If you think it's safe to talk politics again at Thanksgiving dinner, think again and plan ahead

Posted at 8:07 AM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 17:19:16-05

CLEVELAND — Washington lawmakers are home for the holiday after two weeks of public impeachment hearings in the House Intelligence Committee produced headlines that often included the word "bombshell." But while bombshells have the power to move objects and earth, these have done little to move public opinion on impeachment.

"We're seeing polls," said News 5 Political Analyst Tom Sutton of Baldwin Wallace University that showed support for impeachment at about 50%," he said with those against impeachment at 43%. "Lines up exactly with approval ratings for President Trump which have been between 40 and 45 percent."

"The public is pretty much split, 80% of Democrats support impeachment, 80% of Republicans are opposed to it. This is not a surprise again it reflects what we already know about support or lack of support for President Trump often defined by party identity."

That partisan divide was also evident in the television ratings for the impeachment hearings with Fox News and MSNBC drawing more viewers than ABC, NBC, CBS.

"We've seen for years audiences going to the stations that they think are the ones that support their view, it's the echo chamber," he said. "At the end of the day we want to hear what we like to hear."

And over the holidays it seems that what a lot of our relatives love to hear is the sound of their own voice reciting verbatim the talking points of their respective side of any given political argument.

"It's getting worse," said Lori Long of Baldwin Wallace University. "As the election draws near I think tensions are up and everyone has different opinions."

Long specializes in work/life management strategies and as offered this simple advice to friends and family over the last several years.

"Kind of think about it as a workplace event. We talk a lot about workplace civility and I think that transferring that to the family event makes a lot of sense."

She said there are similarities between the two for instance. They both often include people that you don't get a chance to see very often, "so it's really not the place to get into these heated arguments."

"One thing I do advise if you do decide to have some discussions around politics or other controversial subjects is to start off by setting ground rules," she said. "Like we're going to be respectful, we're not going to raise our voices, if we find that we get into a really controversial topic we'll put it off and talk about it later."

Long also said it's important for the host to be ready by planning ahead and having some diversions in place. "Have some games set up, maybe have a bucket of discussion topics to pull from that are positive talking about past holiday events, things along that line."