A Question About All Those Angry Uncles

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Things are a little slow aside from the usual deluge of “Donald Trump is a moron” stories, and I’m not in the mood right now. So with Thanksgiving fast approaching, I have two questions for the hive mind:

First, what’s with the angry uncles? Every year, the news media is crammed with stories about how every Thanksgiving dinner is dominated/ruined by a cranky, elderly, Fox-watching uncle who, for some reason, can’t be ignored and turns the entire event into a hideous battle royale. Just how true is this? I don’t doubt that it’s sometimes true, but how many of you have to suffer through this every year? Lots of you? Just a few of you? Does it only happen on Thanksgiving? What about Christmas? Or Passover? Or Independence Day?

Second, assuming that these angry uncles exist in nontrivial numbers, has anyone ever gotten any good advice from those “How to handle your angry uncle” advice columns that festoon the internet? Or are they as clueless as I suspect them to be, written by people who have only a theoretical knowledge of what an angry uncle is like?

UPDATE: We have some scientific evidence! According to a poll of 860 people conducted last year by HuffPost’s Ariel Edwards-Levy, very few people argue about politics at Thanksgiving. Eyeballing the chart, it looks like dinner-table fights break out at about 10 percent of all Thanksgiving dinners.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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