Common Core

The War on Politics-Free Thanksgiving

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#NeverForget |||

What is it about America's greatest holiday that political buttinskys feel the need to issue conversation-fer-dummies guides on how to make sure your politics prevail at the dinner table? I guess some questions answer themselves….

Last year, if you recall, we had a Michael Bloomberg group giving pointers on—I swear I am not making this up—"Talking Turkey About Guns," while President Barack Obama's Organizing for America group sent out email guides to whipping up familial support for Obamacare. MSNBC's Chris Hayes also got into the act, as did the Democratic National Committee. The year before saw similar efforts from The Huffington Post and NPR.

This year, aside from the usual grim survival tips, we at least have the innovation of The New York Times publishing dinner-table tips from—also not making this up—crisis negotiators. And today the leftysplainers at Vox.com have issued instructions on "How to Survive Your Family's Thanksgiving Arguments." Judging by their entry on Common Core, the answer appears to be "Dodge the criticism, then bore them to death with questionably relevant context." Sample:

Unpardonable. |||

Your niece says: "Why do I have to learn fractions on a number line and read more nonfiction in school?"

Response: Somehow, the Common Core is written about more as a political phenomenon than an educational one. So it's important to know that it does two new things in American education….

Aaaaaand CUT! First of all, your niece won't be the one saying that; in my experience the people bitching about Common Core are the parents struggling to explain to their elementary-school children why Daddy and Mommy don't understand the math homework. Second of all, what's with that "somehow"? A majority of public schools are now pushing the same style of New Math, as a direct result of a decision made by the federal government—isn't that the definition of "political"?

Hundreds of words down, here's how Vox contextualizes/euphemizes that process, and the president's involvement in it:

President Obama bragged about how many states had adopted the Common Core in his 2012 State of the Union address, and it's come back to haunt him. But the federal government wasn't involved at all in the writing of the standards. The Common Core started as a group of states working together through two national groups: the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.The US Education Department thought the standards were a pretty good idea, and offered several healthy incentives for states to adopt them. States had to adopt "college- and career-ready standards" to compete for Race to the Top grants or to get waivers from No Child Left Behind.

In theory, states could have written their own standards to meet the criteria, as Minnesota did. They didn't have to adopt Common Core. But the federal encouragement certainly helped. 

Read their talking points on the midterm elections if you dare.

Here is my Mattsplaining guide to talking about politics at Thanksgiving: What the hell is wrong with you?

NEXT: Blame Congress for Enabling Obama's Unilateral Executive Actions

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  1. Given that Thanksgiving was a small regional holiday until the Feds made it national at the behest of the Turkey farmers, how could it *not* be political?

  2. Here is my Mattsplaining guide to talking about politics at Thanksgiving: What the hell is wrong with you?

    Outstanding, Matt.

    Thanksgiving arguments and shaming should be reserved only for those who root for the Dallas Cowboys are refer to them, unironically, as ‘America’s Team’.

    1. I thought America’s team was called the Patriots.

  3. If anybody tries this on Thursday, I’m dumping the cranberry sauce on their head. Because fuck them, and fuck cranberry sauce.

    1. Agreed on both points.

    2. What do you have against cranberry sauce?!

    3. Lumpy or smooth? [Exits quickly]

      1. Here is my cranberry sauce/relish recipe.

        1 bag of cranberries
        1 apple
        1 cups oragne juice
        2 cups water
        1/2 cup sugar
        1/2 tsp salt

        Chop the cranberries and apple in a food processor, add it to a pan along with everything else, and cook for 20-30 minutes. It is good warm or chilled. I usually add some cornstarch before cooking to thicken it up, too.

        1. Yes, I hated cranberry sauce because we always used the canned stuff. Making it from scratch is so much better.

        2. Here’s mine:

          1/4 lb fresh cranberries
          750ml bourbon

          To make sauce, wash and then discard cranberries. Serve bourbon over ice, or at room temperature as desired.

          You may also attempt to feed the cranberries to your cat, but results can be unpredictable.

      2. Smooth, from a can, as God intended!

        /Ocean Spray saleman

      3. Cranberry sauce cans now only open on one side, so you have to stick a knife or spoon in there to get the stuff out, ruining the satisfying smoothness of glopping it out of the can in one piece.

        I may be slightly Aspie.

        1. Puncture a hole in the other side with a church key?

          You are not alone in your appreciation of the “ShlummmP!” as the canned cranberry sauce hits the platter in one piece, with can lines ringing the quivering mass. Lumpy cranberry sauce is great too. Jalapenos, though it sounds weird, actually go really well in cranberry sauce, as per this recipe.

