Is It Finally OK To Talk About Politics At The Dinner Table?

by Christie Grimm · January 31, 2017

Oh what a fun two weeks it's been. The White House, the media, and people of all political leanings are feistier than ever, and I must say that all of these debates, marches, headlines, and intense online comment threads are killing me. Like, sorry, I'm going to have to cancel everything else I've got going on for the next month because I'll be too busy laughing my ass off, killing me.

Real things are happening, it's true. Real things with real consequences to real people living real lives. And if there were even a small part of me that thought we'd still be dealing with this administration in, let's say, 2 months, then I'd surely have a less good-sport attitude. Even with that safety net of a prophecy in mind, hey - I still think everyone should keep up the marches, delete Uber, poke absolutely all the fun they can at people like Ivanka Trump and Miss Yankee Doodle herself, Kellyanne Conway. 

But still, what's a vaguely social person to do in this changing landscape? Since before the days of Emily Post it's been universally agreed upon in American society that politics as a whole is the one, perhaps even sole unforgivingly rude topic to engage - something to be avoided at all costs when seated for a meal. When standing, not eating food? All bets are off. But when plates are in the picture. Hell to the no. These days, however, regardless of how much you may have going on in your own exciting little life, there really is nothing of note to talk about but politics. Everyone's watching the news, refreshing their homepages, waiting for what will surely be the next big blow to either side.

While I myself have always pleaded European on this specific subject - after all, what's a dinner party sans a little ideological scuffle? - I recognize I'm not the kind to flip a table Theresa Giudice style should things not go my way conversationally. Though I hope I'm not an outlier in this. For the first time in what seems a long time, people are passionate, and for better or for worse, unchangingly so. When people begin to lose control of their volume button, and tensions grow high, it's largely because they, a willing, participating party in an ideologically based chat, fail to realize that ne'er a mind nor opinion has ever truly been changed by dinner party discussion, and that thus reaching any level of heatedness in regards to such be wastefully indulgent.

Talk, discuss, even argue a little bit. Just don't let your inner emotional creature take over. I get it. Politics is personal. But if you're not prepared to possibly deal with someone of a complete, 180 degree difference of opinion from yourself respectfully, you'd best not indulge even a smidge.

And so, it seems the answer to the to poli-talk or not to poli-talk question yields two answers, with a staunch 100% or 0% policy in place. Either give in to having the current events of the day be the complete driving factor of your tête–à–tête, or take those policies and protests and opinions and put them on a shelf so high no one even recognizes the elephant in the room.

With all of that admitted, go ahead, and do as you will. Talk yourselves silly on all things Washington, worldly, liberal, conservative and beyond. And while there is no reason you should ever feel the pressure to be more diplomatic than you honestly feel on a subject, just remember. You are not the voice of reason. They are not the voice of reason. You're each just voices. Speaking what you think to be true. And hopefully having a cheeky bit of fun in the process.

[Photo via Getty]