Make Thanksgiving Great Again: Tremendous Clapbacks For Your Trump-Loving Relatives

On Religion, Roy Moore, And #MeToo
President Donald Trump pardons Drumstick during the National Thanksgiving Turkey pardoning ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump pardons Drumstick during the National Thanksgiving Turkey pardoning ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Once upon a time, the holidays were about coming together, giving thanks, and spreading joy. And while the holiday season is still very much about those things, it seems they have taken a backseat to contests between cousins for who can hide in the bathroom crying the longest (I came in second last year).

2017 has given us enough head-to-desk and palm-to-face moments to last a lifetime. With all the MAGA insanity to choose from, Thanksgiving dinner is sure to bring an avalanche of debates ranging from Roy Moore to healthcare. The usual Fox News, Tucker Carlson go-to arguments are bound to be your Republican family members’ first line of defense. Should tensions and shrill-Hannityesque voices arise, don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

Here’s your guide to dealing with your Trump supporting relatives:

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While pedophiles in the church being defended by the congregation has long been another one of those “open secrets” we keep hearing about, the defense of Roy Moore in Alabama really takes the cake.

If your religious family feels it is still necessary to defend — if not vote for — Roy Moore, stare at them and ask exactly which biblical mandate justifies defending a pedophile. Have they forgotten about Psalm 82:4, which reminds people to “rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked?”

Continue to hold that gaze, communicating your horror that someone could be so stupid and devoid of human empathy. Watch the shame creep over their face.

One hundred percent of the time, it works all the time.

If they debate the pedophilia allegations, you can remind them that a prominent preacher who campaigned with the candidate, confirmed that Moore dated younger women for their “purity” — and because all the women his age were married by the time he returned from Vietnam…

It’s not wrong to remind everyone that our president is no model of behavior and morality, especially when it comes to women. Trump is a well-documented perpetrator of sexual assault as alleged by sixteen women, so feel free to just recite those names Arya Stark-style at the dinner table: Jessica Leeds, Kristin Anderson, Jill Harth…

Trump’s first wife went on record saying he violently raped her in the 1980s. Trump has also publicly alluded to being romantically and sexually interested in his daughter multiple times over the years.

“…She does have a very nice figure. I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” — Donald Trump in 2006

He even said this to Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush in 2005:

You can just cue that up on Youtube and hit play every time someone decides to claim Donald Trump’s accusers are lying. It’s the responsible, Christian thing to do.

#MeToo exists because of behavior like this. And while you don’t have to push the turkey aside, stand on the table and announce your #MeToo story, if eye rolls get performed in your direction we’ve got your back with stats and infographics.

Should any other religious arguments come up, cite Leviticus as the moral authority for everything, which asks that penance for disobedience involve eating your children. So if you are gay, or someone living with their significant other outside the bounds of marriage, pick a child in attendance to eat and state that you just want to get back in the Lord’s good graces.

On Gun Control And Immigration

Gun violence is one of the biggest issues plaguing American society. It seems every day there’s another mass shooting taking innocent lives. Chances are we probably have a relative that we truly hope unloaded his gun before sitting down at the dinner table. Or at least one who argues that in order for America to be “great again” things should go back to the way things were (in 1954).

Arguments like these tend to rely on the “but it’s our right to have guns because of the second amendment!” While the point may be worth arguing, it folds like a cheap table when we are reminded that it is not our right to take lives just because we have guns and hardly any mental health screenings in order to procure one.

For the edification of the group, take the time to memorize some of the names of those killed by gun violence in Las Vegas, Texas, Orlando, and Newtown. Keep saying reciting names until everyone is hit with the reality that those people are an empty seat at their family’s Thanksgiving table this year.

If the profound loss of human life isn’t sobering enough and the retort heard round the room is, “but what about Chicago!” (which is the gun control equivalent to “but her emails”) relax, drink some wine, and let Andy Richter do the talking for you:

If your Fox News junkie stepdad won’t shut up about the wall, because he feels it’s the only way to stop guns and drugs and illegal immigrants, tell him President Obama (that guy he hates) deported more undocumented immigrants than any other president in history and that the number of undocumented immigrants from Mexico has been declining without the unnecessary wall.

Additionally, remind him that years of research have proven that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born American citizens. The Cato Institute found that between 2000 and 2005, California cities with high immigration rates tended to actually have significantly lower rates of crime.

Census data from 1980–2010 showed that male immigrants ages 18–49 were up to one-fifth as likely to be incarcerated as those born in the United States.

Follow this up with the fact that DACA recipients are not eligible for social security benefits, Medicare, SNAP, or any other taxpayer-funded programs. What were we talking about? Oh, right. Guns. Pass the mashed potatoes.

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On Trump-Russia

When your conspiracy theory crazed aunt eventually begins her political manifesto at the dinner table she may feel inclined to state that Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails or that Russia wasn’t behind the hacking and propaganda campaign of the 2016 election. She may even go as far as to say that Trump’s capitulation to Putin is but a necessary bridge builder between Russia and the U.S. because Obama was bad at foreign policy.

This is false. Incredibly false. And easily proven to be false.

When you’re told that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is a farce, and there was no collusion, remind them that Mueller is also probing obstruction of justice and money laundering, among other things and that yelling “THAT’S FAKE NEWS” doesn’t make the Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos indictments go away.

