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Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:32 PM

How Do You Deal With Republican Relatives During The Holidays?

I would like some advice from my DU friends on this topic because so far today, grandpa has gone on and on about how much President Obama has cut funding for the VA (I fact checked that claim and that is completely incorrect) and I can sense it will only get worse from both grandparents later on when some of my more liberal relatives arrive.

I'm thinking I should print out a picture of President Obama and the Electoral Map, so anytime they want to bring something up, I can just hold up both as a reminder who won the election. I can make my point without saying a word!

What are your thoughts?

69 replies, 4104 views

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Arrow 69 replies Author Time Post
Reply How Do You Deal With Republican Relatives During The Holidays? (Original post)
PennsylvaniaMatt Dec 2012 OP
Nay Dec 2012 #1
Permanut Dec 2012 #2
RKP5637 Dec 2012 #3
Vietnameravet Dec 2012 #12
MichiganVote Dec 2012 #4
narnian60 Dec 2012 #5
ibegurpard Dec 2012 #6
Speck Tater Dec 2012 #7
PennsylvaniaMatt Dec 2012 #49
gopiscrap Dec 2012 #8
Vietnameravet Dec 2012 #11
Zax2me Dec 2012 #19
gopiscrap Dec 2012 #66
Turbineguy Dec 2012 #32
Jamaal510 Dec 2012 #9
Vietnameravet Dec 2012 #10
Walk away Dec 2012 #13
Vietnameravet Dec 2012 #14
Brigid Dec 2012 #22
SheilaT Dec 2012 #58
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #30
Jenoch Dec 2012 #44
Vietnameravet Dec 2012 #67
graywarrior Dec 2012 #15
TheCowsCameHome Dec 2012 #16
Zax2me Dec 2012 #17
RebelOne Dec 2012 #18
Ikonoklast Dec 2012 #20
xfundy Dec 2012 #25
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #33
RoccoR5955 Dec 2012 #34
catbyte Dec 2012 #45
RKP5637 Dec 2012 #48
Auntie Bush Dec 2012 #51
ElbarDee Dec 2012 #21
Flashmann Dec 2012 #23
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #24
louis c Dec 2012 #26
Arkansas Granny Dec 2012 #27
SummerSnow Dec 2012 #28
upaloopa Dec 2012 #29
RoccoR5955 Dec 2012 #31
hughee99 Dec 2012 #35
etherealtruth Dec 2012 #68
99th_Monkey Dec 2012 #36
Siwsan Dec 2012 #37
Dread Pirate Roberts Dec 2012 #38
mahina Dec 2012 #39
russspeakeasy Dec 2012 #40
octoberlib Dec 2012 #42
octoberlib Dec 2012 #41
Jenoch Dec 2012 #43
PennsylvaniaMatt Dec 2012 #50
LWolf Dec 2012 #46
pangaia Dec 2012 #47
Skittles Dec 2012 #52
Trajan Dec 2012 #53
Recursion Dec 2012 #61
brewens Dec 2012 #54
atreides1 Dec 2012 #55
Raine Dec 2012 #56
ywcachieve Dec 2012 #57
Recursion Dec 2012 #59
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #60
Arcanetrance Dec 2012 #62
salin Dec 2012 #63
LeftyMom Dec 2012 #64
dooner Dec 2012 #65
KansDem Dec 2012 #69

Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:36 PM

1. I've got a RW sister-in-law whom I allow Mr Nay to deal with. Luckily, she lives 2000

miles away and is too cheap to visit anyone -- she's always crying about how nobody visits her, tho.

Gosh, sis, maybe everyone else is just as cheap as you, ya think??? And since we have visited YOU 5 times over the past 20 years, maybe, just maybe, it's your turn to pay to get YER ass to OUR house??

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:38 PM

2. I'll be faced with that tomorrow morning.,.

at the family gathering with at least 2 teabaggers. (Life members of the NRA, doncha know). With all the family there, I have decided to avoid major confrontation, and bring just one zinger with me, to be inserted at the opportune moment, to wit:

The NRA represents less than 2% of the US population, and they certainly don't speak for me.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:40 PM

3. Best IMO is to ignore them if you can, you'll never change their mind. Willful ignorance is a hard

thing to change IMO.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:04 PM

12. you are so right!!

For them : Ignorance is strength!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:43 PM

4. Hello, how are you? And then I ignore them. No matter what they say, I ignore it.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:48 PM

5. All but one of the fifteen relatives coming tomorrow know not to bring up the subject.

There is one elderly woman that will possibly try but we three Democrats will be on her like white on rice before it goes anywhere.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:49 PM

6. you can say:

Please refrain from discussing politics or you can leave or I will.
End of discussion.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:51 PM

7. Do your grandparents make policy in Washington?

 

If they are not big-time K-street wheeler dealers then it doesn't matter in the least what they believe. They have at most one vote each. You will never change their minds because people's political beliefs have little to do with logic or reason.

