Posted by Brother Bob on 23 November, 2016 at 12:54 pm. 32 comments already!

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Times change. And one of the most annoying changes is seeing one of out country’s most important holidays become somehow “controversial” as a result of an increasingly vocal Radical Left. Over the last few years we’ve seen a number of web sites chocked full of talking points, whether on immigration, Obamacare, Gun Control, among others.

Conservative sites have offered their responses, as The Federalist’s Mark Hemingway offers a fairly viscous guide to how to talk to a Millennial, while a few years ago Ace offers these talking points to respond to harassment over Obamacare.

I’m going to hit this from a slightly different angle, and offer responses to each of Esquire’s talking points, as they seem to have covered the spectrum of current issues. Study each response carefully, as you’ll want to have each one committed to memory before your family gathering! And Conservatives, I hope that this goes without saying, but don’t start with political talk yourselves with your left-leaning relatives, which for all intents and purposes is also attacking their religious beliefs.

Trump and Hillary – Esquire says:

Don’t go into this conversation assuming everyone who voted for Trump is a racist. While you’re at it, maybe admit that Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate. Keep the conversation on specific facts: Point out that his tax plan, despite what he says, is built to provide more cuts to wealthy Americans. Perhaps try to personalize how harmful his rhetoric about women and people of color and other religions is to millions across the country. Also, personalize how his radical administration choices present a terrifying future for pretty much anyone who’s not a cis, white, straight male.

Brother Bob’s response:

You know, we only get to gather everybody like this a few times a year. Yeah, we may not all get along as well as we’d like but we’re the only family we’ve got. Instead of arguing over things that drive us apart, maybe we should appreciate the time we have together. Hey, the games are starting in a few – you ready to join me for a beer?

The Alt-Right – Esquire says:

Preface your description of the alt-right by saying that you are not trying to lump in your Trump-supporting family members with this movement. The goal is to explain how voting for Trump inadvertently strengthened this powerful racist group. You can even show them Breitbart headlines to serve as a little intro to controversial Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

Brother Bob’s response:

You know, we only get to gather everybody like this a few times a year. Yeah, we may not all get along as well as we’d like but we’re the only family we’ve got. Instead of arguing over things that drive us apart, maybe we should appreciate the time we have together. So what do you think – will the Lions find a way to choke or does Bradford continue to lead the Vikes’ march off the cliff?  You ready for another beer?

Steve Bannon – Esquire says:

Tread lightly here, because literally anything you say about Bannon will point to white supremacy, which may translate to calling your family members white supremacists—and that won’t lead to any sort of healthy dialogue. Calmly lay out out the facts. Bannon has expressed his dislike of Jewish people, he’s the executive chairman of Breitbart, he is admired by various white nationalist groups. He had Trump’s ear during the campaign and he’ll allegedly have it for the net four-to-eight years.

Brother Bob’s response:

You know, we only get to gather everybody like this a few times a year. Yeah, we may not all get along as well as we’d like but we’re the only family we’ve got. Instead of arguing over things that drive us apart, maybe we should appreciate the time we have together. So what do we root for with Cowboys vs. Redskins – an earthquake or plenty of season ending injuries? And are you ready for another beer?

Black Lives Matter – Esquire says:

The knee-jerk response to the Black Lives Matter movement (from those who fundamentally misunderstand its purpose) is, of course, “all lives matter!” … so there’s your starting point. Explain that, of course, everyone matters, and everyone deserves to live (it’s sad that we have to point this out, isn’t it?). Nevertheless, #AllLivesMatter entirely misses (and erases) the point, because BLM is essentially saying “black lives matter too.” Highlight that BLM is not about hating cops, but about the loss of black lives due to systemic racism in law enforcement.

Brother Bob’s response:

You know, we only get to gather everybody like this a few times a year. Yeah, we may not all get along as well as we’d like but we’re the only family we’ve got. Instead of arguing over things that drive us apart, maybe we should appreciate the time we have together. It looks like the Steelers and Colts are fighting for their playoff lives tonight. Ready for another beer?

The Media – Esquire says:

While Trump might say the media is against him and slanted and biased, The New York Times printing a direct quote from Donald Trump or correcting one of his many bold lies is the job of the media. Here’s what’s also important: A free press is one of this country’s founding principles. The media acts as a watchdog of our leaders. For all the sensationalism out there, it still performs this roll. Verified facts are the key here. Breitbart traffics in propaganda and many of the fake viral news stories that appear on social media are nothing but unsubstantiated lies.

Brother Bob’s response:

You know, we only get to gather everybody like this a few times a year. Yeah, we may not all get along as well as we’d like but we’re the only family we’ve got. Instead of arguing over things that drive us apart, maybe we should appreciate the time we have together. Those were some good games today  – so on Sunday will the Ravens’ or Bengals playoff hopes effectively end? Hey, while you’re up can you grab me another beer, too?

Marriage Equality – Esquire says:

This conversation is probably futile for family members who believe that the “sanctity of marriage” can only be preserved through heterosexual couples (in which case, you could really have some fun by calmly pointing out how many divorces and affairs have occurred within the Trump team). But your uncle who claims he “doesn’t give a shit about all that as long as the government keeps its hand out of my bank account” may be a little more open to a healthy discussion.

Brother Bob’s response:

You know, we only get to gather everybody like this a few times a year. Yeah, we may not all get along as well as we’d like but we’re the only family we’ve got. Instead of arguing over things that drive us apart, maybe we should appreciate the time we have together. Hopefully the extra rest will help the Eagles get healthy for what’s looking like a must win in Green Bay on Monday. I’m going to grab a beer – you ready for another?

Climate change – Esquire says:

As we all know very well, our president-elect thinks that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese—and if your Trump-supporting family members believe that too, the best option here is providing some facts for them to consider. Try pulling out a few of these bad boys: 1) 2016 is almost definitely going to be the hottest year on record by far, and that’s not just a coincidence, since 2015 was the hottest year before that. 2) The North Pole is a whopping 36 degrees warmer than average right now. 3) For centuries, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has never been more than 300 parts per million. In the 1950s, it rose past that. Today, it’s at approximately 400 parts per million.

If they acknowledge that climate change is a very real threat, perhaps they’ll be able to see how scary our president-elect’s position is. And then maybe they’ll start thinking about some of his other positions. Maybe.

Brother Bob’s response:

You know, we only get to gather everybody like this a few times a year. Yeah, we may not all get along as well as we’d like but we’re the only family we’ve got. Instead of arguing over things that drive us apart, maybe we should appreciate the time we have together. Did I tell you how cool it was when Sister Babe, Little Bob, and I got to spend Thanksgiving in Jerry Jones’ owners’ box when the Eagles whupped on Dallas and before the game Little Bob made a run at Jerry Jones like he was going to take out his knees? Oh, sorry – that’s a personal memory (and yes, true story!) and the rest of you can’t use it. Cut me some slack – I’m on my seventh beer here!

Yes, obviously it would be easy to address each issue and pull them apart, but that can wait until your next gathering that’s not on a day where we’re supposed to give thanks for what we have in our lives. And as I wrote this I found that to some degree Jim Geraghty beat me to the punch with a similar article today – although he doesn’t provide my responses it’s a great read.

So study up on your responses and get each one committed to memory if you want an enjoyable Thanksgiving!

And while you’re enjoying your dinner and time with your family, be sure to take a moment to remember the victims of the Pinedale Shopping Center turkey attack.

Header image appears via Ace of Spades. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

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Cross from Brother Bob’s Blog

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