Sun. Oct 20th, 2019

Column: How to tip-toe around politics at the dinner table

By Daniel Cruse — 

Since the prelude to the 2016 election, political discourse has seemingly plagued every waking moment.

Whether you find yourself on social media, with friends and family or overhearing strangers talking out in public, it is becoming nearly impossible to avoid politics.

This comes with benefits, such as keeping political issues in the zeitgeist so people continue to be aware of what’s going on, but it can become overwhelming when it’s all anybody is talking about.

Many parents of college students probably remember Thanksgiving dinner being much more peaceful and casual in terms of conversation topics.

However, today’s youth are accustomed to constant political debates that may or may not end with a drunk uncle shouting about why he voted for Donald Trump or another similar situation.

There are many ways to cope with this throughout the holidays.

It’s important to consider some ways to hopefully help avoid political talk at all around Thanksgiving time if you know it will lead to an argument.

Avoiding political talk may not be so simple for some families, but bringing up a completely unrelated topic is an easy way to work around anything related to the government.

There are plenty of new television shows, movies, books, albums, etc. that any number of relatives may have watched, read or listened to and enjoyed.

What better way to reconnect with a family member than to share experiences pertaining to a moving or entertaining work of art?

Ask if your cousins watched this season of Game of Thrones, or what they thought about Avengers: Infinity War.

There are countless pop culture topics that can be discussed with no tension or worry of starting serious arguments. These things will probably be more fun to talk about anyway.

If you find yourself surrounded by people who keep bringing up the news or politics, you can separate yourself from the situation by briefly leaving to catch some air if you’re feeling stressed.

Another option is to vocalize the conversation is discomforting and that you think it would be for the best to steer away from politics.

Share family stories, discuss an interesting class you’re taking in college, talk about what you’re wanting to do after you graduate or ask relatives about their careers or studies.

There is a myriad of potential discussions to be had that in all likelihood would not end in any uncomfortable tension or awkward moments.

Remember to be thankful for all the other things your family chooses to talk about instead of politics this Holiday season. However, if all attempts to steer away from politics ultimately fail, try to enjoy the food and go to your happy place.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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