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Talking Turkey at Thanksgiving

Like many American families, mine consists of a mixture of political persuasions, which makes this year’s Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house just outside of Washington, D.C. especially challenging.

After a prayer and chit chat to catch up on how everyone is doing, the subject of the midterm elections will hang in the air like the smells of the holiday meal. I know I’m not just describing my situation. You are probably thinking about yours.

Each year I promise myself that I won’t talk about politics at the family Thanksgiving gathering. But then my wise-guy brother-in-law (who has a good sense of humor, for a Democrat) will make a joke about Republicans or conservatives. As one of two Republicans at the table (my wife is the other), I’ll respond in some politically incorrect way. My wife will kick me in the shin, but she’ll struggle to suppress laughing so hard that she’d spit out my sister’s delicious sweet potato pie. My sister will stop chewing and will shoot me a look that could incinerate a turkey.

My young adult children (independents) will swipe at me with a blend of earnestness and Jon Stewart-like mockery. My sister and her brood (Democrats) will have steam coming out of their ears as they fume about how stupid voters were in the midterms (the same voters who were so discerning when they backed Barack Obama in 2008). My 95-year-old mother, whose Democratic voting reflex hasn’t changed since she cast her first ballot for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, will smile sweetly and wonder why everyone just can’t get along.

If I say what I’m about to write here, all hell will break loose. But what is Thanksgiving without at least one rip-roaring family argument? So, here goes.

Imagine Thanksgiving at the homes of the following Democrats:

  • President Obama will read his turkey its Miranda rights, apologize to it for being persecuted by Americans, and then he’ll pardon the gobbler.
  • Vice President Biden will claim that his turkey created or saved 150,000 jobs in moving from the farm to the dinner table.
  • Nancy Pelosi will have her turkey flown in at taxpayer expense on a military airplane.
  • Harry Reid will declare what a wonderful candidate his turkey was for purchase because of how “light-skinned” it is.
  • Janet Napolitano will run her turkey through an airport body scanner.
  • Chuck Schumer will hold an emergency holiday press conference, warning consumers of possible digestion problems from eating turkey giblets, and at one point he’ll grab a drumstick, mistaking it for a microphone.
  • Charlie Rangel’s turkey will be a jailbird.
  • Lame duck Democrats will all vote for more stuffing.   

I will once again be asked to trim the fat from the turkey and carve it up, which I will do with particular relish this year.

Communications expert Jon Kraushar may be reached at www.jonkraushar.net.

Communications consultant Jon Kraushar is at www.jonkraushar.net. He is a consultant to corporate and political leaders including Steve Forbes.