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Politics at the dinner table, again...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by gustobassman, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the after party.. Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sandy Eggo
    First off, Merry Christmas TB! Anyhow... this is not meant to be a political thread, please do not take it there. Just making a holiday observation.

    I usually cook at my house for the holidays. My parents, my lady's parents, and some stragglers will show up. I only have one REAL holiday rule and that is no political conversations at the table. Or at all (it's a small house :p). We're here to have a good time and enjoy each others company, right?

    For the 2nd year in a row my mother broke the rule. My lady, who is usually pretty reserved, told her to not go there. Pretty forcefully too. :eek: I look over at my father and he's giving me the big smile with 2 thumbs up. I couldn't help but laugh. My mom was not ready to finish talking and my lady told her to stop, again. I thought i saw fire this time. :help:

    Eventually things came back to normal, but i'm curious how many of you have THAT person to deal with during the holidays. I never thought my mom would win the award 2 years in a row! :bag:
  2. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I almost always avoid political discussion in polite company. It's not that I'm necessarily opposed to having a political discussion, but I find that too many people can't have a rational political discussion. It's just a domain that is fraught with emotion and ignorance. Even on Facebook, I read stuff that just makes me shake my head, but I won't engage with it. The one exception is when it comes to the issue of labor relations and labor and employment law, because that's a domain I have professional expertise in. That's obviously an area that can be full of all kinds of value positions. But if BS is getting bandied about there, I will respond. Case in point, after reading meme after meme last week about how people on my FB were supporting Phil Robertson's "free speech," I made an FB post inquiring exactly where in the Constitution or the body of Supreme Court case law that First Amendment rights extended to the relationship between private individuals and private entities. Then I explained that people being terminated for statements they've made is nothing new and this isn't some erosion of our rights. For example, I explained how the NLRB has been struggling with issues of employees making statements about employers on social media outlets and whether or not it constitutes protected concerted activity. That post actually generated a very good legal discussion and didn't turn into a knee-jerk set of rants like other threads on the subject did.

    Luckily, my family is pretty apolitical, and when they do make any sort of political conversation, it's pretty much from a pragmatic, salt-of-the-Earth nonpartisan point of view (e.g., "Politicians are all liars and don't care about us poor folk" type of stuff).
  3. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    There is no one in my extended family who would dare engage me in political discussion.

    They know they will end up having a VERY bad day.
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    That's how you know the holidays are here... my dad seems to be a legal expert whenever my brother, the lawyer, shows up, and many great debates ensue; I stay out of them, and my brother always wins.

    Now an argument about candy? I'll always win :)
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    My brother. The funny thing is that he and I agree politically. The difference is he has to say every single thing he thinks or he will explode. However even though I have very strong political views I leave most rooms without anyone knowing what they are.

    During the holidays I will let someone go off on a political tirade and even if I know they are dead wrong I just go into another room and hug people or shake hands. Life is too short to run around spouting off your opinions all the time. Nobody cares and you annoy people.
  6. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    Eh. Me, my gf, my mom, brother and dad pretty much all see eye to eye politically speaking and that's about all the people I see at xmas. There has maybe sometimes been slight differences of opinion but by and large we tend to agree. At worst my dad is a bit more of a moderate liberal than the rest of us. Also he is more a staunch separatist than i am (i'm french canadian from Quebec, while i agree with the idea on principle, in practice i don't believe it will happen and i think it's probably not a viable and reasonable option anymore and ultimately it's not really that much of a deal to me.)
  7. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    Rules are meant to be broken. Good on your Mom. I raise my glass to her.

    Heres (looking forward) to year # 3 :D
  8. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    Most of my family are right wing nut jobs so we agree about most stuff. The few libs keep silent because we have more firepower.
  9. chris1125


    May 14, 2007
    Funny, was at a family gathering earlier this week and there was a long discussion about the Duck Dynasty controversy and thoughts on the new pope. Not exactly the kind of conversation you want to be a part of with a group of very religiously devided family members
  10. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Just throwing it out there, but I love the new pope! Seems like a rather enlightened guy.
  11. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    The current White House administration is having a PR campaign asking families to discuss heath insurance over the holiday dinners.
    We did it but I don't think it is what the administration had in mind.
  12. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Ha! I didn't hear of that :D

    I'll admit my thoughts on that matter have changed. I still support the ethos behind its implementation, but the current roll out definitely seems to show that this isn't the way to go and that certain things weren't thought out nearly as well as they needed to be.
  13. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass SUSPENDED

    Apr 10, 2009
    My dad and I are both political scientists.
  14. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    I kid you not. Here is a link to one of the commercials they have been running asking families to talk about health insurance over dinner.
  15. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Oh man, that's kind of bizarre.

    I tend to be That Guy that might bring up politics, but usually only with a few people that I actually enjoy arguing with. This includes my parents, who are both largely more conservative than I, and my cousin, who is entirely more liberal than I, but all of whom are fun to argue with, because they don't call me a socialist/fascist.

    Now, discussing the new Pope might get interesting this weekend; my uncle made an unfavourable political comparison involving him a while ago...
  16. Although the Duck Dynasty marathon was on the TV in the basement where the bar is, talk of that didn't go far beyond whether all the men in the family should consider growing large beards. The sixteen family members around our Christmas dinner table tonight, ages 12 to 84, included several agnostics, three Jews, one committed atheist, and the balance Christian of varying levels of enthusiasm. We discussed mostly String Theory and Copyright Law. Obama and healthcare never even came up.

    Wait. What was the question?
  17. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I minored in PoliSci. Most of the people I spend time with haven't. This can be frustrating.:atoz:
  18. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass SUSPENDED

    Apr 10, 2009
    We just discuss politics like most people discuss weather.

  19. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000

    People on Talkbass probably know my opinions on things more than the people in my personal life do.
  20. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005

    You both have a Ph.D. in political science? That's great. I have an M.A. in it. A doctorate would have been nice, I'll have to admit.