Change the subject.
Share happy things you have in common.
Bake them some cookies.
Show them some cute grandchild pictures.
Talk about football.
Reminisce about memorable past Christmases, or other happy family events from the past.
Cut them some slack in their old age. Remember, they're pretty much irrelevant any more.
Mostly, just have a happy holiday gathering.

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Response to Speck Tater (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:48 PM

49. Good advice!

Thanks!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:52 PM

8. FUCK REPUBLICAN RELATIVES THEY'RE ALL EVIL SCUM

My wife anfd I haven't talked with her side of the family since 1980..they were all Reagan nuts and we got in a big fight..they have missed the birth and raising of two grand children and one great grand child

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:58 PM

11. Sorry to hear this

I lost my sister and two of my best friends and my wife's cousin... I did not push them away but they have refused to talk with me since I supported Obama..

They are all Glenn Beck fans..and they are stupid and racist but refuse to admit it.. One even used the N word and then denied he was racist!!


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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:31 PM

19. Who was at fault?

 

You sound very - loud.
I've found it usually takes two sides to blow up a family.
All you need is one good side to temper a room and any given situation.
Sounds like something other than politics here.

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Response to Zax2me (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:17 PM

66. They brought it up and baited us

and I told them I would just as soon see you dead, than be a republican and meant it...all of life is politics...I learned that as a 3 year old when the US said we weren't in Vietnam and my father was there and got shot and died 4 years later because of that shooting. I didn't shout, didn't yell, just said it ina very low modulated. Not having to deal with relatives has definitely relieved us of a bunch of burdens and stress in our life. We can go where we want for Christmas and other holidays and be as close to friends and others as we want. Don't have to worry about pleasing either side of our in laws....

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:58 PM

32. I made it a point

that I was not going to let GW Bush destroy my family.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:53 PM

9. There are no R's in my family so I don't have to deal with any.

Your idea sounded good, though. You won't change your grandparents' minds, but you can at least poke fun at them.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:55 PM

10. my thoughts



Ask him to tell you exactly what VA funding he has seen cut and how he has suffered as a result..Really force hiim to become specific,,,but dont expect much..

I try and try but have never once succeeded in changing anyone's mind on these issues and I spent my entire life in sales and advertising!

I have learned people believe things because they have a world view and when facts come into conflict with their world view..they usually reject the facts...especially if are not comfortable with challenging their old ideas.

If you can find the answer to your question, you should get the Nobel prize for psychology!

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Response to Vietnameravet (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:07 PM

13. The trick is to chat the young people up with Liberal ideas...

and make good natured fun of the Right Wing Idiot. Once you get their eyes rolling then you have them for all future holidays.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:08 PM

14. One final thought

Take a tip from my grandson,...and whenever someone says something that you think is stupid just say "Whatever!" and let it go,,say it over and over!! WHATEVER...and shrug your shoulders as you do...

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Response to Vietnameravet (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:47 PM

22. I've got a teenage nephew who could give seminars on that.

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Response to Brigid (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:27 PM

58. Great idea!!

He could earn his college money that way. Really!

I can picture it now, with a room full of old farts (like me) and instructing us in exactly the right level of indifference.

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Response to Vietnameravet (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:56 PM

30. Hah! Classic! You might tell your grandson that I'm going to start using

 

his tactic on DU with the gun nuts and pro-war yahoos Now, if only we had a 'Whatever' emoticon.

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Response to Vietnameravet (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:13 PM

44. My children DO NOT respond with WHATEVER.

Use of that word in that context is rude and dismissive. It is not acceptable behavior and they have learned not to use it. At least not around their parents or other adults.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #44)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:54 AM

67. Whatever..

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:09 PM

15. I'm gonna pretend to be shitfaced even tho I've been sober 26 years.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:18 PM

16. Minimal contact

Usually there's enough sane people to converse with that I don't need to suffer with the family 'pukes.

Other than that, I don't know what I'd do.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:27 PM

17. Why would you react with an Electoral map?

 

I avoid people that do things like that - from the left and right - at family holiday gatherings.
Initiated or as a reaction.
In fact, my aunt who is also progressive and a rw doesn't know better yet nephew, at this past Thanksgiving joined us mocking the people talking politics at our 30-member family gathering.
We won. I'm happy. All that matters.
I follow an old rule.
When you lose, say little.
When you win, say even less.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:30 PM

18. Fortunately, I do not have to.

I go to my son's house every Christmas and he and his wife are Democrats, as are any of their friends who visit. My sister and her husband are Republicans, but I convinced her to vote for Obama.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:41 PM

20. I just don't know...declare a mutual cease fire on all political discussion?

With the penalty being the first person to break it must then leave the function?