          1. I’m sure jalape?os would be delicious in cranberry sauce. I’d probably use ground cayenne instead, though. I’m not a fan of chunky sauces.

  4. I like to talk about politics just to see my conservative relatives heads explode and to start arguments. Sure, someone is going to have a heart attack, but I am a heartless libertarian and it is all fun and games until then.

  5. Your sister-in-law says: “Democrats would’ve kept the Senate if they were more progressive! They were silly to run as Republicans lite, rather than boldly standing up for progressive ideas.”

    Response: I think you’ve had enough wine, Becky.

    1. Good all-purpose response.

      Other possibilities:

      “I’m somewhat offended you feel that way.”

      “Say, Becky, you’re *cute* when you’re angry!”

      1. I’m not sure about that last one. Under current definitions, wouldn’t that be considered to be sexual assault?

        1. Very well.

          “Say, Becky, you’re ’empowered’ when you’re angry!”

        2. “I’m not sure about that last one. Under current definitions, wouldn’t that be considered to be sexual assault?”

          I think that only applies if the one saying it is male. And probably only white male at that.

    2. “Yeah, just keep doubling down on leftism, see how many more votes you lose.”

    3. My family breaks down into two types generally:

      1) Traditional conservatives

      2) Southern Democrats, who are just like the conservatives, except they vote Democrat. This group is largely teachers.

      Also, there usually isn’t any booze at my family Thanksgiving, so I can’t blame that.

      1. 2) Southern Democrats, who are just like the conservatives, except they vote Democrat. This group is largely teachers.

        You mean rent-seekers?

    4. Republicans lite? How can water be more watery?

    5. Tell her President Warren will fix everything, except for the rising seas, and warming Earth. P. Obama already fixed those.

  6. I’ve noticed an uptick in these things in the past few years. Is that a sign that progressives are worried or confident?

    1. That’s a good question.

    2. Terrified.

    3. Desperate. They’ve realized their last bastion of true believers is dumber than a box of rocks and is unable to articulate their talking points without aids.

    4. I’ve noticed an uptick in these things in the past few years. Is that a sign that progressives are worried or confident?”

      It’s a sign that Progressives consider family holidays as an excellent opportunity to politically indoctrinate a captive & unsuspecting audience.

      Also, extra credit if Progressives can expound on the theme that Thanksgiving is an example of white privilege based on the actions of European imperialists oppressing morally pure aborigines.

  7. I braved the Vox article. I was surprised there was nothing about Anthropogenic Catastrophic Climate Change.

    1. Might be hard to bring that up if you slog through three days of snow to get to Grandma’s House… 🙂

      1. Didn’t you get the memo?

        Any warm-ish day is proof positive that global warming is real and will kill us all soon. Colder than normal days also mean that global warming is real and will kill us all soon.

        1. And normal days are a clear indication that global warming is hiding in the oceans waiting for just the right time to initiate the apocalypse.

  8. Maybe we were some sort of weird outlier tribe, but our family conversations at the Thanksgiving table revolved around the interesting and successful things people in the family were doing in real life. No celebrity gossip, no politics.

    1. Mostly football, hunting, and catching up with each other at mine.

    2. This. Well, this and euchre, the world’s best card game in the world.

    3. Yeah, we never had any family conflict. But I come from a teeny, tiny family. My dad was an only child, my Ma had one sibling who never had any romantic attachments in my lifetime, which means I have no first cousins.

  9. Democrats would’ve kept the Senate if they were more progressive!

    Shut the fuck up, and pass the gravy.

  10. Like I said in the morning links, I’m always amazed when people think that rattling off a list of memorized bullshit partisan talking points is winning an argument. No it isn’t, you cunts. First of all, you cunts, the point of an argument is to have an honest discussion, not to “win”. Second, you drooling mongoloids, this is the exact opposite of having an argument. It’s cynical and disrespectful and lazy. So I guess it’s perfect for the Vox crowd, then. Never mind, carry on, you syphilitic ass-lesions.

    1. “This isn’t an argument, this is abuse!”

      Even Monty Python knew the difference.

    2. Wait a minute! Am I a cunt or am I a syphilitic ass-lesion? There’s a big difference, and to some of us it matters.

  11. “I came for an argument. That’s just contradiction.”

    1. No it isn’t.

    2. Drat.

  12. My best friend’s mother-in-law makes $85 /hour on the internet . She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her pay was $16453 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    Visit this website ????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  13. I’m going to set up a punch bowl and toilet paper in the back yard.

