90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Politics At The Dinner Table

Family politics at Thanksgiving.  We’ll talk with red and blue sitting down together, and ask how that conversation goes.

Politics at dinner. (Photo illustration- Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)

Politics at dinner. (Photo illustration- Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)

Thanksgiving puts Norman Rockwell and peace and harmony and gravy on a lot of minds.  But we all know the big family gathering can be a minefield.  Especially when it comes to politics.

And especially right now.  It’s the first big holiday get-together since our big election.  Maybe your family table is all red or all blue or peaceful purple.  But a lot of families have battle lines as deep as Herman Cain’s voice.  Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens.  It can get hot in a hurry.

This hour, On Point:  Gloating over the giblets.  Gritting teeth.  Making peace.  We’re talking family and politics at Thanksgiving.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Buzz Bissinger, author and radio show host. Father of Caleb.

Caleb Bissinger, senior at Kenyon College.

Karla Robey, teaches at the Effort Christian School and blogs at lifetimemoms.

Melinda Robey, student at the University of Virginia and daughter of Karla.

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today “So many people are frustrated right now with so many things, she said, that it’s a good idea to frame conversations around key issues rather than campaign fluff.”

NPR “Conventional wisdom advises against talking about politics at family gatherings, but that’s often unrealistic. With the turbulent race for president and the roiling Occupy protests — not to mention the usual politics of food, football and in-laws — some discussion guidelines can be helpful.”

CNN “Her resolve was put to the test three years ago at Thanksgiving dinner, right after Barack Obama was elected president. She was picking at her turkey when, she says, her father-in-law suggested an act of violence toward Obama.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Gregg Smith

    Republicans are racist, bigots and homophobes. They are anti-science and religious zealots. They want in your bedroom. Romney doesn’t care about half the nation, loves to fire people, hates dogs and women. GWB is a war criminal and Cheney is the devil.

    If Republicans want to get along then they just need to shut up and eat their peas.

    • KarlaRobey

      Gregg…I think if you tune in and listen you will find that this Republican is definitely not a homophobe…putting everyone who votes for a Republican in that category is unfair…

      • Gregg Smith

        You might be on to something.

        • KarlaRobey

          I am on to something…

          • keltcrusader

            Karla, Gregg was pretending to be a Liberal Democrat. He is not. He is pulling your leg. 

          • KarlaRobey

            well leg pulling aside, I am on to something…I hope that he (and everyone else) listened to what was said.  All too often people jump to conclusions based on one piece of information.  Judging me without knowing who I am or what I am about is unfair…judging anyone is unfair.  I may be more conservative than liberal but putting me in a homphobic category is totally off base. 

          • Mike_Card

            I am nearly always on the other side of the discussion when Gregg is involved.  In fact, it is with considerable trepidation that I intercede on his behalf; mostly because he is perfectly capable of standing up for himself.

            Just allow me to say that you and he are likely to be very close, philosophically.  And a worthy ally he is–even if he DOES demonstrate an admirable sense of humor!

          • keltcrusader

            But Karla, there’s the rub. Greg posted that because he thinks that is what all LibDem’s think of all Republicans. Stereotyping people is never cool. :(

          • KarlaRobey

            well I am pretty sure that’s incorrect thinking…some of my dear friends are liberal democrats and what I find refreshing is that we are proof that even though we have differing views on certain things we still care for and respect one another.  I also find it interesting that you are commenting for him and he has remained quiet…

          • Gregg Smith

            Karla, The other commenters are correct, I was indeed being facetious. I end up commenting more than I should, these folks have an idea where I’m coming from. Welcome, if you are a conservative and comment here you’ll see soon enough what I mean and the arrows will be real.

      • Don_B1

        Most of the Republican candidates for office are not racists as traditionally defined; but they ARE willing to condescend to those who are racially distrusting and appeal to those underlying feelings.

        Republicans live on appealing to the “victimization meme” of their supporters, particularly evangelicals, who are pandered to as being subjected to loss of their rights and privileges, to the “undeserving others.”

        The way that message is conveyed is demeaning to those others, who will never vote for them as a result, even when it might be in their financial interest.

        The prime example of that is the way Asians and Jews voted for Barack Obama (over 70%) because of their perception that Republicans at heart demean their ideas and values.

    • Jasoturner

      I’m not a scientist, man…

    • 1Brett1

      Come on, man…they don’t have to eat their peas. Besides, your transformation isn’t supposed to happen until you get visited by those three ghosts on Christmas Eve! (Happy Thanksgiving, man)

      • Acnestes

        Bush Sr. wouldn’t eat his broccoli, after all. Can’t say I blame him, though. 

    • Acnestes

       Refreshing honesty!

    • J__o__h__n

      That is untrue and exagerated.  Romney only doesn’t care about 47% of the country. 

    • 1Brett1

      I thought you said you weren’t a Republican?

      • Gregg Smith

        I’m not, I said “they” not “we”. I fight for all the oppressed.

        Happy Turkey to ya’.

        • 1Brett1

          [joking]

        • Don_B1

          The ONLY way that Republicans are “oppressed” is by themselves, wallowing in “victimization” fantasies. The Republican politicians cater to this in their attempts to get their votes, using terms that turn off Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos and Asians, etc.

          The Republicans are the hate-mongers sowing division throughout the country to get their supporters enthusiastic enough to go to the polls and vote for their weak candidates.

          • Mike_Card

            You’ve pretty much nailed it.

            As a guess, I’m thinking Gregg’s  comment about oppression refers to this thread.

            Something like, We’re All Bozos on this Bus.  Or not–eat a drumstick, chill for a day.  :-)

    • Mike_Card

      I think I’m more thankful for humor than for civility.  Happy turkey day, man.

      • Gregg Smith

        Best to you and yours Mike.

    • jimino

      Now, Gregg, there you go again.  Not ALL Republicans are racist, bigots and homophobes. . . (who) are anti-science and religious zealots. . .(who) want in your bedroom.

      But everyone who does fit that bill IS a Republican.

      Have a good Thanksgiving holiday.
       

      • Gregg Smith

        They are scoundrels that don’t deserve to be who.

        Back atcha’ on the holiday.

    • Robert Berube

      Broccoli is a healthier option.  

      • sickofthechit

        If only we could capture all that gas…

  • LinRP

    To Republican friends and family–my vote for Obama feels to me, in many ways, like a vote for an old-style Republican like Teddy Roosevelt or Eisenhower. While I’m a supporter, he is far from the progressive liberal I would like to see in the White House. Discuss.

    Views on the current state of the parties and what each would like to see changed. Discuss.

    John Maynard Keynes vs. Adam Smith. Discuss.

    Anyone who spouts off banalities and fact-free talking points like we are going “socialist,” and “Democrats don’t want jobs” will be shut down. No discussion.

    Anyone who even begins to step foot in the camp of Todd Aiken or the Tea Party crazies, et al, is not welcome at my table.

    • Flytrap

       Spoken like a true intolerant, narrow minded bigot.  

      • LinRP

         That’s right. Me all over! It would be so enlightening to debate how women “shut that whole thing down,” wouldn’t it?

        • Flytrap

           It would be more enlightening to discuss why leftists feel they have morality on their side and refuse to consider any other views. 

          • LinRP

             You are hilarious! Keep it coming! You’ve the troll thing DOWN, man.

  • ttajtt

    REd shoes, red eye, red commie, red alert, red flash, red blood, all in the red. 

  • Jasoturner

    It’s always amusing to hear the latest fantasies my in-laws have bought into.  Engagement is impossible, though, since they treat their political views like religion – received wisdom from the high priest Rush or whoever it is they listen to.

    • Flytrap

       Are they crazy fantasies like Cheney outed Plame or 9/11 was an inside job?

  • Craig16

    I have been looking forward to the dessert this year. Instead of the usual pumpkin pie with amorphous dough scraps on the top, this year there will be a giant “O!” on top of the pie.

    It has been anticipated that there will be some grumbles of disgust as the majority of those members at the table get served… again. For this reason, I have been practicing the delivery of, “How shall I divide this up for you?,” along with my my Cheshire-Cat grin!

