Top 5 Thanksgiving Dinner Debate Tips

starbucks cupTimely advice from our friends at ProgressIowa

If you’re like me, you’ve got a lot of Thanksgiving food, family fun, and a heaping helping of face time with your conservative relatives.

Are you the only progressive voice at the dinner table? Will you be cornered by a conservative Uncle who wants to spit out the latest talking points from Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh?

Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. From Donald Trump to Starbucks cups, we’ll arm you with the information you need to stand your ground. And if you need additional guidance, send us a message to our email hotline: Progress Iowa will be ready to assist however we can!

Once you’ve read our guide, click here to check it out online and share with your friends and family!

Thank you, good luck, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Matt Sinovic
Progress Iowa

On the Issues: How to Debate Your Conservative Uncle this Thanksgiving!


Conservative Uncle Says: “After what happened in Paris, we can’t afford to let any of the Syrian refugees into our country.”

You Say: The U.S. has highly effective and very rigorous procedures to check the background of each refugee. Unlike in Europe, it’s incredibly difficult for refugees from Syria to walk up to American soil. We have time to investigate, and we investigate very well, with the process lasting up to two years for each refugee. In addition, not one of the attackers in Paris has been identified as a Syrian refugee. Finally, it’s the right thing to do. More than two thirds of the refugees are women and children, and our country is built on the hard work of immigrants and people who came here in search of a better life.

[Sources: TIME outlines the vetting process for refugees; Mashable shows that not one of the Paris attackers has been identified as a Syrian refugee]


Conservative Uncle Says: “Why are Hillary and Bernie talking about unfair pay for women, is that even real? Some women choose different jobs than men, it’s natural some of them pay less.”

You Say: The gap in pay between women and men is all too real. Women make just 78 cents for every dollar a man makes, and it’s even worse for African American women (65 cents) and Latinas (54 cents). Women are paid less despite their profession. Just two examples are women physicians and surgeons, who make just 62% of what their male counterparts make, and financial managers, a profession where women make just 67% of a male’s salary. If nothing is done to solve this crisis, women will not receive equal pay until the year 2058.

[Sources: Status of Women in the States, detailing the wage gap; Center for American Progress, showing wage gap by occupation]


Conservative Uncle Says: “It shouldn’t be Black Lives Matter, we should say All Lives Matter!”

You Say: Black lives have been disproportionately marginalized in this country, from discriminatory laws, income inequality, and a biased criminal justice system. Using the phrase Black Lives Matter calls out the barriers to opportunity and justice Black Americans face every day. Think of it as saying “Black Lives Matter, too,” which unfortunately is a statement that needs to be made. In addition, many black adults grew up living with racist housing policies. Black people have the right to vote, but new restrictions are trying to make it harder to vote. And every day, black people continue to face a criminal justice system that treats them harsher than everyone else.

[Sources: The Atlantic discusses racist housing policies; Huffington Post covers voting restrictions; Vox details racism in the criminal justice system]


Conservative Uncle Says: “At least he has the guts to tell the truth, you always know where he stands.”

You Say: No, not at all. Donald Trump lies, and he lies a lot. He has lied about immigrants, that Arabs cheered in New Jersey on 9/11, the race of victims of murder, and on and on. As for where he stands? Trump has flipped and flopped on issues such as Syrian refugees, taxes, and whether or not to cut military spending.

[Sources: Mother Jones for 26 of Trump’s lies; Washington Post for 6 of Trump’s flip flops]


Conservative Uncle Says: “Why did Starbucks take Christmas off their cups? Isn’t this just political correctness gone wild?”

You Say: You’re joking, right? This is a completely made up controversy. Don’t you have anything better to get upset about? (If that doesn’t work, click here to show him this list of Christmas-themed products offered by Starbucks, proving that a red cup is simply a red cup).

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