A couple weeks ago there was a video being shared around Facebook of an SNL skit regarding how to stop political conflict at the Thanksgiving Dinner table. It was shared out a million times on Facebook and the general gist was Adele’s music cures all conflict…but I never shared it out. I laughed, but maybe not for the same reasons maybe others did. I thought the funniest part was watching the characters slowly morph into Adele – fingernails and all. And since it made me laugh, I wasn’t really sure why I didn’t share it out, I just know I didn’t.
Then I listened to the most recent podcast episode The Brouhaha with Ana Marie Cox. She is a progressive/liberal, but she is married to a “center-right conservative” as she calls him and she covers a lot of conservative politics so she has a very nice respect of the “other side” of the conversation. So much so that she has a segment called “Some of my Best Friends” where she interviews her conservative friends, often getting into how they can maintain relationships even when they disagree on politics.
ANYWAY – she was interviewing Sonny Bunch and they were discussing how – even though he’s a conservative and she’s a liberal – they both HATE the “How To Talk To Your Conservative Family At The Holidays” memes/articles that the liberal media sources put out. And it finally hit me why I didn’t share out the Adele skit…because it’s a little insulting to my conservative friends and family.
If you are surrounded by conservatives like I am, you know that your friends and family – even if they vote republican – are not idiots. Yet all of these videos and memes like to paint them as such. And the liberal side is NEVER painted in these “Holiday Meal” scenarios as anything other than “The Smart Person In The Room”. And I realized – that is EXACTLY part of what is feeding the problem I talked about on my last entry. AND IT’S MY SIDE DOING IT.
Listen, it’s very easy to share a holiday meal with people who vote differently than you do. First? You avoid discussing politics. That’s actually quite easy since most of us live lives outside of politics. Second? If you are not part of the polarizing extremist part of America, then you should be able to have a few points you can divert to that you might kinda agree on if someone else brings up politics. For me I often divert to Veterans Affairs because I’ve disagreed recently with how the Democrats in the Senate were against some of the VA legislation, so if I can find a way to divert a conversation there I do. But lastly? If someone else brings up something you don’t agree with and diversions doesn’t work, I do similar to what Ana Marie Cox suggested – point out that yes, I also have other friends/family that agree with that point. That way you are not agreeing with them, but you’re also not starting a war.
But very rarely am I in a situation where someone at a meal – whether it’s a friend or a family member – says something as ignorant as these videos/articles like to propose. Most of the conservatives I know dislike Trump as much as I do. Yet all of these articles/videos going around always bring a Trump Supporter up as the token Conservative Idiot Who You Have To Deal With.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of bad encounters with conservatives that fit the stereotype these articles and memes are building from – BUT – I live in a VERY red state and I’m in a family FULL of people who vote Republican and 99% of the time my political encounters are NOTHING like the ones used as “examples” in these memes.
But you know what I have also heard from my liberal friends/family? Blanket references to conservatives as ignorant racists. But did SNL featured that on their skit? No. Because evidently the Liberals in the family are always the smart and well-mannered ones.
Its things like this that make the “other side” leave their TV on Fox News 24/7. Because on the other channels they’re the butt of all the jokes.
I have no problem with people who shared out the video at all, I don’t want anyone to think I do, I’m just pointing out why I didn’t. I saw this a lot around the Kim Davis drama, this lumping of all Conservatives/Republicans into this same “Ignorant/Racist/Trump Lover” category for all of our joking memes and I think I’m starting to get really offended by it – on behalf of my intelligent and open minded Republican Voting friends. I don’t want something I share out to be part of what drives the conservatives in my life to ONLY listen to Fox News. If I’m going to maintain relationships with the conservatives in my life, I need to not make them feel like I look at them as the butt of all of my jokes.
But man, I would love it if we’d all morph into Adele at all Holiday Meals. That would be the BEST.