    • nj_v2

      Rather an appropriate representation. After the pie is cut, your “O” will look nothing like what it started out as, much like the President O bears little resemblance to how he represented himself as a candidtate.

  • 1Brett1

    Easily solved…just have anyone who isn’t a liberal Democrat eat standing up at the workbench in the garage!

    • Acnestes

      Either that or make them sit on a stack of phone books at the kid’s table.

  • 1Brett1

    Question is: who’ll be eating crow? (Psst…we all know the correct answer)

    • Don_B1

      We know who should be eating crow, but they have not yet reached that stage of grief, if they ever will. They are a “faith-based” group for whom denial is easier than facing reality.

      Cognitive dissonance reigns there.

      • 1Brett1

        I guess they never even read the table of contents to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s book! …Many of them are in the cognitive dissonance hall of fame. They are to cognitive dissonance as Lance Armstrong is to steroids…  

  • anamaria23

    The Repubs outnumber the Dems in my large  family.  Politics is never discussed lest a vile shouting match ensue (again)
    This is new as my parents happily co-existed with Repubs and Dems and had many interesting, but civil dialogues around the table and neighborhood.
    My mother was a Dem, my father a Repub. Both loved politics.
    They both watched Cronkite for their news, before cable.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    The challenge of breaking bread this year may be greater than ever. The level of anger and despair experienced by Republican friends and acquaintances over this election seems profound.  I attribute this level of angst to the vitriol and fear-mongering of right-wing outrage machine; thanks a lot Fox News and Rush! 

    Red or Blue, we all want a prosperous America. Sitting down together to share thanks will help reinforce that. Tomorrow we’ll see if enough time has passed for their wounds to heal.

    With forks and knives at the ready, if we can give thanks without incident, I think we have a prayer of surviving as a country. Perhaps I should exercise caution and set the table with high end plastic-ware?

    • sickofthechit

       Make sure it was made from recycled plastic and is biodegradable or reusable…..

  • DrewInGeorgia

    In the past it was an issue, however this go round the Dog and Pony Show was so far off the chain it solved the problem for me. Life Long zealots have defected and there will be no conflict whatsoever. And these are people who used to be Rush fans. My thanks to the GOP and especially Mitt Romney for bringing families together this Thanksgiving!

  • Lamar Root

    Before the show, you MUST listen to a fantastic song by a Parisian duo, Sheli & Abi, called “Family Dinner”.  Perfect for Thanksgiving! “Its a pain in the ass I swear.”  Never got airplay here.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lwaq5xxMO1k
    There is a studio version out there (not on iTunes).  Maybe you can work it into today’s show’s bumpers.  Good luck!

    • Mike_Card

      Even better, watch The Big Chill; it’s not about Thanksgiving, but it could be.  And the people are mostly nice to one another.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        But The Big Chill is the movie which started us on the overdose of Motown hits put onto (non-musical) movies for no discernable reason except to sell albums.

        (In the last ~30 years it’s spread to basically every Top 40 genre since the dawn of the Rock era.)

        Remember when every single movie out there didn’t have a soundtrack of predigested feel-good pop music for sale? I miss those days.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Check out the movie The Hunter (Willem Defoe) if you haven’t already seen it, it’s brilliant and had NO playlist whatsoever to water it down. Definitely one of my new favorites.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Will do.

            And I recommend “Return of the Secaucus Seven”, much along the same themes.

        • Mike_Card

          Probably less toxicity in pop music than politics; I might be the last English-speaker who hasn’t pooh-poohed Big Chill.  For me, the music evoked the college atmosphere of the late ’60′s–which I thought helped develop the front-edge baby boomer characters.

          Isn’t American Graffiti responsibile for the oldies’ emergence into the movie theaters?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Good observation about American Graffiti.

            That was before my time, so I’m open to others input to how that affected the mandatoryness and makeup of movie soundtracks in the decade from ’72 to ’82. I just remember Motown oldies exploding in the ’80s soundtracks in the post-disco era, and it becoming a much more regular thing then, like a heretofore undiscovered seam of valuable ore.

            Tangent: If one is young enough, and only watches movies, one may think that “I Feel Good” was about the only song James Brown ever recorded.

          • Mike_Card

            Good point about “the hardest workin’ man in show business.”  I think Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, and maybe even the Isley Brothers suffered from the same fate: they came along just ahead of the Motown machine.

  • Lamar Root

    Actually available on Amazon.

  • svolantetb

    I’ve realized the last few years how lucky I am that there are no political disagreements in my family. I’ve also learned to follow the example of my father, who is always reading, listening, and absorbing information but rarely offers an opinion. 

  • keltcrusader

    We have an (un)spoken agreement – no politics at family gatherings. We are there to enjoy each others company, not get into loud disruptive fights where people get po’ed at others, storm off, or stop talking. If anyone tries to start a political conversation or keeps inserting barbs at other people’s political party, they are told to cease & desist so it is quickly shut down. No exceptions!!

    • DrewInGeorgia

       Understandable but sad.

      • keltcrusader

        Really Drew, it makes for much better gatherings. Things would get ugly pretty quickly when you have both card-carrying Union Members vs Rush/Fox Acolytes sitting at the table trying to one-up each other. The kids really didn’t need to be exposed so early at that kind of anger & vitriol. It is so much more peaceful now and everyone enjoys themselves. There is a time and place for that kind of discussion, but it isn’t at the Holiday table.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Am I seeing this properly? Are these three articles from Xgvg and Xmas 2011?

    That’s nice, except we just had an election. The Great Election to End All Elections, to hear many people tell it.

    Democrats won this election in all sorts of ways. How about linking to an article which advises us on how to put up with bitter Republican friends and family who are still murmuring about Allen West? Or how to debunk idiots who are still biting their tongues about VoterFraud11!11one!1!

    Or is the reading list a flip, satirical take on how hard it is to find something in the mainstream press wherein a Democrat gets to act like they’ve, yknow, actually won anything.

    If I wanted more crap about how “The Center is The Place To Be” I’d get out my Time magazine from after the 2006 takeover. And the next time the GOP wins something big, I’m braced for the “Elephants Stampeding Rightward” crammed down our throats a la Time magazine’s cover after Election Day 1994.

    Oh, and “Will my family set an example for Washington?” I hope not. Too many people watching Washington are hepped up on papered-over politeness resulting in bad policy. Should I have to spend my day with my (proverbial) suspected-alcoholic second cousin or uncle whose wife seems to bump into a lot of doors, I’d hope that keeping my mouth shut no matter what wasn’t the end-all and be-all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

    Today’s program is totally contrived (and very disappointing).

    • adks12020

      I’m sure Tom is so sorry that today’s show doesn’t hold up to your rigorous standards.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    My family are all old-style liberal democrats, so all we have to watch is not getting too loud about how much we agree. We’re very happy about the election, especially about SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN :)

    My wife’s family has a few black sheep, which is to be expected being from VA instead of MA+CT. I remember a christmas dinner at her brother’s when I was facing a PC with a bush/cheney screensaver! There, the rule is no politics at family gatherings. I must say, the anti-gvt types in the extended family run for the safety net like bats out of hell whenever there’s a glitch in their life plans.

    I actually know a few republicans in MA. They do exist, you don’t have to go to a museum or anything. However they are Rockefeller/Weld/Eisenhower republicans, perfectly sane and capable of having a rational, polite  discussion without endless parroting of “tax cuts ‘n deregulation! tax cuts ‘n deregulation! Kenyan socialist!….” We get along fine.

    I’m grateful that my family is in good health and everyone gets along.

  • Yar

    You choose to go to the meal, that makes a statement in itself.  Food helps to solve the worlds problems.  Enjoy your holiday.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Good solution!

      Sometimes the best way to defuse things is to load everyone up on tryptophan and starches.

  • adks12020

    Politics is rarely discussed at our family gatherings.  Most of the family is relatively moderate on most issues but we don’t see each other that often so we generally catch up on other things rather than debate politics. 

    Family dinners with my mother, father, and brother are different. We do occasionally talk politics but at whole family gatherings it’s just not brought up. I don’t know if it’s conscious or not. 

