Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Is heartburn on the menu this Thanksgiving?

Will the 2018 election intrude on turkey day the way the 2016 election did? That’s the question the Dallas Morning News asked in an article highlighting a study by researchers Keith Chen and Ryan Rhola.

The researchers compared cell phone location data and voting data to analyze how long travelers spent celebrating Thanksgiving with their relatives. Comparing 2015 data with 2016 they observed that families with members who have different political leanings “shortened their dinners by 30 to 50 minutes compared with those who traveled to districts with similar leanings.”

If “family is forever,” we shouldn’t let something as temporary as an election drive a wedge between the most important people in our lives. Here’s a list of things you can do or talk about this Thanksgiving instead of talking about politics:

  • Talk about things you’re thankful for – duh!
  • Watch the Lions lose. Again.
  • Is there evidence that Paul McCartney died and the Beatles left a series of hidden clues to tell fans?
  • Debate who will get dissed by the College Football Playoff Committee.
  • Tell deer hunting stories (aka, lies).
  • Back in the day when we were kids is always a fun topic.
  • If you could invite any person in history to Thanksgiving who would it be?
  • If Jesus took the Myers-Briggs test where would he end up?
  • Share serial killer fun facts.
  • Tryptophan. Is it a thing?
  • Play euchre, Monopoly and other games that make your cousin go rage monster and flip the table.

Letting politics affect your family is giving too much power to those who are already the most powerful among us. Champions of diversity rightly suggest that our variety make us stronger. That we ought to celebrate what makes us uniquely different. Let's bring that same tolerance with us to the dinner table this Thanksgiving.

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