Happy Thanksgiving? Political Tensions May Cause Partisan Bickering At The Table

Those looking forward to a happy Thanksgiving may be in for a bit more than turkey and can-berry sauce at the dinner table this year, as the wake of a heated and ugly election and even talk of secession in some states ensures that political bickering may just be on the Turkey Day menu as well.

Frazzled hosts may be frantically searching for Thanksgiving recipes, but when the pots and pans are washed and put away and the American day of thanks is underway, some dinner-goers may be expressing inner gratitude for secret ballots and ideological allies at the table.

America is still polarized and reeling from a tight race that resulted in the election of President Barack Obama to a second term just weeks before Thanksgiving, and tensions remain as one party gloats and the other grumbles about secession and socialism. And given the cross-generational nature of the celebration, it’s guaranteed more than a few Thanksgiving dinners will be no more peaceful than the end of a Monopoly game.

The AP covered some Thanksgiving revelers who anticipate a bit of friction at this year’s dinner tables owing to political disharmony, and Quincy, Massachusetts resident Andrew Marshall, 34, said that the predicted tension was foreshadowed on Facebook. The site says:

“Like many extended families across the country, Marshall’s includes Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals. And so, like many families that count both red and blue voters in their ranks, they’re expecting fireworks. Things had already gotten so bad on Facebook, the family had to ban political banter.

“‘It was getting brutal,’ says Marshall.”

But unlike some families, the Marshalls’ younger members are more conservative, while the older, more liberal. And while that clan says Thanksgiving debates are all in good fun, some families have even canceled their planned gatherings — which seems very sad.

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40-year-old scout leader Brian Davidson is one such abstainer, and he says its better to steer clear of Thanksgiving 2012 rather than suffer a damaging clash. The newswire explains:

“Davidson, a Boy Scout leader and the father of two school-age sons, once was firmly conservative, even serving as an officer in the Young Republicans Club at the University of North Alabama. His parents – particularly Dad – always taught him and his brother to think for themselves, he says … And so he did. Davidson eventually realized he no longer fit in with the Republican Party, which he saw as moving rightward, and now considers himself a political moderate with liberal positions on issues like gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana – he supports both – and conservative positions on foreign and fiscal policies.”

Instead, Brian and his wife Kim plan to visit his in-laws instead, hoping for a happy Thanksgiving. The rub? They too are conservative, and Davidson fears an “Obama rant,” saying:

“Anything can cause it … We’re just going to suck it up.”

As families across the US plan for a politically divided holiday, do you expect a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving, or will your turkey feast possibly erupt into World War Three?