  • Vanessa Deniston

    Tom and Panel – Great topic!

    To avoid Thanksgiving awkwardness, I tried to talk to many of my family members during the election for better or worse.  While I am at odds with my beloved aunt and uncle (I voted Obama, they voted Romney), I still enjoy speaking with them and hearing their own unique perspectives. It boils down to different ways of viewing the world. Most of the time, that’s not something you can change.

    Best you thing you can do is be informed, defend your view but also keep an open mind to those you love and expect the same in return. 
    -Vanessa (Jamaica Plain, MA)

  • Jason Hoffman

    I am wearing a “FORWARD” t-shirt to the in-law’s as a “conversation starter.”  I considered one that had the President’s face on it with the tag-line “VICTORY” but I decided that sent the wrong message.  Of course, the latter is more fun to rub it in…

    • Flytrap

       One of your relatives ought to smack you for being a prick.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        …thereby reinforcing the right as the people who can dish it out but can’t take it?

        • Flytrap

           No, civil discussion is welcomed, having such  poor manners is not. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Wearing a t-shirt is poor manners. Being the one to escalate some other adult’s t-shirt message into assault is not.

            Fascinating.

          • Flytrap

             You do not occupy the moral high ground here.  A t-shirt is bad manners, a t-shirt with a message intended to taunt your family at a holiday gathering is worthy of a bi+ch slap.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You sound like someone who’s never been in danger of receiving said slap.

            Keep up your denial, bigot.

      • StilllHere

        I think too much slapping is how he got this way.  I just give him some underdone turkey.

  • J__o__h__n

    Romney’s lack of core beliefs is not evidence that he is really a moderate.  He had espoused conservative beliefs during his governorship and both failed presidential campaigns. 

    • DrewInGeorgia

       And those phone calls…

  • http://www.facebook.com/atomicdesignads Robert J Zeleniak

    Years ago, my partner and I decided not to have Thanksgiving with our families. Too many differences, although it has mellowed over the years. We usually have friends who have known us for years so the dinner will be cordial and lighthearted

  • rob sprogell

    My grandmother ALWAYS said that, despite conventional wisdom, religion and politics were the BEST things to discuss. True to her word, she would dispense with pleasantries after about five minutes and drill right down to one of her two favorite topics.

  • Scott B

    Never talk politics where cutlery is within easy reach.

  • Heather Henderson

    I envy the comments below from those whose families hold moderate views. Your guests have nothing on the vitriol that takes place in my family. I am a 29-year-old extreme liberal from Alabama. In high school, I was a conservative – but when I went to college I woke up! My father (who I worshipped as a kid!) is an extreme conservative – he gets his news from Rush Radio and Fox News (NPR would be considered liberal propaganda in my nuclear family). My mother (also a conservative but not as extreme as my dad) has banned political talk. However, she can’t control my extended family (also all conservatives) who will bring up the topic. So, I have decided to stay home this year rather than traveling to see my family. Hopefully by Christmas they’ll have calmed down (probably not). – Heather in New Orleans

    • DrewInGeorgia

      I think our relatives might be related. lol
      There has been a sea change this year that I never would have thought possible so keep hope alive cause’ you never know. Sorry to hear you won’t be enjoying the Holiday with family.

  • Peter Anderson

    Pass the turkey… and let the tryptophan take effect.

  • Heather Henderson

    I envy the comments below from those whose families hold moderate views. Your guests have nothing on the vitriol that takes place in my family. I am a 29-year-old extreme liberal from Alabama. In high school, I was a conservative – but when I went to college I woke up! My father (who I worshipped as a kid!) is an extreme conservative – he gets his news from Rush Radio and Fox News (NPR would be considered liberal propaganda in my nuclear family). My mother (also a conservative but not as extreme as my dad) has banned political talk. However, she can’t control my extended family (also all conservatives) who will bring up the topic. So, I have decided to stay home this year rather than traveling to see my family. Hopefully by Christmas they’ll have calmed down (probably not). 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/EICVAQ33D2O7MCLE35SODZQNDE emilywebb

      I’m in the same boat as you Heather, only I’m the lone liberal in a huge Conservative Catholic family in South Louisiana.  I will be with my family for Thanksgiving…..wish me luck!

  • paolocaru

    Forget this phoney political party nonsense.  My family will be discussing how obvious a FALSE FLAG was this bus explosion in Tel Aviv, so they can justify killing more Palestinian children. 

    Check out actors in the video, looks like another David Mamet/Mossad production right in front of the National Defense ministry no less.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1082582113 Amanda Nourse

    My conservative relatives can say anything they want – I just smile because WE WON!!  No argument there!

  • J__o__h__n

    I agree with her conservative parents.  Not everything in one’s life needs to be blogged.

  • Scott B

    At family gatherings I try to stay away from politics, but I can only take some much ignorance sometimes and try to tactfully throw in some actual facts for them to digest along with the turkey and pie.

  • Welisten

    Here’s a complaint. A police officer just called in to say Thanksgiving is the day with the highest number of domestic violence calls. Tom Ashbrook and a guest LAUGHED, wanting to continue the political angle of the show. Everyone always says they know domestic violence is never a comic matter, but here we have a national talk show host downplaying the seriousness of it. What a lost opportunity — not to make the whole show maudlin but to corroborate these sad facts and encourage people in such terrible situations to know they can get help. Kudos for the officer for calling in with this comment.

    • Mike_Card

      The accepted wisdom is Super Bowl Sunday?

      • Welisten

        Please see http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/superbowl.asp for a very thorough essay on how this idea was started, transmitted, and investigated. I believed this, too, until I learned more. The Snopes article is referred to in many other discussions of Super Bowl Sunday violence, which cannot, of course, be discounted. Unhappily, it’s just *one* of the days when reports spike.

        Yes, Mr. Ashbrook, I think your intentions are good, but you need better radar about this issue. Thanks.

    • shargarepa

      Yes, this, thank you!! I logged in just to comment on this.

      I listened to this as a podcast and was horrified and angry. There is absolutely nothing funny about the consistent spike in domestic violence during the holidays. I wasn’t the least bit surprised that the office called in to laugh about this, but the fact that Tom took that call and they all chuckled together was disturbing and utterly disappointing. It’s one thing to argue passionately over a plate of turkey, it’s a whole different situation when someone becomes violent to the point that the police need to be called, and that is not funny, it is TERRIFYING, and it’s not nearly as uncommon as people would like to think.

      I come from a family where I spent every holiday huddled in my bedroom scared and hoping that my father wouldn’t flip out and go on a violent rampage, as he so often did during any special occasion. When I was older, I would hide out at friends’ houses. I moved out on my own at 18 to get away from the violence. My mother is trapped for a variety of reasons that I won’t laundry list here, and I constantly worry about her safety. On the surface, we looked like a nice middle class family, and I imagine that’s the first thing people blurt out when they find out about my father’s previous attempted homicide against my mother. I do not appreciate hearing a group of people on NPR LAUGHING about a life-altering reality that I, and many others, have barely survived.

      Tom, if you’re reading this, you can do better. You seem like a genuinely well-meaning fellow. PLEASE educate yourself on this topic, as this is far from the first time I’ve done a double-take when your ignorance on this subject has shown through. You can start by reading Lundy Bancroft’s writing. He’s a person you should seriously consider tapping the next time you need an expert on DV, rather than the bizarre and questionable guest you had when you discussed the Mel Gibson tapes.

      Sigh.

