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Taboo Topics at the Thanksgiving Table

As we prepare to gather together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, it is important to consider topics of conversation that will promote unity and not start a battle royal. There are a few “safe” topics, but more than a few hot button issues that should be avoided.

Here are some of the Taboo Topics:


This is a time like no other where the polarization of America has reached its zenith. No doubt there are strong feelings on both sides, with neither side willing to listen to the other. The result will inevitably be slinging of words, if not knives, as one side vehemently defends their viewpoints while the other refutes them. While avoiding politics is difficult, it’s best avoided during family gatherings, especially if alcohol is involved.


Like political views, there are strong arguments about impeachment. One side will have facts and figures while the other will have conspiracy theories and attack the process. Again, neither side will give an inch, so let that one go.

Gun Control/Gun Rights

It’s amazing, given the number of mass casualty shootings in America, that this is an issue, yet there are those who still spout NRA propaganda and believe someone is going to take their guns. Because of this, they won’t even consider ANY type of gun control which will threaten their “rights”. Given that the gun rights advocate may indeed be “packing”, it is wise not to challenge them.

Healthcare/Women’s Rights

Yes, the issues are indeed connected. Access to affordable healthcare is something that makes us unique when it comes to developed nations, and not in a good way. The United States is the only country not to provide universal healthcare. As a result, costs and insurance premiums are skyrocketing.

The major issue where they divide is in a woman’s right to choose her own healthcare decisions. Basing their decisions on the whims of “a bunch of old white men” is sure to cause a row. It’s best for the guys, in particular, to sit this one out.


Is there a God? If so, which one? There are so many varying views on this issue that a jihad, or some other religious war, will likely take place. Like gun rights advocates, religious zealots have an almost irrational fervor that makes even a mention of the topic to be cause for a brouhaha between them and the infidels. It’s not wise to go down this road.

Climate Change

It’s snowing in many areas of the country during this holiday season, so how can there be climate change? Yeah, this is a non-starter, but one that many deniers use when trying to defend withdrawal from the Paris Accords. Trying to explain how rising sea levels will lead to coastal erosion, flooding, more intense hurricanes and rising global temperatures will likely be met with blank stares of incomprehension. Arguing this is like trying to fight windmills (Which do NOT cause cancer, by the way).

The Turkey

Given the general population, there is bound to be a vegan in the mix who will refuse to eat anything so “tainted” by the treatment of animals. They will demand a vegan option which will certainly inconvenience the host or hostess.

Then there are those with food related issues. Lactose intolerance, gluten-free needs, diabetic issues, peanut allergies and a plethora of other dietary needs can ruin a meal.

Other Issues

Race relations, the economy, sports rivalries, long held sibling issues and so much more makes family gatherings a stressful time, instead of a time to celebrate.

Given that, I think I’ll just stay home

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