How to Avoid the Political Food Fight and Embrace Politics on Thanksgiving

Bella Martin, Sports Editor

In the aftermath of the 2020 election and with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, one may find avoiding politics this Thanksgiving dinner difficult. Here are some ways to avoid a political food fight and navigate politics at Thanksgiving: 

1. Set some ground rules. 

Before dinner, the host and guests at Thanksgiving dinner should set some ground rules. Everyone could suggest some rules that forbid political conversation at the dinner table and only allow discussion about certain topics before sitting down to eat. Families could also impose a rule declaring Thanksgiving a “politics-free” night, which would completely avoid the discussion of politics overall. Remember that not everyone enjoys talking politics, so only speak with those who feel comfortable discussing the subject.

2. Listen to what everyone has to say. 

When discussing politics, people’s unwillingness to listen to each other’s opinions often becomes an issue. Listening goes a long way in conversation, especially when two people do not agree on a political issue. Open conversation remains key to understanding the opposition and in turn, understanding more about one’s own point of view. 

3. Be respectful.

Do not forget basic manners when discussing politics. Courteous and respectful conversations include acknowledging everyone’s opinions, even when disagreements occur. Know the audience; consider everyone’s perspectives and experiences when discussing sensitive topics. If nothing nice can be said, simply ask someone to pass the mashed potatoes and corn bread. 

4. Educate yourself on important issues. 

Always stay well informed on candidates, policies, platforms and past decisions. Keeping yourself educated on the aforementioned topics can help a lot when having political discussions. If someone tries to spread “fake news” during a conversation, kindly correct them and use solid evidence when doing so.

5. Keep the volume down. 

Discussing politics tends to cause people to become very passionate and loud. People should not allow themselves to get worked up or start a fight over a single political disagreement. When the yelling starts, the political discussion should stop. 

6. Family first. 

At the end of the day, political differences should get put aside as family always comes first. Try not to ruin a relationship with a family member over something like a presidency or specific piece of legislation, no matter how important they are. 

Thanksgiving should consist of making wonderful memories with family and eating until the buttons on your pants burst. It should not result in a political food fight or a ruined relationship with a family member.