How To Talk To Your Conservative Uncle At Thanksgiving Dinner

talking to conservaativesA note from Progress Iowa:

If you’re like me, you’re about to head home for the holidays, and you know what’s coming: that dreaded conversation with your conservative Uncle.

Every year he corners you because he doesn’t get the chance to talk to many progressives. And then it begins: Obamacare, Hillary, gay marriage, Benghazi, the list goes on and on.

Don’t worry — you’re not alone, and we’re here to help! This year try our 3-step recipe for survival in any conversation with your conservative Uncle (or Aunt, cousin, brother, parent, or in-laws!). Just preheat the conversation, stir in a few facts, then bake until perfection!

Step 1: Preheat the conversation. You can’t just start shouting facts at your conservative Uncle. They’re used to hearing angry, reactionary voices from Rush Limbaugh to Bill O’Reilly. Stay calm, and renew your personal connection. After all, you’re family! Most importantly, do not appear too thoughtful — conservatives may confuse this for weakness.

Step 2: Stir in the facts. Nothing gives conservatives more power than the myths they cling to. Stirring in the facts once you’ve warmed up the conversation is the most important step in the process. Make sure they are given the truth — it may take a while to counteract all the bad ingredients they’ve been given by the far right. Here are a few myths they may try to promote, along with facts you can stir in to the conversation:

MYTH: This year’s elections mean conservatives are winning over the country.
FACT: Recent polling shows that Americans believe we should lower the cost of student loans (80%), increase spending on infrastructure (75%), raise the minimum wage (65%), and address climate change (59%). [Source: NBC News/Wall St Journal]

MYTH: President Obama’s executive actions on immigration shredded the constitution.
FACT: Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush took similar actions on immigration; President Obama’s decision will keep families together and improve our economy by bringing in millions in tax revenue. [Source: Associated Press/ABC News]

MYTH: The situation in Ferguson had nothing to do with race, it was simply justice being served.
FACT: There is a ‘staggering disparity’ between the races in our justice system, and the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson is the latest tragic example of that systemic disparity. [Source: USA Today]

MYTH: Obamacare is failing and unpopular.
FACT: Obamacare [The Affordable Care Act] has covered millions of Americans who previously went without insurance, and more than 70% of Americans like their Obamacare plans. [Source: Gallup]

MYTH: Gay Marriage is ruining our families, and the Supreme Court has no place deciding the issue.
FACT: The majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, and agree with the Supreme Court’s recent decisions approving same-sex marriages. [Source: ABC News]

MYTH: Benghazi is one of the biggest scandals in American history.
FACT: A committee organized and planned by Republicans just debunked the conspiracy theories behind this myth. [Source: CNN]

MYTH: Climate change is a myth, or ‘the science isn’t settled’ on the issue.
FACT: The scientific community agrees by a 97% margin that climate change is real and man-made [Source: Washington Post]. Major corporations are now planning for climate change, why shouldn’t we work to prevent it? [Source: Boston Globe]

MYTH: Voter ID laws are needed to stop voter fraud and protect our democracy.
FACT: Voter fraud is almost nonexistent, and Voter ID laws are designed to suppress voter turnout among minorities, the elderly, and the young. [Source: Brennan Center for Justice]

Step 3: Bake until appropriately cooked. At this point, your conservative Uncle will be roasting in his own myths and half truths, so forgive him if he’s a bit thrown off. Take your time and be patient, let him fully cook, and patiently explain the error of his ways.

There’s your simple three step recipe. If all else fails, feel free to send us an email. We’ll be checking and prepared with answers to your questions and fact-check any myths we haven’t covered.

Good luck, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Matt Sinovic
Progress Iowa

P.S. Like any good recipe, this one should be passed on to other progressives in your family. Click here to share it on Facebook!

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1 Response to How To Talk To Your Conservative Uncle At Thanksgiving Dinner

  1. Hugh1 says:

    If conservative Uncle Ben notices my wedding ring, should I tell him the truth about our recent same-sex marriage and show him our beautiful wedding photos? Or, should I drop a plate and start talking about Benghazi?

    Yours truly,


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