The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Opposing Viewpoints: Avoid political arguments with relatives

2 min read

Everyone knows the three topics that should never be discussed at the dinner table over the holidays. If you don’t, read the rest of this article and you’ll be the master of all holiday dinner conversation from now on.

The first one is sex, and all matters pertaining to it, because thinking of most family members in that sense is gross.

The second is religion, because this is an extremely personal topic for some people and excommunication or damnation to hell at the dinner table is bad.

Most important, don’t bring up politics at the holiday dinner table. The first two may have been bad, but politics is worse, because everyone has an opinion, which most likely differs from yours.

The first reason you shouldn’t bring up politics at the dinner table is because it’s very rude; if you are a guest and you know that your host doesn’t agree, then you are simply trying to make a situation awkward.

That is a silly idea because there will be plenty of awkward ideas at the dinner table already, which certainly don’t need your help. Likewise, if you are the host and you decide to poke your guests’ political bubble, don’t act surprised when you get the “deer-in-the-headlights” look.

This leads right into the next reason why you shouldn’t ask about politics, because most of the time people who want to share how they feel will have already done so. Pretty soon, you will probably wish they would eventually stop sharing too.

For others, politics is something you do in the voting booth, just like eating turkey is something you do at the dinner table. You don’t eat turkey in the voting booth, so why would you talk politics at the dinner table? It just doesn’t make sense.

Lastly, arguing politics over dinner is useless. You aren’t going to change Uncle Frank’s opinion about gay marriage, he’s been voting since before you were born, you college punk. In the grand scheme of things, your opinion on the budget and immigration isn’t as important as you think they are.

The only effect arguing could possibly have on people is to make them angry and want to not like you. This is very bad if they are your hosts and you are their guest. It may be entertaining for a little bit, but politics at the dinner table is probably not the brightest idea, so just stick to weather and sports. That ought to be enough for anyone’s intoxicated relatives.