  • PithHelmut

    It always galls me that NPR using taxpayer money, decided to shut out the fact that voters had other options in the election, Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, Gary Johnson and Virgil Goode. NPR used almost all the airtime to promote the two weevils, as I call Obama and Romney. I vehemently object to this false reality that NPR has been peddling. The two parties would have had to spend millions in commercial airtime but NPR gave it for free on public radio! Censoring information in this way is akin to favoritism and puts the voters in a very vulnerable position – not even being aware of the third party alternatives. I spoke to dozens of people who didn’t know who Jill Stein was let alone knowing that the Green Party platform was sensible and workable and non-violent, (yes non-violent isn’t that something?) Is this fair NPR?  Is this fair Tom Ashbrook?  I think you’re great by the way and you did have one or three programs on Jill Stein. But overall it’s woefully inadequate. The only way to be fair in public broadcasting is for NPR to give EQUAL time, got that equal time?  Yes you’re probably asking how can that happen.  Well it can if it is decided. All it takes is a decision. That means shortening the minutiae we hear about Obama and Romney and dedicate equal time to the other candidates. Your audience deserves balance does it not? (And we’re donors too remember) We need to be able to trust NPR’s reporting. Honestly I tuned right out from NPR prior to the election, it was so biased towards the two party system.

    • J__o__h__n

      NPR left out all sorts of fringe candidates.  The Prohibition party candidate didn’t get an hour like Stein and Johnson did.  Stein isn’t a serious candidate.  The only office she has ever won was town meeting rep. 

      • PithHelmut

        Point taken about time spent on fringe candidates. However the part about Jill Stein not being a viable candidate is false. What does it matter whether a candidate has held office before?  Look at the nonsense we get from the “experienced” office holders. Actually I think that having no experience has more merit because there is less collusion in the web of influence that dominates our entire political system.

  • MarkVII88

    The biggest problem that I can foresee at my Thanksgiving table is that my well-meaning Dad will, in repeated attempts to be funny in front of the grandkids, will do something or say something that really sends my Mom over the edge.  Then he’ll try to laugh it off or start picking on Mom for being too uptight and everyone else will be uncomfortable.  My sister and I will just look at each other and roll our eyes.

  • MarkVII88

    The biggest problem that I can foresee at my Thanksgiving table is that my well-meaning Dad will, in repeated attempts to be funny in front of the grandkids, will do something or say something that really sends my Mom over the edge.  Then he’ll try to laugh it off or start picking on Mom for being too uptight and everyone else will be uncomfortable.  My sister and I will just look at each other and roll our eyes.

  • Taylor Sundby

    Ever since I can remember we have had large extended family get togethers (30ish folks) for Thanksgiving– politics have always been a volatile subject but we have managed to remain relatively civil.  This year, however, the political rift became so deep that conservative family members are refusing to come to the holiday and our wonderful tradition has crumbled.  I am amazed at how deeply entrenched politics have become and jealous of those families who are able to work around it.

  • Markus6

    It’s a shame it’s become so difficult to talk politics at the dinner table. But I blame the nit wits on both sides. On one side, you have people who see Koch brothers, or evil corporations behind everything. On the other, they see unions or government workers as the source of all evil. It seems like this used to be such a small number, that the adults in the room could give them a dose of reality. Now, it seems they’ve taken over. Sad, because politics can be more fun than football, sometime.

  • Rex Henry

    No mandate? McConnell pulled that card in 2010 and hasn’t let go.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Spike the ball? Mandate? Yes – Won the popular vote in the house. +8 in the house but did not win more due to gerrymandering!

    • Wahoo_wa

      But Obama won with millions fewer votes than the last election.  For the first time since 1944 has the incumbent won a second term with fewer votes than the election bringing him to office.  That’s a significant loss in a popular mandate.  Obama’s mandate is razor thin at best. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        You have gone to that “first time since 1944″ well far too often.

        And are you funning us by saying “razor thin mandate”? Hah.

        • Wahoo_wa

          It’s a hard fact to ignore.
          And yes Obama won by a very thin margin in the popular vote.  Hate to break it to you.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            It’s a very easy factoid to ignore. If you weren’t pimping it from some rightwing hack site, nobody would know it.

            Keep telling yourself whatever you need to hear. I’ll just play my clip of all those centrist and right-wing pundits telling us all how Romney was going to win in a landslide or at the very best a should-be-chastened Obama might squeak by with 280 EVs.

            EVs, y’know: The ones which count?

          • Wahoo_wa

            Wikipedia is a “rightwing hack site”?  Really?  Who knew?  The facts are a big ring-wing conspiracy I guess….LOL

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Factoid: Something technically true but actually meaningless. Plenty of Beltway Inbred pundits are squealing about how Obama should “tack to the center”; none of them are fluffing your one piece of shite about 1944.

            I’d ask you to pull your head out of your Foxhole, but I see I’m too late.

          • Wahoo_wa

            You’re quite a bitter and unhappy person it seems.  Good luck with that

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “It seems”?

            How is it every right-winger on this board has a magical browser add-in which lets them read my verbal inflection and non-vocal communication?

          • Wahoo_wa

            Perhaps you should readthrough your posts. It’s quiteclear really.

          • StilllHere

            Not seems, it’s a fact.

          • Wahoo_wa

            50.4% versus 48.1% is hardly a resounding affirmation of a nation’s faith in the incumbent.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I can’t decide whether it’s sour grapes or voter fraud you’re faking your way through with more.

          • Wahoo_wa

            Wow….very angry person.  You must have a tough life!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            How is it every right-winger on this board has a magical browser add-in which lets them read my verbal inflection and non-vocal communication?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            It’s called projecting, you accuse the other person of your own neuroses.

            Wahoo, try deep breathing and say the words SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN over and over, I find it very soothing.

          • sickofthechit

             Creepy huh…

          • StilllHere

            Not tough, just no life whatsoever.

          • Mike_Card

            That’s almost exactly what President-elect Romney said.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Geez, spare me the “mandate” talk. If Lord R had got that many electoral votes the GoP would be dancing in the streets proclaiming their “mandate”, SS and Medicare wd be under fire already, and the plutocrats would be counting their new riches.  I don’t remember W backing off his agenda because of close elections. Sure he had more votes in 2004 – he LOST in 2000 :)

            The norm is now that the popular vote will be close. Under these conditions, BHO had a very solid win. He should just go ahead and do what he believes – and that better be higher taxes at the top, or he’s no better than Lord R for truth telling.

          • Wahoo_wa

            Oh I think you’re right regarding the right thinking that they would have a mandate if they won by the narrow margin Obama did.  And I would agree that they would be incorrect.  Our nation is equally divided however and Obama has no clear mandate.  A great part of the role of the President is however to bring our nation together.  On that point Obama has been and will continue to be an utter failure.  The “Lord R” references are quite bizarre BTW.  I think I can conclude that you are an extremist.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Haha, I’m an “extremist” for giving His Lordship the proper respect he expects and deserves.

            Sure, a President should bring the nation together, but not if it means splitting the difference on class warfare. If the right demands tax cuts for the rich starting from already super-low rates, I don’t want BHO to “bring us together” by “compromising” on smaller tax cuts or “revenue neutral tax reform”. Compromise is one thing, negotiating with terrorists is another.

            If you think tax rates for the rich should be cut when they are already at or near post-1929 lows, I think I can conclude that you are an extremist.

          • margbi

             I believe I heard President Obama say in one of the debates that Romney wanted the military of the ’80′s, the culture of the ’50′s and the economics of the ’20′s. True, IMHO.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Yeah, that’s a good one, tho I’m afraid those 20′th century decades exaggerate the modernity  of Lord R’s views.

    • StilllHere

      And by gerrymandering, you mean not enough.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Don’t Spike The Ball! Whatever happened to humility?

  • http://ruthnemzoff.com/ Ruth Nemzoff

    As a former state legislator I can attest that people hold their opinions for good reasons.  To have a good discussion, Be curious. Listen.  Ruth Nemzoff, author Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws Into Family and  Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How
    to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children

    • Mike_Card

      Is this spam?

    • Mike_Card

      Moderator??

  • BusseK

    I’m thinking that Colorado and Washington will have more peace, love and understanding at their Thanksgiving tables than the rest of the country this year. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/J.Brian.Harrington Brian Harrington

    Interesting that one of the guests thinks getting people to vote is cynical. What would he call trying to suppress the vote?

    • StilllHere

      A myth.

  • Matt Wade

    Romney lost because he was a contemptuous political chameleon who never earned the trust of the American people. Let us never speak of him again.

