The Election Is Ruining Thanksgiving

Political conversations among relatives can be icky

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 22, 2012 8:29 AM CST

(Newser) – The AP confirms what many may already be thinking: Thanksgiving is going to stink this year. After such a heated election, many part-Democrat, part-Republican families will likely be passing the green bean casserole ... and passing angry political barbs back and forth. As proof, the AP takes an in-advance peek at Thanksgiving tables across the country:

  • In Alabama, Brian Davidson, a 40-year-old attorney in Helena, and his father, 130 miles away in Russellville, are forgoing their usual gathering. "We're not even going," says Brian, who voted for Barack Obama and describes his father as "a little to the right of Glenn Beck." Better to skip this one, he says, than suffer "a non-recoverable blowup." He's taking his wife and kids to his in-laws' place instead ... but his wife's family is conservative as well.
  • For some families, it's not necessarily the presidential race that divided them. The Cox family in Colorado has long been split over the legalization of marijuana—ever since Diane Cox first caught her son, David, trying to smoke the drug when he was 14. He has since volunteered on the "pro" side; she's waved "BAN THE POT SHOPS" signs on the side of the road. What kind of holiday is David expecting? "I don't think awkward's the proper term. The proper term is more, dissentious," he says with a chuckle.
  • In Minnesota, the issue dividing Jake Loesch's family isn't marijuana but gay marriage. Voters defeated a proposed amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in the state, and Loesch, 24, of St. Paul, was deputy communications director for Minnesotans United for All Families, a group that fought the gay marriage ban. He had difficult conversations with some aunts, uncles, and grandparents when he took his recent job, and as the political season heated up, he tried increasingly to avoid the subject: "Having those conversations is healthy for the political process, but sometimes, when it's with family, it can be really, really hard."
  • But some families are looking for a silver lining. As one Massachusetts woman reminds us, at least "it's all so much more interesting than the Kardashians."

In this photo taken Nov. 16, 2012, Anne Brennan, center, of Hingham Mass., listens to her sister, Linda Marshall, rear, and brother-in-law Steve Marshall, right, discuss the recent presidential election.
In this photo taken Nov. 16, 2012, Anne Brennan, center, of Hingham Mass., listens to her sister, Linda Marshall, rear, and brother-in-law Steve Marshall, right, discuss the recent presidential election.   (Josh Reynolds)
In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, Brian Malone, of Duxbury Mass., speaks about the recent presidential election, while gathered with his extended family.
In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, Brian Malone, of Duxbury Mass., speaks about the recent presidential election, while gathered with his extended family.   (Josh Reynolds)
Jake Loesch and his grandmother, Bunny Arseneau pose outside Bunny's home where they replaced the Thanksgiving ornament with one for Christmas on the front door, Tuesday, Nov. 20 in Crystal, Minn.
Jake Loesch and his grandmother, Bunny Arseneau pose outside Bunny's home where they replaced the Thanksgiving ornament with one for Christmas on the front door, Tuesday, Nov. 20 in Crystal, Minn.   (Jim Mone)
Happy Thanksgiving?
Happy Thanksgiving?   (?)
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