  14. Chris Hayes did something like this a year or two ago. There’s something precious about libs getting worried about venturing outside their bubble.

    “Dear Chris – I might come in contact with people who disagree with me and I’ve forgetten what people in our tribe are supposed to say! Normally I just post things on my Facebook feed and my friends agree. Can I just yell “FOX NEWS” over and over again, or is some other response appropriate?:”

    1. Can’t one just ask the offending relative/guest if they’re one of those teabaggers?

  15. What is it about America’s greatest holiday that political buttinskys feel the need to issue conversation-fer-dummies guides on how to make sure your politics prevail at the dinner table?

    Just coincidence that you’re examples are the NY Times, Bloomberg, and MSNBC? Where’s the National Review? The Spectator? I guess “buttinskys” not only want to control you, now they want to control the very conversation!

  16. “Oh, Lord, as I give 1/3 of this turkey to the dog as a display of conspicuous compassion, may You change the minds of the parasitic proglodytes who would do the same thing with the country, amen.”

    Nothing controversial about that!

    1. It would be more effective if you went to a prosperous neighborhood, entered a stranger’s house and fed half of their turkey to the pack of dogs you brought along.

  17. The next time I host Thanksgiving dinner, I’m thinking about handing out Rule Cards to the guests. The simple rules will point out that our purpose is to have a good family time, that controversial topics are to be avoided, and anyone involved in an argument about politics will be disinvited from the next event. Anyone bringing up gun control as a good idea will be gifted a new subscription to Small Arms Review and a life membership to the Second Amendment Foundation.

    1. Gun Control is awesome!!!

      Now, do I send you my address or should I just pick up the details when I come over on Thursday.

    2. I bought NRA memberships to a couple of (now former) FB friends who are foaming-at-the-mouth anti gunners.

      My wife thought I was a dick.

      I pointed out it was they who could not take a joke an unfriended me.

      It was so successful, I continue to do it. It’s worth whatever a year’s NRA membership is these days – $35 or something.

      Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.

      1. If you wanted to be unfriended and have your tires slashed, you should have given them NAGR memberships. They do not fuck around.

        1. The Barrett .50 giveaway is tempting, but I’m foreseeing a never-ending tide of spam e-mail and junk mail if I enter. Plus, I never win any of those damned things.

          1. They do email quite a bit (like any political group, it’s always “extremely urgent”), but they make up for it with monthly giveaways and free admission to gun shows if you volunteer at the NAGR booth.

            I have a filter for them in my email, at any rate, so I don’t see their spamminess. I just read their Facebook page for any new info that may be of interest.

  18. Might be hard to bring that up if you slog through three days of snow to get to Grandma’s House… 🙂

    “Don’t eat too much, because as soon as the football game’s over we’re all gonna go up and shovel the roof.”

  19. Last year, if you recall, we had a Michael Bloomberg group giving pointers on?I swear I am not making this up?”Talking Turkey About Guns,”

    And it worked! I live literally on the opposite side of the country from this two bit mayor of some one-horse town, and yet I now labour under ridiculous laws written and financed by him.

  20. You idiots. Political conversations at Thanksgiving are for drooling, sycophantic agreement with all the approved progressive talking points, as all right-thinking people know.

    You’re supposed ot nod your head in agreement and tut-tut those mean, old Rethuglicans, not offer any dissenting opinions!

  21. I am thankful that our joint families (my wife’s and mine) are pretty good about keeping it light and enjoying each others company, some bad Lions football, and EUCHRE DEATH MATCHES!! Very little to no politics or other bullshit.

    The card games are so intense that it sucks all the air out of the room, so no time for something as silly as politics.

    The closest call we ever had was my dear cousin’s wife invoking Gaia and some other weird shit during grace one year. But that’s where it ended, no further incident that day. And she’s since left him, so it’s all good now cause she ain’t around…

    I will give thanks for, among other things, the opportunity to commiserate with all you good Reasonoids. Early Happy thanksgiving, everyone.

  22. Oh, fucking Vox.

  23. Your niece says: “Why do I have to learn fractions on a number line and read more nonfiction in school?”

    Response: The Common Core is written about more as a political phenomenon than an educational one; similarly, The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his ‘natural superiors,’ and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, callous ‘cash payment.’ It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom?Free Trade…The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation. WHICH IS WHY YOU NEED TO SHUT UP AND DO THE WORD MATH”

    1. (slow clap)

  24. I’ve had fun pointing out that the Mayflower Compact is socialistic nonsense. Why do we revere the pilgrims who came here so they could impose their religious values on everyone else?

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