I just can't relate, my family get-togethers look like a Democratic precinct committee meeting.

When we start talking politics, it's to viciously trash Republicans, and is a group effort.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:52 PM

25. Adopt me.

Actually, I'm spending xmess alone this year. My parents both passed this year and remaining family are nearly all repukes, with all the accoutrements that accompany repukes: Loud, LOUD, argumentative, racist, antigay, "true christian™," etc.

I will spend the day remembering old days and thinking positively of those to come.

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Response to xfundy (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:58 PM

33. You will not be 'alone' this year, as you will be in our thoughts here on DU :) - n/t

 

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Response to xfundy (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:59 PM

34. I've been alone for xmess for many years now.

You eventually get used to it, and learn to actually like it, because you don't have all those mindless people around.
Think of it. You don't have to deal with the shopping crowds, or the meals with irate relatives.
You can sit home in your underwear, get bombed out of your mind, and do whatever you like.

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Response to xfundy (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:15 PM

45. Sorry to hear about your folks, xfundy. The first holidays are the hardest.

My folks are gone, too, and no siblings. Hubby in a nursing home with dementia, but I am going to friends & see him. I will spend tonight thinking of happier times too. Oh well, it could be worse--at least we won't have a President Romney or Senate Majority Leader Yertle the Turtlee to deal with! Take care.

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Response to xfundy (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:35 PM

48. I used to tense up at holidays when a kid because one of my brother-in-laws was a

loud republican and another was quite quiet, but I suspect he was as well. Today, I think they would be loud mouth teabaggers if still around.

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Response to xfundy (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:52 PM

51. I'm so sorry xfundy. I hope you at least have some yummy food to eat and maybe some spirits.

I'll be thinking of you and hope you have a great New Year!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:43 PM

21. I don't.

We aviod the topic with my RW sister. In fact, this year, we are not even seeing her- her choice. So, thankfully, the week will be less stressful than normal.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:50 PM

23. How Do You Deal With Republican Relatives During The Holidays?

Tactical avoidance with special attention paid to the caller ID.....

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:51 PM

24. You might remind your grandfather who has been in control of the House since

 

2011. Um, yeah, the House where all budget bills begin.

Alternatively, you could just 'mic check' your Grandpa

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:53 PM

26. Actually, they have to figure how to deal with me

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:54 PM

27. My daughter is facing that tonight when her RWNJ

father and his current wife will be coming over for their Christmas visit. She's afraid he will bring up Newtown. She has decided to tell him that she doesn't want to talk about something so incredibly sad on an occasion that is supposed to be happy family time. I hope it works.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:55 PM

28. I send them a pocket-size US constitution for Xmas

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:56 PM

29. Make a statement ahad of time that there wil be no politics discussed or if that fails, walk out of

the room when it starts.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:56 PM

31. I simply don't associate with them

It's been that way for years and years.
Yes they "love" me too.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:59 PM

35. I shout obscenities at them out the window

While they wave their penises at traffic. Ah x-mas, that special time of year.

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:07 AM

68. Thank you for this

I have not laughed this hard in a while!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:59 PM

36. I hear duels are popular, according to an ad in the NRA newsletter

Saying "Arm up for the Holidays now, even if you hate guns,
because you never know about crazy Uncle Charlie"


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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:00 PM

37. Sometimes I do a complete non sequitur answer and it throws them off of their game

RWR (right wing relative): "Obama is going to take all of our guns!!!"
Me: "I saw a HUGE caterpiller smoking a GIANT hookah on my front lawn, this morning!" Then I pour them more wine.
RWR: "HUH???? Err, Thanks."

Just throw them off of their game. The ones in my family really aren't all that quick, if you get my drift.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:01 PM

38. Do You Love Your Grandparents?

Do they love you? Are your political beliefs why they love you? Do you really care what they think? Do you love them any less because they are republicans? Political beliefs are only a part of what makes us up as people. Granted, I think that democratic principles tend to speak volumes about what kind of heart you might have, but at the end of the day, if you're unable to get past politics with your grandparents, you'll end up being sorry. (and so will they) Nobody is going to change anybody's minds over dinner. Life is too short. If they bring up politics, tell them you disagree, its not appropriate conversation for the holidays and move on to other more important things. Especially since your grandparents won't be around much longer. Trust me on that one. My parents drive me crazy with their political beliefs. They're still my parents and my kids' grandparents. It's not important enough to screw up the holiday. My dad knows enough not to bring things up anymore precisely because I told him what I'm telling you here.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:02 PM

39. Decide what your purpose is in being there

and do that.