  • Matt Wade

    Poetic Justice = Romney getting 47% of the popular vote. HA!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YPD5OIQ3MX5LEW4YSBMC6XVFBE Daniel

    I would just add to the discussion that the gamesmanship is very human, but you have to remember that these politicians all around or an ambitious bunch of people.  They KNOW that they are right and you are wrong regardless of the politics.

    One way to defuse the gamesmanship (which does not lead to good government) is to remember that you wish your family and neighbors well.  You don’t need to worry about the presidents well fare.  It’s unlikely that any of them truly care about your opinion anyway.  Who we do live with is our neighbors and our family.  They matter.

    Case in point, I am fairly liberal.  I once e-mailed my congressman, Bernie Sanders at the time, about an issue felt strongly about.  Basically, the explained how I was wrong because of all these typical liberal ideals that were actually important (where my concerns were frivolous?).  I’m sure Bernie is a great balancing influence (I’ve voted for him), but he knows he is correct and all who disagree are not.

  • JulieMRoss

    We are lucky to be joining my family in the Chicago area for Thanksgiving–we are all well-educated, well-read, media savvy, and all staunch progressives who all volunteered for Obama’s campaign. We will be truly Thankful. The greatest challenge: who will make the best jokes and most insightful comments?

    Now if we went to my husband’s family in Texas for Thanksgiving, it would be very awkward and not much fun.

  • Michael Abrams

    Political discussions would be less heated if there were no parties. Party lines get in the way of real discussion.

  • Molly Shangraw

    My wife and I decided to not visit my family this Thanksgiving – despite it being our “tradition” to travel to see them. My mother’s husband is a fox-news consuming uninformed voter who is the loudest person at the dinner table. I’m all about discussing important political issues. It’s when it’s not backed up with any substance that I can’t take it. On top of that, in our case the personal is political. We are a married same-sex couple and my wife has to deal with some serious pre-existing medical issues. So, all the bluster around LGBT rights and “Obamacare” hits too close to home for us to not fight back (I tend to shout back if someone shouts at me). Then the extreme misogyny that exists in our family culture (I will never understand it) means that I am the one who should back down and am told to do for the sake of keeping the peace. I’m never the one who goes there in the first place! No. Thank. You.

  • Wahoo_wa

    I am an independent, moderate.  Living in a far left state I am seen and labeled as a conservative.  Massachusetts is so out of touch with the nation as a whole.  I find my rabid left friends to be quite close minded when one questions the left and points out Obama’s failures.  Remarkably they claim to be open minded.

    • Wahoo_wa

      …and I’m gay too.  So when I point out how hypocritical and untrustworthy Obama is about gay rights all hell breaks loose….LOL

      • TomK_in_Boston

        President Obama is a moderate republican by the standards I grew up with, so you shouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t offer a liberal policy.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      So out of touch, believing in evolution and man-made climate change. Rabid about science and totally “close” minded about the great alternatives like “intelligent design”. Geez, we even adopted the socialist Romneycare – the sky didn’t fall in, either :) 

      I confess, Wahoo, I am ABSOLUTELY NOT open minded about replacing science with medieval superstition and oil-company funded denial. But hey, let me know when the red states build something like a Kendall Square or even a single biotech product based on “intelligent design”. OTOH, you might want to note that the other booming areas for internet and biotech, like SF and NYC, are “out of touch” just like us.

      I have a lot of gratitude this thanksgiving, and one item is for living in the great city of Boston, the science capital of the world, in the great state of MA!

      • Wahoo_wa

        NPR just reported a recent Gallup pole (if I remember correctly) stating that 41% of registered Democrats believe in creationism.

        Tech companies are hardly a gauge for open-mindedness (look at Steve Jobs for instance…he is far from someone I would admire).  You also assume that those people running those biotech and internet based companies are left leaning.  That’s quite an assumption.
        Your sense of superiority is very indicative of the fringe elements of both the right AND the left.  You exude anger in almost every one of your posts.  You are the perfect example of why a topic like sitting down to dinner with someone holding an alternative view to your own is radio-worthy.  You exemplify the narrow minded hot-head everyone wishes to avoid. 

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Oh dear, doubling down on projection is not healthy. Relax, Wahoo, and try not to dump your stuff on anyone you might be  around tomorrow. The pain of the election will fade. In MA we should all be proud and grateful for having elected SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN,  it is a great thing.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    If family and or friends are gathered for a Thanksgiving meal, that truly matters more than any discussions that might take place. If we’re fortunate enough to be gathered at the table we should be giving Thanks, many are not so fortunate.

    Hope everyone has a safe and civil Turkey Day!

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Right you are, Drew!

  • J__o__h__n

    The mother can’t claim that gay rights are important to her if she voted for Romney.

    • Wahoo_wa

      One can believe in gay rights and not have that single issue dictate who they vote for.

      • J__o__h__n

        Agreed, but you can’t claim they are important to you.  You couldn’t claim to be in favor of civil rights and vote for Strom Thurmond because you like his economic policies. 

        • Wahoo_wa

          No you really can.  As a gay man myself my rights are very important to me.  Sometimes there are greater priorities than single issues affecting a very, very small part of our society.

    • KarlaRobey

      I beg to differ….there are things I like and agree with both candidates.  It’s called having an open mind and knowing that one candidate is not going to have all the answers.  The only one who really knows what this mother believes is me!

      • J__o__h__n

        What were the issues that you agreed with Romney on that were more important to you than your daughter’s civil rights? 

        • KarlaRobey

          I never said that any issue was more important that her civil rights.  I said I liked and agreed with both candidates on certain issues.  Her civil rights are very important to me…this was never a debate about that.  The context of our discussion was to be about how we make it work within our family while having differing views.   

  • pilates1

    I don’t know why everyone assumes that Mitt Romney was/is a moderate just because he maintained that course while in Massachusetts office.  He used the governorship as a means of getting to White House and so had to 1) get elected in a very liberal state and 2) he didn’t hang around long enoug to be seriously tested on moderate bona fides….

    But my main thoughts on the show:  I lived in the Uk for 15 years.  I am an American liberal out of Oberlin College no less (your Kenyon participant will understand).  But after seeing the loony left of Europe, I can understand different points of view better and how walking in another’s shoes is a good thing to do to get into their mindset.

  • Flytrap

    What is so fabulous to see is how intolerant, unsportsmanlike and bigoted the leftists are.   Everyone is just sooo disappointed when a family member has the temerity to vote for Romney.  And it appears the perfect thing to do is rub the losers’ noses in it, taunt and jeer. 

    • Wahoo_wa

      Sadly you’re right.
      I never understood why the left claims to be tolerant, open-minded and enlightened.

      • sickofthechit

         Because we are.

      • Duras

        Perhaps because liberals didn’t throw bricks at black people over civil rights, we don’t try to close down (or bomb (see Jacksonville, FL)) Islamic temples, and we have actually read the Enlightenment philosophers and don’t disregard science.

    • Pointpanic

      What are you talking about? That’s an easy cheap shot, Flytrap. On what do you base it?

      • Flytrap

         See LinRP’s comment,
        Jasoturner’s comment,
        Craig16′s comments just to name a few.

        • Mike_Card

          So you’re saying, ‘I’m just a troll-make my argument for me.’

          • Flytrap

             See my other comments in this thread.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PFZOBRDT6TBR4KTIW34W6ZZJJA Kelly

       My dad made his one phone call of the year to me after the 2008 election to tell me how horrible liberals (which I am) are. He didn’t say how are you , he didn’t say I love you, he just jumped right in chewing me out over it. I was in tears telling him that I loved him and I would rather talk about how he was but he didn’t leave it be. I finally had to say I love you Dad but I am hanging up now. Then I got to spend the next hour sobbing on my husband’s shoulder at the thought that my dad who almost never calls me only bothered calling to stir up trouble. I never called him to rub his nose in it. If he wants to be a bigoted racist ass he can feel free to do it. He’s still my dad and I do love him. I just don’t like him a lot of times anymore. We are not all out to pick a fight sometimes you all come pick the fights yourselves. My dad can vote for who ever he wants. Same goes for my friends and other family. I won’t stop loving them because of it. 9 times out of 10 when I argue politics with someone it’s because they made some blatant jeer at my beliefs.

