sunny.png
Friday February 21st, 2020 11:28AM

On the Thanksgiving menu: Turkey, with a side of impeachment

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CINCINNATI (AP) — Some people heading to Thanksgiving gatherings predict it’s not just the turkey that will get roasted.

Already polarized over Republican Donald Trump’s presidency, Americans are deeply split on a looming historic impeachment. Many families reflect the nation’s divisions, setting up heated holiday debates in households with a taste for politics.

Bryan Wright, of Cincinnati, said “impeachment will definitely come up” as a divisive topic at his extended family’s holiday meal. With a family representing a range of viewpoints including Trump supporters, he and his mother have been texting about the impeachment debate they expect.

“We would openly talk about that ... but we have different ways of coming at it,” he said.

Wright is a longtime advocate of welcoming immigrants and helps lead Cincinnati’s efforts, something that relatives who support Trump’s push for a border wall with Mexico chalk up to his “liberal brainwashing,” he said.

Wright — whose wife, University of Cincinnati psychology professor Farrah Jacquez, is of Mexican descent — will gather with her family and his relatives at his parents’ home in Florence, Kentucky, after hosting two recent Thanksgivings.

That included 2016, right after Trump’s hard-fought election, when there was family drama over whether Trump-backing relatives from Tennessee would be willing to come to his house. They did but some voiced “some pretty awful views on immigrants and immigration,” he said.

Alex Triantafilou, an attorney and chairman of Hamilton County’s Republican Party, also expects impeachment to be on the table at the holiday feast hosted by an older brother. While the swing state of Ohio has been trending Republican, Democrats have turned the GOP tide in his county.

Triantafilou, who is critical of the Democratic-led impeachment proceedings, said that his family backs Trump for the most part but that more viewpoints have been added as it has grown with new in-laws and friends.

“If somebody comes in and they’re not on the Trump train, so to speak, they get a little bit of an airing,” he said, adding that it’s “usually in fun.”

But sometimes it goes past fun.

Wright recalls Thanksgivings with offensive comments that strained relations. Mindy Nagel, a physical therapist with liberal views, has unfriended her conservative brother on Facebook over his political posts and said she’ll be “surrounded” by people who disagree with her politically at her in-laws’ Thanksgiving.

“Politics is the elephant in the room,” she said. Her hosts will probably turn off conservative Fox News while she’s there, Nagel said, but there will likely be someone who “tries to stir the pot” by raising Trump and impeachment with her.

Elaine Swann, a Los Angeles-based etiquette coach, advises hosts to have a plan to deal with polarizing discussions amid “all this talk about impeachment” in the air, along with the aromas of oyster dressing and freshly baked pumpkin pies.

“I do think it’s healthy for people to express themselves and to have those conversations,” said Swann, who will host her family’s Thanksgiving. “My advice is to take a route to allow some sort of platform, but with guidelines.”

One tactic: sequester the debates. She’ll have a room away from the dining table stocked with snacks for people who want to talk politics. She also suggests designating a calm family member as a combination moderator-peacekeeper.

Triantafilou, a former judge, said that role often falls to him, although he wouldn’t mind taking a break from politics for the day.

“My preference would be to not have the conversations at Thanksgiving,” he said. “I’d rather watch football and leave politics behind.”

Swann, who will host around 30 people, said that if guests start tearing into one another like drumsticks, “make sure that in your arsenal as a host you have some family-building activity to get everybody out of it.”

Games can be a good diversion or, Swann suggested, invite people to bring family photos to share that will stir warm memories.

If the debate starts getting out of hand Thursday, Wright said, someone will probably defuse things by asking: “How about those Bengals?”

Cincinnati’s hapless pro football team is winless this season.

The bottom line, Swann said, is cherishing the time together.

“Although we may not agree politically, the one thing we are is family,” she said. “The big takeaway that I encourage everyone to have is that love for family, because tomorrow is not promised to us, and you never know who is going to wake up the next day and who is not.”

