not Turkey Day? Politico reports:

In the 10 months since his inauguration, President Donald Trump has been accused of torching everything from America’s stature on the global stage to the country’s most treasured political norms. He “ruined the eclipse,” noted one observer; he “ruined all my favorite TV shows,” lamented another. He’s been accused of destroying workplace moraleirony and Bachelor in Paradise, too.

Ruining TV shows should get Trump a medal. But you might note the incredible lengths the two academics went to to prove that Trump is a Thanksgiving villain:

 But a new study by economists Keith Chen of UCLA and Ryne Rohla of Washington State University seems to have proved at least one point conclusively: Trump really did ruin Thanksgiving.

With the help of data-tracking service SafeGraph, Chen and Rohla traced the movements of more than 10 million Americans across the past two Thanksgiving holidays. They focused specifically on people who traveled from Republican-leaning areas to Democratic-leaning areas and vice versa, and found that politically divided families spent on average 20 to 30 minutes less time around the dinner table in 2016 than they did in 2015. That added up to a loss of 62 million person-hours of Thanksgiving time across the country—and specifically, the authors estimated, a loss of “27 million person-hours of cross-partisan Thanksgiving discourse.”

To conduct their study, Chen and Rohla first established the cellphone users’ “home” location by tracking where their phone was most frequently between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., then compared that with where they were between 1 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Using election records compiled down to the precinct level, Chen and Rohla narrowed the sample to cellphone users who traveled to areas politically opposed to their own, in both 2015 and 2016. They narrowed that further to subjects who were in their “home” district during both the morning and evening of Thanksgiving, and therefore likely had control over the duration of their visit. The results show that those subjects chose to spend significantly less time at Thanksgiving dinner in 2016 than in 2015. The effect more than doubled in areas that saw heavy political advertising, confirming that the shortened family time was thanks to politics, and wasn’t just due to a countrywide epidemic of poor cooking. Chen says he and Rohla collected over 40 billion location “pings” in November 2016, compared to a smaller but methodologically comparable sample in 2015, to build their map of our post-election dinner anxiety.

“It’s not shocking,” says urbanist and social geographer Joel Kotkin of the results of the study. “But it is kind of demoralizing.”

No doubt Chen and Rohla will next undertake to “prove” that the earth is flat, or Elvis is alive, or perhaps disco isn’t really dead.

Have any liberals stopped to think that perhaps Thanksgiving has been ruined not due to Trump but rather to their own pathological hatred of him? I would guess most Trump supporters try not to talk politics at the dinner table — or with their families generally — knowing full well the violent reaction to even the mention of his name.

That leaves liberals in a position to bring him up in conversation. And their hatred extends not only to Trump, but to anyone who voted for him. As I said, pathological.

But that study can’t measure stupidity or hate. So, instead of blaming their own inability to resist lecturing, moralizing, and berating their Trump-loving relatives, they put it all on Trump.