      • Flytrap

         Sorry to hear your dad is not a nice fellow.  But if you read the board here and listen to the show, it’s fairly obvious the nasty intolerant ones are generally leftists.  Of course there are conservative pricks, I know a few, but leftists seem to take a special delight in conservatives’ schadenfreude and make no attempts to be gracious towards conservatives on this board or in real life.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/PFZOBRDT6TBR4KTIW34W6ZZJJA Kelly

           Unfortunately NPR tends to have more liberal listeners in my experience. I think if this discussion was taking place on a more right-leaning program (not saying this leans either way) the numbers would be reversed. We all have our jerks :(
          As far as my dad, it’s nothing new. I think everyone has somebody like that in their family or at least I pretend it so we seem a little more normal, lol. Just always be grateful for the people who love you no matter what… even if they don’t necessarily like you all the time.

          • Flytrap

             Good words of wisdom, but I disagree with the assertion that on a conservative site it would be the same.  Go to Glen Beck’s site, http://www.theblaze.com/ and http://www.dailykos.com/ and compare the tone and tenor of the comments.  Both sides think they are right, but there is more venom and narrow-mindedness on the kos, at least in my opinion.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PFZOBRDT6TBR4KTIW34W6ZZJJA Kelly

             possibly, I will have to take your word for it. I try not to frequent Conservative sites. I figure I will live and let live. That said ,I have had the unfortunate experience of hearing Rush Limbaugh talk about how horrible we are. Most recently I was arguing with a tea party member who was harassing my friend for voting the way she did on facebook. Even when she unfriended him he kept sending her nasty messages about what scum of the earth she was until she had to block and report him. I live in a “red” area and I see a lot of giant signs on people’s land telling people who voted for Obama that they are socialist scum and they are responsible for the downfall of the country or worse. I know we have our jerks too but if I could send you some photos of my daughters trip to school and what she gets to read about what people think of her family it’s pretty disheartening. Even teachers at her school will go on rants about how all liberals are crazy lunatics. Maybe you would be less inclined to think the vehemence and narrow mindedness is only a liberal trait. Unfortunately it seems to be a human condition that many of us are susceptible too, regardless of our political affiliation. Either way you have your right to your opinion and I have mine, we may just have to agree to disagree.

          • Flytrap

             Don’t take my word for it, check it out.  Read some conservative sites to see where we are coming from.  Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power.  That’s why I check out liberal sites to see what people are thinking. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PFZOBRDT6TBR4KTIW34W6ZZJJA Kelly

             I don’t think of it as ignorance being bliss I think of it as a reason to not have to up my anxiety medication. I have checked out conservative sites in the past now that the election is over I am trying to take a break from it all for a bit. Even most of the local papers here are owned by conservatives. Trust me I stay informed. Like I said all I have to do is take a walk or a drive to see what the locals think. It’s plastered all along the road.

          • Sinclair2

            Talk radio is dominated by the right nationwide.  Add Fox News and you have an evangalism of hate directed toward our president and all who support him.  It’s frightening how brainwashed the right-wing is.

        • jimino

          Your comments are ridiculous  Go to ANY site listed on ANY day on the Drudge Report that takes comments, then get back to us.  Or you could just go to your own claim that those on the opposite side of the political spectrum from you are “intolerant, unsportsmanlike and bigoted”, which many of us find intolerant, unsportsmanlike, bigoted, and ignorant. 

          Really, your obvious inability to
          see this happens from both sides says it all:  you don’t know what you
          are talking about.  And that ain’t gloating or nasty.  And has nothing
          to do with political persuasion.  It’s a fact. 

          • Flytrap

             Not so good at reading comprehension are jimbo?  I said it was more prevalent on the left, not exclusively.  So while you delight in your self righteousness, know that you failed basic reading comprehension.

          • jimino

            What
            is so fabulous to see is how intolerant, unsportsmanlike and bigoted
            the so-called conservatives are.   Everyone is just sooo disappointed when a family
            member has the temerity to vote for Obama.  And it appears the perfect
            thing to do is rub the losers’ noses in it, taunt and jeer. 

            Like Reply
             

          • Flytrap

             I’ve laid out my argument, all you have done is be a snarky prick.

  • Robert Berube

    There are people in my family who try to engage me in an ideological debate, but my response is always: I’m suspicious of overarching ideologies. They look at me like I’m crazy and move on to someone else. I like a Thanksgiving devoid of politics and partisan bickering.

  • hennorama

    Forget politics at Thanksgiving – be thankful for what you have and how lucky you are, and remember there are always others in your community that have it much worse than you do.  Talk about that, and how you could make a difference.

    Each Thanksgiving, the group of friends and family I’m part of take time out to figure out our next communal project to help others in the upcoming year.  Given the economy and the obvious need, this year we pooled some funds, and using all our connections and resources, and taking advantage of every grocery store’s turkey specials, we were able as a group to donate 150 turkeys to our local Food Bank.  You should have seen the volunteers’faces when we rolled up with those turkeys!  We’re shooting for 200 next year.

    This year, we’re also working with the Food Bank to harvest unused and unwanted fruit from backyard trees.  The Food Bank solicits these donations, but needs lots of helping hands to make it work.  The persimmons are in fine form right now, BTW.  It’s a fun thing to do as a group, and people view it as a service, since the fruit would simply fall in their yards if left unharvested.

    We’re also going to work on something SS Sandy-related, but we tend to focus our efforts locally.  Anyone can do this sort of thing, and the rewards are incalculable.

    Some food for thought at this time of celebration of plenty.

    Happy Turkey Day to all!

    • Steve__T

       A wonderful way to show thankfulness is always in giving to those who do not have. Great job, well done.

      • hennorama

        Thank you for your response, and your kind words.

        My post was not meant to toot my own horn in any way, but rather as an illustration of what’s possible; it’s not about me at all. Believe it or not, we accomplished our donation with less than $500 in cash, all told. It’s amazing what people can do when they focus on a goal.

        BTW, one side benefit of the fruit harvesting is that it gets everyone away from all their various screens – computers, phones, pads, TVs, etc. and doesn’t cost anything except some time and a little effort. It gets the kids involved too. You should see ‘em using the fruit picker baskets on poles – very entertaining. They love it. They donate a little money from their allowances too, and we even have a 10 year old as the kids’ “treasurer.”

        Thanks again, and have a great Thanksgiving!

    • hennorama

      Anyone wanting to get involved in helping to stamp out hunger in America can find a local Food Bank or donate here.  For a limited time, your donation will be doubled:

      http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx#

      Here’s the Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry site (“Your gift of $46 can help connect a child to 220 meals in the coming year.”  That’s less than 21 cents per meal!)

      http://www.nokidhungry.org/

      Home gardeners with surplus food can use this site (you can donate to support them too):

      http://www.ampleharvest.org/about.php

      We can keep others in mind when doing our holiday shopping, too.  Take advantage of the great deals out there, and buy an extra sweatshirt or coat or blanket or other article of clothing, then drop it off at the local Salvation Army , homeless shelter, or similar.

      The need is great, and together we can make a big difference.

  • Steve__T

    Never ever talk politics at the dinner table. It can cause indigestion, bad feelings and loss of appreciation for the thanksgivings. Save it for the rival football game on Saturday :)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PFZOBRDT6TBR4KTIW34W6ZZJJA Kelly

    This year I am going to my mom’s and we agree politically but other years I normally go to my aunt’s. Unfortunately I was not called this year. She’s pretty religious and conservative when she gets going so It may be due to that may not. I don’t go to holidays with my dad when I can help it. He is VERY republican and I am as liberal as I can probably be. In the past we would not talk for years at a time but he still occasionally called me to tell me I am an atheist and that Obama is the Pharaoh and we are the Jews or something equally ridiculous. I haven’t heard from him yet since this election but only time will tell. My brother defriended me on facebook for posting politics. He won’t even answer my private messages which are non-political. It’s nothing I am not used to anymore. We see each other at weddings and funerals.

    • Sinclair2

      You situation is not unusual today.  Many families see each other only at events such as weddings and funerals.  Divorce has also contributed to that. 

