Comedian John Fugelsang had some advice for progressives dealing with conservative relatives at the Thanksgiving table this year, telling MSNBC host Ed Schultz that it takes a hearty helping of facts to minimize political squabbles.
“I think you might just want to blow their minds, Ed, and say that back at the first Thanksgiving, when the Wampanoag fed the Pilgrims, they didn’t know it, but they had just invented socialism for undocumented immigrants,” Fugelsang said. “Then they’ll spend the rest of the night trying to process that.”
While admitting that keeping the peace can be difficult in a family setting (“You’ve got your Obamacare-hating uncle, you’ve got your NRA uncle, you’ve got your gay for Reagan uncle, you’ve got your uncle who uses ‘Benghazi’ as a verb”), Fugelsang said one way to defuse arguments over the Affordable Care Act is to advocate for a single-payer alternative, while reminding the family that President Barack Obama implemented a plan originally used by a Republican governor in Mitt Romney and upheld by a conservative-heavy Supreme Court.
“When you get to Obamacare, the main thing to remember when that particular uncle or brother-in-law tries to goad you into some kind of fight, the only way you win is if you leave Thanksgiving and everyone loves each other,” Fugelsang told Schultz. “You’ve gotta be the liberal, you’ve gotta be the good guy, you’ve gotta be the peacemaker, you’ve gotta go full-on Jimmy Carter.”
Fugelsang also pointed out that a 2012 Forbes article showed Obama was in fact the smallest government spender since Dwight Eisenhower’s administration, a bit of data to deploy against “small government” advocates.
But even if people have largely backed away from theories that Obama is a “socialist muslim,” Schultz and Fugelsang said, there were still likely to be relatives arguing that “the economy is still in the toilet” despite recent heavy stock market gains.
“You can also point out that under Obamacare, we are now making people buy a corporation’s private product — it’s pretty much the opposite of socialism,” Fugelsang argued. “What we have now is socialism; when uninsured people go to an emergency room, and the local taxpayer has to pick up the tab, ‘Hey, right-wing Uncle Larry, why are you defending the socialist status quo?’ That’ll freak them out.”
Watch Schultz and Fugelsang’s Thanksgiving tips, as aired Wednesday on MSNBC, below.