You can talk individually later.

I for one am not willing to ruin a family evening trying to change someone's mind that is bolted shut anyway. They would have no success trying to change my mind either.

Unless you just like talking to the wind.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:05 PM

40. "Hi, are you not feeling well"?

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Response to russspeakeasy (Reply #40)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:09 PM

42. I'm stealing that if you don't mind nt

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:07 PM

41. Ignore them or change the subject

I refuse to get into it with them.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:10 PM

43. I say you respect your grandparents and let it slide.

Is all of this occurring in their home?

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #43)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:51 PM

50. Yes, and most of the political talk doesn't get out of hand!

I also wanted to hear about what some of the folks here on DU had to say about the topic!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:16 PM

46. I only have one.

He's more libertarian than Republican, but comes with a dose of right-wing propaganda.

First, I don't bring up politics at family gatherings. We're there to enjoy being together.

Second, if he does, I listen and don't respond beyond an "uh-huh," or something to indicate that I heard him. I don't agree or disagree or anything else that would extend the topic.

We always have plenty to talk about without diving into politics.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:18 PM

47. No right-wingers in my family.

We just don't have those genes. :>)
Christmas is a very pleasant occasion for all.

Now the neighbors..that's another story. But why ruin a nice day.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:55 PM

52. I don't

I don't have to deal with ANY relatives

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:57 PM

53. We had a rule - NO POLITICAL TALK ! - During the holidays ...

Well .... Some in the family thought the rules were quaint and restrictive, so they discarded them ...

Now ? ... We don't meet at all ..... Sad but true ....

STOP being political animals and START being loving family members .... Politics ruins family gatherings ...

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Response to Trajan (Reply #53)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:40 PM

61. That was a standing rule I remember in the Marines, at least onboard ship

No discussion of politics, religion, or shop in the mess.

Probably a good idea if you're stuck with the same people for months at a time.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:57 PM

54. A big assed picture of him with the caption, "I'm Still President and I'm Still Black!" Right

up in the living room.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:06 PM

55. I'll let you know.

Having Christmas dinner tomorrow...

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:15 PM

56. Mutual respect ... agree to disagree & NEVER talk politics. That is the way

my extended family does it. There is more to life and family than politics.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:42 PM

57. I'm fortunate to have all Democratic relatives, and friends.

Merry Christmas to all!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:35 PM

59. We do it with rum (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #59)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:41 PM

60. Awesome plan!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:13 PM

62. Idk about anyone else but the family took care of that problem for me I was informed not to bother

Showing up I'm unwelcome

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:41 PM

63. Oddly enough, in our gathering a few hours ago... it was their

children and their cousins (now all either graduated from college or near college graduation) that spoke up. They didn't go political. They spoke from different perspectives about how their generation was paying attention, how social media awareness is changing business models, etc. As the conservative pair hunkered down... saying that most people they encountered through work viewed things this way, their kids were countering with the great divide of opinions between the generations, and the suggestion that older folks (55+) may still think that way... it is no longer representative of the broader public opinions.

The whole exchange was a completely new dynamic for our family gatherings. At least in my small speck of a blue area in a red state - 'The Times they are a-changing'

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:52 PM

64. "Hi Dad! Merry Christmas! I brought you a pie." Seriously, who talks politics at Christmas?

Every time they bring it up direct the conversation back to an appropriate topic. If there are any small children around they'll inevitably be doing something adorable/naughty/adorably naughty and are perfect for this. Pets work on the same system.

If they don't get the hint a little "I don't get to spend enough time with you and I'd rather not waste it talking about politics" followed by a question about how some distant relation is doing ought to do the trick.

You're only encouraging this behavior with fact checking and visual aids. Do not engage. It's not the time. Period. Don't do it with people you agree with, either.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:58 AM

65. Just spent the evening with republican relatives including a tea bagger

Mostly we avoid politics, but the tea bagger enjoys running her mouth and says outrageous stupid crap. I either leave the room, roll my eyes, or both. But I don't engage. I refuse to get into an argument with a fool, and I know she is trying to push buttons. On some level, it's probably good to hear first hand what the nutcases are thinking, but it ain't pretty. In case you had any doubts, I can confirm that tea baggers are indeed bat s**t crazy.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:08 AM

69. I don't go to their house; they don't come to mine.

Problem solved.

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