      People develop personal value systems that are no longer compatible with their families.  Over time, they gravitate toward their friends to form a new family so to speak.

  • StilllHere

    We tend to prefer to talk taxes and rampant waste, fraud and abuse at all levels of government.  Teachers retiring at 55 on full pensions. Part-time forest commission gigs for the gov that pay $53K with pension. Etc.

    We’ll see, but I think that deductions are going away.  Charitable ones first, then gradually mortgage.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      OMG! Middle class folks like teachers having a decent life, we sure don’t want THAT in the USA, it is so 1950s!!! We prefer that financial flim-flam artists who never did a day of honest work in their lives retire with $250,000K in their IRAs.

      • harverdphd

         I want teachers in my town to live like I do…if that’s decent, fine.  If they don’t like it, they can leave.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Live like you do”? I wouldn’t pin my income to whatever some fool on the intertubes makes. And it’s great to see someone who figures “they get what they pay for” isn’t gonna hold here.

          But no, let’s hear some more from folks who want trained and experienced teachers to make no more than the average income, no matter how untrained and low-value the labor force in “Anytown, USA”.

          Or are you just hoping your town corners the market on the MythicalSupermanTeachers?

        • Duras

          Shouldn’t people with college educations who provide valuable services to communities expect to have a middle class income, a house, send their kids to university, and retire? 

    • Duras

      Oh no, there are actually decent public wages and pentions left.  How in the world has top income incessently risen over the last thirty years when teachers and unions are running amok? 

      God forbid college educated public workers have wages that would force private sector wages to remain competitive.  When will this country learn: you got to punish the people so the top can make even more money. 

  • http://twitter.com/OSU_Matthew Matthew McGrath

    I don’t understand why politics have to be taken so personally… we all want the same things! We just polarize minuscule differences that have little bearing on whatever issue is at stake.

  • robertdkim

    Buzz Bissinger asked the caller whose family all belong to the one percent, “so what happened to you?”  This question is insulting, insinuating failure.  It may come as a surprise to Mr. Bissinger, but not everyone’s goal in life is to make lots of money.

  • Tastearb

    One of your guests made the comment about Romney “At heart, if he has a heart…”  I heard this, then I waited for the host to defuse those words and there was nothing.  This is the kind of liberal hatred that we don’t need in this country.  If you want to get my attention and that of other good American citizens who exercised their right to choose carefully but don’t agree with you, take a minute to recognize what you sound like. How disappointing that this kind of snide rhetoric and feelings of superiority find a place on this radio show without a challenge. So long, I’ve listened to the last On Point broadcast I will ever hear. 

    • J__o__h__n

      The host should step in if counter-factual statements are made, but it isn’t his job to police a statement that was the speaker’s opinion of Romney (which is a fairly mainstream view).

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I wonder if the OP applies his high standards to righty talk radio? “Why didn’t Rush cut off that guy going on about The President being born in Kenya?” Why do I doubt it?

        Geez, it’s best to avoid mention of things like hearts in a discussion of corporate raiders and financial con artists.

        Anyway, happy Thanksgiving to all, and let’s all be grateful for family and for the USA escaping the hostile takeover attempt by Bane Capital!

        • Gregg Smith

          I’ve never ever ever heard any caller to Rush prattle on about Kenya. It’s a non-issue with no traction on legitimate radio. Tastearb was being factual with evidence, you just look silly.

          But even you deserve a heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving… especially since they named the turkey after you.

        • Tastearb

          Bain Capital and its partners are motivated by a simple principle. Make money. They make more money when a company is successful than when it fails.  People seem to have forgotten this or maybe they don’t believe in the capitalist system. There is now a view out there, promoted by Democrats in the just concluded election, that Bain and others mainly seek to be liquidators.  I just don’t believe that.  

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “They make more money when a company is successful than when it fails.”

            Quoting this stuff is great, if you’re a HS frosh.

            You really should brush up on Bain.

      • Tastearb

        If a guest had mentioned Obama’s birth certificate is fake, should the host let that go unchallenged? After all, by your logic, it’s an opinion because it is a widely held view. 
        This has been a nasty election where money manufactures facts, a truly sad state of affairs.  Snide remarks don’t help us deal with the problem.  the deficit in 2011 was 8% of GDP.  Who’s going to solve the problem? Obama, Bush, both are responsible. I honestly don’t care as long as we get our house in order.  A downgrade is coming and the tone of political discourse continues to be Gotcha.  
        I assume things went well at Thanksgiving when the guest and his parents all got together?

        • Rob07

          Exactly right on the seriousness of the debt situation, but amazingly the tone out of the politicians themselves actually sounds a little more constructive about getting something done with regard to the deficit recently. Both sides will need to give a little, but maybe now is the time to start fixing the problem.

  • Shag_Wevera

    My family is vaguely aware of my political leanings as I am of theirs.  In depth discussions of politics?  Uh-uh.  We’ll never find common ground and whatever event we are attending will be at least partially ruined.

    • harverdphd

       So….your family is only *vaguely* aware of (your) political leanings as (you are) of theirs….and what kind of family is this?  What have you talked about for the last 30 – 40 years, crops and the weather?  who the bachelorette will choose?  whether Boy Meets World will see another season? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/gary.kay.7777 Gary Kay

    With the over-emphasis on “competition” that has plagued this country for years, are we really surprised that people get crazy when the conversation is politics? The over-emphasis on competition is also the main reason that we can’t seem to solve any national problems at all. Solving our problems requires co-operation. But we have lost that particular spirit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=552283433 Chris Miller

    I am so happy my sister is going to another sister’s home to celebrate tomorrow.  Knowing that I support, volunteer, and voted for President Obama she insisted on facebooking me about Romney.  I asked that we agree to disagree and she hung up the phone on me.  She emailed me to say we are through.  How do I unfriend a family member on facebook?

  • Gregg Smith
    • 1Brett1

      Ah, history according to Rush…It explains so much about your believe system, Gregg. As laughable as this is (the notion that the first Thanksgiving was about a celebration of the rejection of socialism and an embrace of capitalism), it discounts so many other points about the first “Virginia Colony.” William Bradford himself (whom Rush cites throughout this piece that could have been written by a 6th grader), relied heavily on Miles Standish (a.k.a. Miles Standish, Native-American slayer). There was an epidemic of sickness among the colonists, many of whom died or became completely infirm. The healthy carried them in their times of need (sounds like a socialistic proposition to me), and this helped make the colonies transcend failure. Bradford’s wife, btw (something Rush glosses over), died from drowning on the Mayflower. Bradford, himself, became sick and relied on Standish to take over his duties. Native Americans taught much to the colonists; without them the colonists would have perished. I could go on about Rush’s (and your) version of history, but let me say this: history is a complex thing that requires a lot of nuance, understanding the complexities of the human experience, etc., something you and Rush seem to lack or wish to reduce to its lowest common denominator for the sake of ideology/narrative agreement…and such trashy tactics they are…

      • Gregg Smith

        I don’t know if you noticed but there have been various good wishes for the holidays, even from you. There are commenters who I disagree with, often heatedly. Cool, it’s not personal. If it gets a little testy all can be forgiven, I wish everyone well. That goes for you too but you are different. You are truly nasty and unique in that regard. I posted a story of another perspective from Rush. It’s true and you don’t dispute that. It’s also much more complete than the schoolhouse version. It’s awesome that you fill in some blanks or quote Standish. But you don’t stop there. You ramble on about my belief system and project dastardly intentions about my “tactics”. You go on about my being brainwashed and uncurious. You make the insanely ridiculous implication that I think this is all there is to know about the matter. It was a minute and a half of radio.

        What is “laughable” is not the “notion” you cite that was not claimed by me or Rush. That’s just something in your head. What’s laughable is you on your high horse (you really are quite full of yourself) unable to simply make or refute a point without the delusional, personal and judgmental conclusions.

        • Sinclair2

          The right-wingers come up with this story every year at this time.  They twist what was actually a survival story  -  where people came together to help one another  -  into socialism.  What a crock!

