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'Deprogram Your Family' and Other Terrible Turkey Day Advice from Joyless Libs

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Thursday marks the kickoff of what is, or at least according to lore should be, the most wonderful time of the year. Lots of tryptophan, a diabetes-inducing amount of sweets, time with family and friends, and plenty of merriment is supposed to await those who embrace the five-ish week period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. 

In 2021 though, as in recent years, there's a new sort of Grinch seeking to stifle the goodwill that's supposed to come along with reflecting in gratitude for the year that was and optimism for the year to come. While this Grinch takes many forms, it most usually appears in the form of a joyless liberal. And hoo, boy they are back in droves as Thanksgiving marks the beginning of this year's holiday season. Let's dive in.

"Deprogram your relatives this Thanksgiving," is the latest bit of helpful holiday advice from The Atlantic via Molly Jong-Fast. She claims it's a humor piece, but as the other dishonorable mentions in this column show, there's a bit of underlying truth about how liberals view their conservatives relatives and — if they have any — intellectually diverse friends. 

Then there's Joy Henningsen, a medical contributor to several news outlets and publications who shared the news that she'd have an empty chair at her Thanksgiving table this year not because anyone died, but because she "lost someone to misinformation" and "only the vaccinated may attend for safety." If only Dr. Henningsen had taken Jong-Fast's advice previously to deprogram her apparently misinformed "loved" one she might not be in this position?

On the off-chance you didn't think to disinvite any relatives you find problematic or are still not confident your Thanksgiving gathering can move forward, Axios has a simple solution: just get a "Thanksgiving bouncer." No, they don't mean you need an assigned relative to eject any rowdy relatives who have a little too much holiday cheer, they mean to keep people out from the start if they're unvaccinated and untested. 

According to Axios' Margaret Talev and Tina Reed, this Thanksgiving "the cover charge is a negative COVID test, done ahead of arrival or outside the front door." Because nothing says "welcome home" to family or friends like "you can't come in until you shove this cotton swab into your nose." With the aim of "normalizing rapid tests" (no thanks) they even suggest having guests for Thanksgiving dinner swab their brains before they even leave to drive over the river or through the woods, and then again on your stoop. What a time to be alive?

A CBS News segment proposed a twist on the Thanksgiving bouncer idea by making testing a part of your holiday party, and not a prerequisite from joining in the festivities. In order to "make it fun," they suggest planning to serve "hors d'oeuvres in the garage" along with some drinks during which all the guests do their test and await the results while sipping and noshing. CBS didn't, however, offer any tips for how to gracefully dismiss guests whose tests come back positive or inconclusive.

Then there's The New York Times Q&A piece with "experts" on how to hold a COVID-conscious holiday gathering. "Help, the kids are coming inside!" is apparently a problem now according to one submission asking whether it's safe to allow children to eat inside with others if they're not fully vaccinated. "You could have the kids wear masks, eat quickly and stay away from the older adults when eating," offered one of The Times' experts. Thanksgiving is, apparently, no longer a time to catch up and enjoy quality time with loved ones, it's now time to see just how fast Jimmy and Sally can clean their plate and be shooed back into some sort of distanced quarantine. Hopefully the turkey being quickly gobbled up isn't too dry?

If, somehow, your relatives are vaccinated enough to be invited, make it past the COVID bouncer or test negative while eating hors d'oeuvres, and get to a table to eat, there are also primers of leftist talking points for people to study up on in order to debate with conservative relatives and perhaps engage in some of the deprogramming that Jong-Fast recommended. As in the one below, these handy guides are just leftist propaganda that will make you more prepared to be a guest on CNN than one at a family dinner table. 

The terrible advice above is, like much of the leftist playbook, centered on virtue signaling and proving just how much you love Science(TM), embrace facts, and are generally better than your contemporaries. It's usually less about caring for the wellbeing of those around them, and more about making sure they stand out among their guests as the most adherent to the dominant leftist wisdom. 

On the opposite end of the advice spectrum, here's some sane guidance that doesn't involve Wuhan coronavirus bouncers, COVID test cocktail hours, or deprogramming your family — courtesy of Karol Markowicz (@karol on Twitter): "If you have a good family, you're already on 3rd base. Don't be dumb enough to blow the game over politics. Family is absolutely everything. Politics will never love you back."


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