A Progressive Guide to Thanksgiving Conversation

In the great progressive spirit, here are a few tips on how to talk to — and morally improve — your family this Thanksgiving:

1. Your crazy uncle complains in passing that the construction on Redlands Avenue is limiting the flow of traffic to his hardware store, and wonders if the job could be completed more quickly.

This must not be allowed to stand. Ask your uncle if he’s an anarchist and if he has heard of Somalia. If you missed Politics 101 at Oberlin, refer to the Fact Cards that you have printed out from Vox.com and explain patiently that the government is the one thing that we all belong to and that the worry that it is “too big” or “too centralized” or “too slow to achieve basic tasks” has a long association with neo-Confederate causes.

Remind him also that:

the state has a monopoly on legitimate violence.
Europe is doing really well.
The Koch Brothers.
“Obstruction.”

Should all that fail, insist sadly that if he doesn’t fully apologize for his opinions you will have to conclude that he hates gay people. Ask why your family has to talk about politics all the time.

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