A Question About All Those Angry Uncles

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Things are a little slow aside from the usual deluge of “Donald Trump is a moron” stories, and I’m not in the mood right now. So with Thanksgiving fast approaching, I have two questions for the hive mind:

First, what’s with the angry uncles? Every year, the news media is crammed with stories about how every Thanksgiving dinner is dominated/ruined by a cranky, elderly, Fox-watching uncle who, for some reason, can’t be ignored and turns the entire event into a hideous battle royale. Just how true is this? I don’t doubt that it’s sometimes true, but how many of you have to suffer through this every year? Lots of you? Just a few of you? Does it only happen on Thanksgiving? What about Christmas? Or Passover? Or Independence Day?

Second, assuming that these angry uncles exist in nontrivial numbers, has anyone ever gotten any good advice from those “How to handle your angry uncle” advice columns that festoon the internet? Or are they as clueless as I suspect them to be, written by people who have only a theoretical knowledge of what an angry uncle is like?

UPDATE: We have some scientific evidence! According to a poll of 860 people conducted last year by HuffPost’s Ariel Edwards-Levy, very few people argue about politics at Thanksgiving. Eyeballing the chart, it looks like dinner-table fights break out at about 10 percent of all Thanksgiving dinners.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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