Wright will miss his uncle Tom Burnside, who died in 2018 after years of helping lead spirited discussions of politics “and B.S.” that would go on into the wee hours. He and his pro-Trump uncle were on opposite ends of most political debates but would hear each other out.

“No one’s hearts and minds were changed in these conversations,” Wright said with a chuckle.

But Burnside knew how to get the final word: he’d leave behind pro-Trump mugs he sneaked into the cupboards of family critics.

___

Follow Dan Sewell at https://www.twitter.com/dansewell

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
On the Thanksgiving menu: Turkey, with a side of impeachment
For folks who like to talk politics, there will be plenty to chew over at Thanksgiving dinner this year
6:02AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Impeachment fight leaves voters cold in contested Wisconsin
In Racine County, Wisconsin - a swing county in a swing state - voters on either side of the ideological spectrum say the impeachment hearings haven’t so far changed their minds on President Donald Trump
6:00AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side
The family of British celebrity chef Gary Rhodes say he has died at the age of 59 with his wife Jennie by his side
5:54AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Rescuers race to find Albania quake survivors
As death toll reaches 25, international rescue teams in Albania race to pull survivors from the rubble after a powerful earthquake and multiple aftershocks hit the country’s second-largest city
4:38AM ( 1 hour ago )
Hong Kong police face renewed pressure to end campus siege
Hong Kong’s government has come under renewed pressure to end a 10-day police siege of a university, as a major tunnel near the campus reopens and search teams find no evidence of any protesters still holding out
4:13AM ( 1 hour ago )
Albania death toll reaches 25 in quake aftermath
The death toll from a powerful earthquake in Albania has risen to 25 overnight as local and international rescue crews continue to search collapsed buildings for survivors
3:23AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
US travelers brace for snowy Thanksgiving, ‘bomb cyclone’
A storm packing heavy snow and high winds that wreaked havoc as it whipped through western states is marching into the upper Midwest as anxious Thanksgiving travelers brace for a busy holiday week
12:40AM ( 5 hours ago )
Myriad frustrations draw Colombians back onto streets
Colombians unhappy over President Iván Duque’s response to nearly a week of boisterous protests are taking to the streets again Wednesday demonstrating for causes ranging from tax reform to shark hunting quotas in the biggest display of unrest in decades
12:07AM ( 6 hours ago )
Trump defends against impeachment at ‘homecoming rally’
President Donald Trump delivers a rambunctious performance during a Florida event his campaign dubbed a “homecoming rally.”
10:19PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online National News
No cash? Salvation Army now accepting mobile donations
Cashless shoppers have a new option to give to The Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign this year using their smartphone
12:33AM ( 5 hours ago )
Man wanted in Utah 'extreme stalking' arrested in Hawaii
U.S. prosecutors have arrested a Hawaii man they accuse of sending hundreds of unwanted service providers to a Utah home, including plumbers and prostitutes
7:12PM ( 10 hours ago )
Bloomberg as mayor: A New York that sparkled, and chafed
As New York’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg steered it into a city that projected glittering prosperity, governmental innovation and cosmopolitan confidence
7:04PM ( 11 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Impeachment fight leaves voters cold in contested Wisconsin
In Racine County, Wisconsin - a swing county in a swing state - voters on either side of the ideological spectrum say the impeachment hearings haven’t so far changed their minds on President Donald Trump
6:00AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side
The family of British celebrity chef Gary Rhodes say he has died at the age of 59 with his wife Jennie by his side
5:54AM ( 15 minutes ago )
UK trade experts urge politicians to stick to the facts
Trade policy experts are warning U.K. politicians campaigning in next month’s election that they are promising unattainable trade benefits and setting “arbitrary deadlines’’ for sealing a deal with the European Union after Brexit
5:50AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Judiciary Committee taking up impeachment hearings next week
House Judiciary Committee intends to bring in legal experts to examine the constitutional grounds for President Trump’s impeachment
5:49AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Germany’s Merkel says it’s essential to preserve NATO
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that preserving NATO is at least as essential today as it was during the Cold War, and argues that it is important to keep Turkey in the alliance
5:40AM ( 29 minutes ago )