Political Talking Points for Holiday Parties

  • Posted on: December 10th, 2008 by

Politics and parties — BadOnlineDates.com staff writer Liz Funk gives us some useful dating tips to get you through the holiday season.

Thanks Liz and Happy Holidays!

By Liz Funk

When it comes to holiday dinners and cocktail parties with the family,
it’s bad enough enduring your Uncle Bob lamenting “the idiot liberals”
(or, “the idiot conservatives,” depending on your political bearings)
when you hold said political viewpoints near and dear to your heart.
But when it’s your date’s Uncle Bob ranting to you at the dinner table, it’s a slightly different problem. What’s a gracious guest to do?

After the political season we’ve had, this December is bound to present some spirited debates at holiday parties. So before you leave home for the holiday parties, you should know how to get through a conversation with someone who says things about politics that conflict with your views… without offending anyone or betraying what you believe.

If the person you’re dating has invited you to a holiday party for work/family/close friends, that’s something to celebrate, and you want to make a great impression. So before you leave for the party, see if you can gauge the topic of political views in the family/social circle so you’ll be prepared when seated at dinner next to the Uncle Who Wishes He Was Bill O’Reilly (or Wishes He Were Rachel Maddow!). If your significant other’s family is well connected within the Republican Party or if your date’s best woman friend who is throwing the party you’re attending sits on the board of a women’s organization, you definitely want to know. And while it’s generally considered impolite to talk about politics during leisure occasions and people shouldn’t put you in an awkward situation, you want to be prepared.

So, here are some careful and polite responses for Bad Online Daters on both sides of the political spectrum who find themselves in an unwelcome political dialogue.

Someone says, “We’re all Democrats (or Republicans) here. What are you?”
You say: “I’m fiscally (pick liberal, moderate, or conservative), and socially (pick liberal, moderate, or conservative).” Regardless of how long you’ve been with the person who took you to this party, you don’t want to be other-ed if you don’t have the same beliefs as everyone else, and you also don’t want to alienate anyone else in the room that perhaps doesn’t agree with the family’s politics but isn’t saying anything. Your best bet is so give an ambiguous answer such as the above that creates opportunities for people to agree with you, rather than straight-out saying what party you belong to.

Someone says, “It’s funny to think that four years ago, we elected Bush for a second term, and today we elected a black president with the middle name Hussein! How did that happen?”
You say: “Yes, this year has really overturned the precedent.” Comments like this are just a landmine waiting to explode (you definitely don’t want to comment on race or ‘Hussein’ at a party), so it’s better to keep your response short and polite to questions that are rather loaded, and then give the person you’re talking to a compliment or ask him a question about himself to take the conversation somewhere new.

Someone says, “Can you believe the Supreme Court’s decision on blah-blah-blah?”
You say: Gulp. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t pretend that you have—that could get messy. But if you sense that this is a major happening and you don’t want to make it look like you don’t read the newspaper, you can shift the conversation. You can say: “Oh, are you very interested in national politics? My college roommate is now an aide on the Hill and it seems positively fascinating. Would you ever consider a job in politics?”

Once you have these practiced responses down pat, the only thing you have to strategize about at the party is how to lure your sweetheart under the mistletoe!

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About Jennifer

Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer Kelton CEO / founder Badonlinedates.com LLC is a Los Angeles native and a pioneer in the worldwide dating industry, investigating the game of love while providing encouragement and support since 2007, starting with the acclaimed dating book Don’t Use My Sweater like a Towel. An accomplished CEO, visionary and entrepreneur, Kelton’s work in the […]

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