Oh no collusion, you say? Well, my good comrade, at least 12 Trump associates had contacts with Russian operatives during the 2016 campaign and during the subsequent transition had 19 face-to-face meetings and 51 communications. This includes the Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Russian operatives in June 2016, revealed to have been an attempt to obtain damaging opposition research on Hillary Clinton from the Russian Government. Also Sessions’ meeting with Kislyak, Carter Page’s (grown-up Caillou) trip to Moscow to meet with Rosneft, and Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner’s secret December meetings with Russian operatives. Smells like collusion to me!

No hacking or propaganda? Tell them that the entire U.S. Intelligence Community has determined that Russia hacked the DNC and other democratic institutions, and fed the stolen intel to Wikileaks to strategically publish in an attempt to damage Hillary Clinton and prop up Donald Trump. Also, their propaganda through social media ads reached over 100 million people on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Here are a few of the best memes and ads Russia littered our social media sites:

Didn’t know Bernie was ripped. He definitely would’ve won.

Didn’t know Bernie was ripped. He definitely would’ve won.

Also remind them that Russia’s interests are not aligned with the U.S., and Trump’s bromance with Putin isn’t cute. After you’ve successfully thwarted their argument shout, “You are fake news!”

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On Police Brutality And Taking A Knee

The Thanksgiving football game is a long-held tradition in many American homes. This year the jeers and sneers probably won’t be directed toward just the crummy refs. If and when someone insists that football players should be told not to kneel, that they’re “protesting the national anthem,” and they’re ruining the game, kindly point out that the protest is really about police brutality and the systemic racial injustice facing people of color.

Remind them that unarmed black men are seven times more likely to be killed by police than unarmed white men. The vast majority of these events do not end with an officer being charged with a crime. A 2015 study by a UC Davis professor found that “the probability of being black, unarmed, and shot by police is about 3.49 times the probability of being white, unarmed, and shot by police on average.”

NFL Blackballing Colin Kaepernick Amplifies The Importance Of National Anthem Protests

While no, not every cop is a villain in this story, anyone who says it’s the highlighting of only a few bad apples clearly forgot that a few bad apples rot the entire barrel. These aren’t issues that sprung up overnight. These are long-festering wounds cutting to the core of what this country is supposed to be about. If we value freedom of expression and cherish the Constitution so much, our response to these individuals should mirror the heart of that attitude.

Also, if they say the protest is “disrespecting the military” or “the flag,” inform them that Colin Kaepernick met with a veteran asking what the best form of protest would be during the anthem, and he suggested kneeling. And ask them how they felt when Trump said John McCain wasn’t a war hero because he got captured or when Trump got in a feud with a gold star family during the campaign…and then did it AGAIN as POTUS.

For dramatic effect, play the “Take A Knee, My Ass,” song really loudly. Shout over the melody, “this is such a jam!”

On Tax Reform And Healthcare

Print and pass around this chart. That’s all. There’s no joke. Seriously do it.

The GOP’s “tax reform” effort is just a glorified tax cut for the 1%. For what good is the morality of the party of family values if this is the burden they’re willing to bestow upon the middle class and the poor? Did they not also forget this verse:

“What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws. They deprive the poor of justice and deny the rights of the needy among my people.
They prey on widows and take advantage of orphans. What will you do when I punish you, when I send disaster upon you from a distant land? To whom will you turn for help? Where will your treasures be safe? You will stumble along as prisoners or lie among the dead. But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.” — Isaiah 10:1–4

Oh, and tell them that the Senate’s version of the tax bill would repeal the Obamacare individual mandate, which the CBO said would drive up premiums and leave millions of Americans without healthcare. The flimsy at best justifications for shoving an Obamacare repeal and tax cuts for the rich — and honestly God knows what else — into one bill is shady at best and does not do the American people a service. We tried trickle-down economics in the 80s and we’re still paying the price for Reagan’s mistakes nearly four decades later.

On Hillary Clinton

If anyone brings up Hillary Clinton, under any circumstances, remind the room that she is not, in fact, President of the United States. Even though she won the popular vote by three million. But it’s fine. Everything is fine.

When it comes to the topic of Uranium One, show them this video:

Bonus points, because it’s Fox News’ Shepard Smith doing the takedown.

If you don’t have time to watch this video, here’s the talking points (read: facts) you need to know:

So basically, your Uncle Jeff is mischaracterizing the actual deal, showing a lack of understanding regarding the U.S.’s production of uranium and how it is imported/exported internationally, and imbuing Hillary Clinton with the sort of exceptional power that she unfortunately, does not possess.


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, remind everyone there’s a 100% chance your relatives came here from another country and it may or may not have been legal. Even if you came here on the Mayflower, you were still an immigrant (and a very unwelcome one at that). No one nationality or race is “better” at immigration. Regardless of how you got here, your path probably wasn’t easy and it didn’t get easier just by showing up in America. Now, shut up and eat some turkey…

Then, gloat about this month’s special elections like they gloated last Thanksgiving, talk about how Trump is making China great again, and mention the fact that if you replace Kim Jong-un’s name with any cast member of Mean Girls, Trump’s tweets about North Korea still make sense.

You know, words of unity.

Happy Thanksgiving, from our Rantt family to yours!

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Opinion // Culture / Donald Trump / Politics / Thanksgiving