          The Pilgrims story is all about living in a strange, barren and cold place comparable to passengers drifting in a lifeboat.  The passengers would share, ration and catch fish until help came along. 

          Once rescued, they would resume their normal lives living in a free democratic society, reaping the benefits of their hard work, yet never forgetting about where they came from and ready to help others in need.

          • Gregg Smith

            Fair enough, I disagree but fair. How about we just stop trying to make Thanksgiving a symbol for socialism or capitalism? There were certainly aspects of both. If we have to politicize it then let’s hear both sides. Otherwise, I would prefer people just have a good meal with family and be thankful for what they have. 

          • Sinclair2

            Democracy is a representation of diverse ideas.  Those ideas combine a touch of capitalism, libertarianism and socialism interwoven in a civilized society seeking prosperity, stability and self actualization.   

          • ttajtt

            civilized society seeking prosperity stability and self actualization. compared to whom?

          • 1Brett1

            “How about we just stop trying to make Thanksgiving a symbol for socialism or capitalism?” 

            If this was your intention, why would you put up a Rush commentary (your above link) about socialism vs. capitalism? 

            Whether you admit so or not, you are being most disingenuous.

          • Gregg Smith

            Balance dude, balance.

          • ttajtt

            a red mans after dinner story is different is was more of a reaping corporation take over.  in name of the king, with a Bible in one hand, a gun in the other and a pocket full of change.

        • 1Brett1

          Ah, so you wished to provide a link on this forum to Rush Limbaugh’s take on the first Thanksgiving, on Thanksgiving morning, simply because you thought others would enjoy, be intrigued by, and would gain some insight through his commentary on the topic…and here I trampled on your innocuous spirit of sharing. My word… 

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s about it but you trampled nothing. You just got personal and nasty. Cool, show yourself.

    • Mike_Card

      C’mon, Gregg–Rush?  Really?  You’re a lot better than that!  There are so many different interpretations of the early years…

      • Gregg Smith

        I know, I know. It’s my nature. The thing is, so many closeted Rush fans don’t dare bring him up. It’s just not worth the hassle. I was there 15 years ago but now I’ve decided I don’t care. It’s so 90′s as far as debate goes. I’ve heard it all before. People will think what they think.

        I’ll give you a parallel, when Sarah Palin’s name was brought up as a possible candidate in 2012 she was roundly dismissed by Conservatives who loved her. She was “damaged goods” they said. BTW, please don’t tell me how awful she is, I’m making a larger point. I am sick and tired of Liberals defining who is and is not acceptable to Conservatives. So I don’t go there. I love Palin, Newt and Rush… and Tom Ashbrook. Sue me.

        • Mike_Card

          Unlike so many of the commenters, you are an honest broker I respect.  (Even tho you sometimes stretch credulity–Palin??)  I wonder if we are arguing on 2 different planes:  journalists vs. politicians.  I guess we’ll figure out that as we go along.

        • 1Brett1

           You just said conservatives “roundly dismissed” Palin, and then you said you are sick and tired of liberals defining who is and is not acceptable to conservatives. This is either a contradiction or you are saying liberals are making conservatives choose their alliances, or from whom they disassociate themselves. 

          ?

          Also, you make it sound like Rush fans are stifled, afraid individuals because of all those big bad liberals criticizing them…… Those poor, persecuted Rush fans/neocons.

          • Gregg Smith

            They roundly dismissed her because she was “damaged goods” as defined by Democrats. I am sick and tired of it. You missed the phrase “by Conservatives who love her“. No contradiction, your second sentence is correct and my point. It doesn’t work on me, I associate out loud.

            And no, no one is afraid. As I said, it’s not worth the hassle. Look at this thread. I posted a joke the other day by Rush, folks thought it was funny until I said to came from Rush and they went nuts. Why bother?

    • 1Brett1

      The US is a unique mixture of capitalism and socialistic ideas. If anything involving these two concepts (and the earliest seeds of our country) can be gleaned from our first colony, is that an intermingling of those two concepts as far back as the “Virginia Colony” is evident. 

  • Duras

    My family is mostly Italian, and thankfully Italians put family before all.  In the months leading up to the election, we discussed who would be the better president and we went over issue after issue and I convinced them Obama was better.  It is nice that people would trust their own blood before politicians and certain media sources.

    I cannot say the same for my Anglo side of the family; they digressed and tried to escape the conversation by saying, “your just an Obama lover,” and made kissing sounds in the air.  I have friends that share that same experience.

    • harverdphd

       So…..it sounds like you don’t put the Anglo side of your family “before all”…just the Italian, because Anglos can never really be family….right?….sort of like blacks…right? 

      I’m not surprised.  You speak with a forked tongue.  Lingua biforcuta.  Typical liberal…if they don’t agree with you,  they’re “medigon”…lower and outside……  

      Have a splendid Thanksgiving.

      • Duras

        You obviously went on your own tangent fantasy of what I meant to say.  You need to read closer. 

        Nowhere did I say that I put one side of my family above the other.  I mentioned the characteristics of my family.  Second, I explained how the arguments end.  My family knows I’m not a socialist, so they can’t use the typical conservative escape rout of calling me a “socialist,” thus the resort to the way I said previously.  Nowhere did I put my family on a hierarchy.  If this thread was about religion and family, I would complain about my Italian side being too religious while expressing gladness for my Anglo side’s lack of belief.

        Learn how to read without making ridiculous jumps of interpretation.

  • Gregg Smith

    So you guys didn’t like the story from Rush. Let’s try George Washington:

    Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.President George WashingtonNew York3 October, 1789

  • Korba

    Buzz Bissinger is totally dishonest during this interview. He claims to want Americans to engage in more civil political discourse, but just one look at his twitter feed should disabuse anyone of this guy’s truthiness….
     http://www.businessinsider.com/buzz-bissinger-twitter-romney-lance-armstrong-2012-10

  • ttajtt

    S. Palin filled as A spot for republication woman vote to stay red, Game, a mans eye fantasy boss commander.   Mccain last act wild shot, a good one but a trick one.   

    i think when you categorize or choices your limiting them also.

    I gather one came here (new land) because the old land was dying, like america is now or did.

    so those ideas did not work then it will not work now.  human kind is making sure of that.   there is a script of the show, freelancing is allowed.

    Red people say, 

    when the white man discovered this country the ingenious americans were running it.

    there were no taxes.
    there were no debts.
    woman did all the work.

    the white men thought they could improve on that system.           

  • Gregg Smith

    It’s too bad this board is now mostly dead but this is where the following belongs. This is intense.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9686219/I-am-bitterly-bitterly-disappointed-retired-naval-officers-email-to-children-in-full.html

  • http://ruthnemzoff.com/ Ruth Nemzoff

    This blog might be useful in holiday political discussions: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-ruth-nemzoff/do-i-really-need-to-discuss_b_1941074.html

ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 16, 2014
Jasmin Torres helps classmate Brianna Rameles with a worksheet at the Diloreto Magnet School in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012. (AP/Charles Krupa)

More parents are “red-shirting” their children in kindergarten—holding them back for a year, hoping they’ll have an edge. Does it work? We look.

Sep 16, 2014
From "Rich Hill"

“Rich Hill,” a new documentary on growing up poor, now, in rural America. The dreams and the desperation.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 15, 2014
This Monday, Sept. 27, 2010 file photo shows hikers on the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. (AP/Carson Walker)

Uproar over development plans for the Grand Canyon. We go to the Navajo Nation and the Canyon floor to see what’s at stake.

 
Sep 15, 2014
In this Thursday, Sep. 11, 2014 photo, Middle Eastern leaders stand together during a family photo with of the Gulf Cooperation Council and regional partners at King Abdulaziz International Airport’s Royal Terminal in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. (AP/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

President Obama says he will build a coalition of partners in the Middle East to combat ISIS. We’ll do a reality check on who’s really stepping up for what.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment
 
Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

More »
1 Comment
 
Tierney Sutton Plays LIVE For On Point
Friday, Sep 5, 2014

We break out Tierney Sutton’s three beautiful live tracks from our broadcast today for your listening pleasure.

More »
2 Comments