There was once a time when a dried out Turkey or lumpy mashed potatoes were your biggest worries when sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with your family and friends. Those days are gone and according to the headlines, Donald Trump or any member of the Trump family showing up at your Thanksgiving dinner table is a huge concern around the nation this year.
The Trump name showing up at your Thanksgiving table this year has such a high probability that there are experts offering strategies to avoid this from happening. Despite your greatest efforts, the topic of Trump might just leak through, so tips on nipping the conversation in the bud are also offered if Trump or any other form of politics are introduced at your dinner table by a guest.
The Guardian reports “Donald Trump has turned once-neutral topics into a minefield” and it’s not just politics you have to worry about when it comes to the Trump name suddenly seeping into the conversation. The president’s name can surface from a long list of conversations ranging from “the NFL to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.”
You not only have to worry about Trump showing up as an uninvited guest at the Thanksgiving dinner table, there’s the football game your family gathers to watch on TV that could be another minefield to navigate, suggests The Guardian. They write:
“Donald Trump has managed to politicize the game to such a degree that the seemingly innocuous pleasure of football-viewing could easily prompt a row. Or brawl.”
They also suggest that something as politically neutral as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade could spark a Trump conversation. After all, Macy’s once sold Trump’s signature apparel, that is until the debacle over Trump referring “to Mexican immigrants as rapists,” reports The Guardian.
Along with the tips offered by a vast number of experts on how to avoid talking politics at your Thanksgiving dinner table, Politico Magazine offers predictions on what you should expect if you are the only Trump supporter at your family’s dinner table. They suggest that “it takes only one Trumper to turn a genial dinner into an emotional contest of wills.”
That Trump supporter has only two choices, sit and take it all in or speak up about the good he is doing as your mother describes Trump’s “macho manner.” Suck it up as your nephew and his wife talk about what Trump is “doing to science” or speak up and suggest, “Didn’t you love Trump’s speech in Warsaw? Isn’t it great to have a leader willing to praise Western civilization?”
Once that is done, Politico suggests you’ve broken the “communal spell” and you’ve “ruined Thanksgiving” for the folks around the table. There’s really no coming back from this. This scenario is not expected to be a rare occurrence this year despite reports indicating that talking politics around the Thanksgiving dinner is something a large number of people are going to try and avoid.
According to a recent Reuters/Ipso poll, “nearly one-third of American adults will try to avoid political topics during the holidays this year,” reports Politico. The dinner table conversation for your Thanksgiving dinner may need to have some safeguards in place that start with a phone call to that one relative who is notorious for spewing their political views. With Trump being such a hot-button topic, you might need to make a phone call or two before your guests enter your home.
New Hampshire Public Radio’s State of Democracy reporter Lauren Chooljian gathered up some tips on how to avoid a conversation that ends up as a political mess. NHPR suggests with this being the first Thanksgiving with Donald Trump in office, there is “bound to be some uncomfortable conversations” especially in a state like New Hampshire that was “nearly split between candidates during the elections.”
NHPR consulted with two etiquette experts who both agree that politics should be kept out of the Thanksgiving dinner conversation. Linda Simmons is a tea and etiquette consultant out of Bedford, New Hampshire, and she suggests calling that uncle, cousin, or aunt who is notorious for spewing their political views and nicely asking them to refrain from talking politics this year.
Janet Parnes, who is an etiquette consultant from Massachusetts, suggests that along with preparing the food, prepare yourself for dinner conversations, especially ones you can toss in there if Trump is brought up at the table. You know how Uncle Charlie loves talking about himself, so if you toss in a sentence about his recent trip to Bermuda, this could change the conversation quickly.
Parnes suggests all dinner guests should arm themselves with conversations that aren’t about “President Trump or Al Franken.” Don’t forget, people love to talk about themselves, so be at the ready with questions you can inject into the conversation if a heated Trump argument starts festering.
[Featured Image by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Images]