Ever since the tragic events of 11/9, many members of the Coastal Elite have struggled to give voice to the rage and contempt we feel toward those Americans who got duped into voting for Donald Trump. We've all made snide comments about their relative intelligence, their psychotic priorities, their general desire to watch us all burn in the hell they yearn to create on earth since it doesn't exist anywhere else.
But enough is enough, already.
They can't all be racist. They can't all be sexist. Plenty of good country people were just voting their conscience. Consider the lovable grandma who still has a male gynecologist—how could she possibly have been expected to vote for a woman (especially one who has personally murdered so many people!)?
And your cousin who lost his assembly line job to a robot: Why wouldn't he pretend to believe the billionaire who told him to blame his unemployment on immigrants he's never laid eyes on?
Sooner or later, we're going to have to admit that we're all one country and just because people have no taste doesn't mean they have bad taste. And by "sooner," I mean this holiday season, because if you leave Seattle, you're likely to find yourself sweater-to-sweater over the eggnog with someone who voted for Donald Trump.
You're welcome to play the "Are you fucking serious right now?" card, despite the unpleasant scene it may cause. Ugly scenes are still technically ours to make. But there may come a time when it's more useful (and more enjoyable) to attempt a polite, good-humored conversation with people whose politics differ from your own. Remember: Just because they actively, provably believe you and your friends deserve to suffer and die doesn't mean they aren't perfectly nice, collegial people.
Here's a handy list of conversational icebreakers you can use at a forthcoming party. Remember: Avoid controversial topics and always begin with flattery. Happy holidays!
• "You know, no one ever wants to talk about the fact that 'Sweet Home Alabama' is a perfect song. Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the most underrated bands of the 1970s, don't you think?"
• "I'm thinking about spending this whole holiday rewatching all seven seasons of The Walking Dead—wouldn't that be amazing? What's your favorite Walking Dead season?"
• "You know who was actually a lot funnier than he got credit for being? Jeff Foxworthy. I guess I 'might be a redneck...' but I kind of miss seeing him around all the time."
• "What do you think of the designated hitter rule?"
• "Honestly? I wasn't that crazy about Fletch Lives or Caddyshack II. It's like, 'Leave well enough alone, man!'"
• "Were you more of a CSI or CSI: Miami person?"
• "I'll be honest: I didn't think Michael Bay had another Transformers movie in him."
• "What's your favorite kind of cheese on a salad?"
• "I gotta say, I think letting people bring guns to football games is a fantastic idea!"
• "Look, I haven't followed her closely since she went secular, but technically speaking, Amy Grant is one of the greatest singers alive."
• "The thing that blew my mind is how suspenseful Sully was, even though I knew everything that was going to happen!"
• "It was great to see them back in action, but to me... if there's no Izzy Stradlin, it just isn't Guns N' Roses, you know?"
• "I know I promised not to talk politics tonight, but I think we can all agree that ISIS sucks."