For everyone who’s getting ready for Xmas dinner today…

I usually like a good fierce argument, but I’m afraid there would just be murmurs of agreement in my family if I tried these. Maybe yours is different? Maybe this would start a hot roaring fire at home?


  1. rpjohnston says

    The family that I still speak to are all patrician white liberal intellectuals so our debate is over whether Nazis should be punched (me) or defeated in debate (them). I could probably draw outrage if I suggested debate on whether their pets should be skinned and boiled alive tho

  2. Kevin Karplus says

    My family would be murmuring agreement also—though commenting on how hard it was to remember the right pronoun for my transgender great-niece (oops, great-nephew).

  3. willj says

    That was exactly the reaction of my right-wing evangelical family at Thanksgiving. Except I said things like: “After their huge support for a mind-boggling asshole like Trump, Evangelicals have zero moral credibility,” and “Scratch a republican and you’ll find a crook underneath,” and “Trump is a lying, narcissistic pig, who wipes his arse with the constitution.”

    I was almost kicked out, and I have not been invited back for Christmas.

  4. Akira MacKenzie says

    Since I live with my Pro-Trump father who spouts fascist brain-drivel constantly, EVERYDAY IS CHRISTMAS!!!

  5. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m eating alone tonight. My father, who watches Faux News, thinks the US is being invaded by people seeking asylum. He won’t admit our laws require us to let the people step onto US soil, and then have their asylum claims adjudicated. Glad I’m on the other side of the Great Lake.

  6. jrkrideau says

    Err, most of the family considers this normal. But then I am Canadian. We really don’t give a damn.

  7. says

    Tonight, pancakes and tea and world of warcraft, after a busy afternoon grinding metal to dust. I have not spoken a word to anyone all day. That’s my idea of a great christmas!

  8. chrislawson says

    Yeah, there are a handful of post-1945 US military operations that are defensible. The Berlin Airlift, the protection of Corazon Aquino from a right-wing coup, Bosnia, East Timor…but overall there are only a few minor bright points among the ruins of American integrity. Mind you, it’s worth remembering that the cartoon talked about conversation openers, and I’m guessing from context that the depicted elders are the type who think that US military adventures are always to be supported, no matter how venal the motivation.

  9. says

    Former Yugoslavia?

    I am not too informed on the issue, but I know at least 1 refugee from former Yugoslavia who considers NATO involvment in that conflict more harharmful than beneficial. By their own words: “Without NATO involvment in Yugoslavia, I would not now have to live in another country.” I do not consider that involvment being as clear cut as WW2.

  10. cartomancer says

    The British version of this is much simpler – just mention Brexit. For the last two years, and the next two at least, the entire country has decided to put all other contentious issues aside and just hate each other based on that one. Kind of like debt consolidation if you will.

    Though I’m fortunate in having parents who think it’s as stupid an idea as I do. And a brother who remains stubbornly and deliberately unaware of any and all political issues. So political discussions aren’t really a Christmas dinner argument starter here. Which is just as well really, given that my family will cheerfully argue over everything else during such meals, from the correct consistency for the gravy to whether you’re supposed to pronounce Latin and Japanese loan words in English as you would in the original languages. Then, once the meal is done, my brother and I will carry on arguing over literally anything until late into the night.

  11. militantagnostic says

    The first one applies to this white baby boomer. I was supposed to become more conservative* as I got older, but it seems I can’t do anything Right.

    I can’t see what is conservative about wrecking the planet and destroying everything that makes it possible for people to live together peacefully.

  12. rpjohnston says

    @cartomancer I have a friend like your brother. Even more infuriating is that she’s the child of Taiwanese immigrants. You’d think she’d maybe want to give a shit about SOME politics.

  13. says

    Having a politically left family is a nice thing, especially at Christmas.
    Though I was very pleased to have a short conversation with my dad on gendered language (German, much like romance languages is very gendered) and to discover that he is no “brocialist”, but understands that even though he may not understand all the issues regarding trans, and non-binary and intersex people, it costs him nothing to type “Leserinnen” instead if “Leser” and that there is no consensus on what forms to use largely because “many people have no interest whatsoever in a productive discussion or a consensus”.
    *I use another form and write “Leser_innen”. Both versions are plain clear and leave room for people who are neither men or women.

  14. chigau (違う) says

    Recently WordPress has been interpreting two * surrounding text as <em> or <i>.

  15. ck, the Irate Lump says

    militantagnostic wrote:

    The first one applies to this white baby boomer. I was supposed to become more conservative* as I got older, but it seems I can’t do anything Right.

    I’ve heard that this phenomenon is less about people getting more conservative as they age and more to do with the fact that poorer people tend to die earlier (for entirely predictable reasons), while the already conservative wealthy die later in life (again, entirely predictably). There might still be some ideological movement in the group, but it’s not the law of nature its usually phrased as. Maybe it’s time to correct the saying to, “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 40, you have no wealth.”

  16. rydan says

    I would actually argue reasonably that the US military has not been in a justified conflict since 1865. That was likely the only war that has ever been justifiably entered by us. WW1 and WW2 were not our conflicts and we had no business being involved in them. And while you can claim we ultimately ended the holocaust we were not aware of this happening at the time so our reasons for getting involved were simply revenge against people that we had dehumanized for decades. Plus we allied ourselves with Stalin, possibly the worst human ever born? Seriously? We enabled a dictator to murder tens of millions of people.