AMAC Exclusive – By Cal Palmer
As families gather to celebrate Christmas, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. But it’s also when your son-in-law, who works from home in his pajamas, lectures you about the white privilege of your penniless, immigrant grandfather who was happy to find work salting sidewalks in Cleveland without gloves to warm his nine and half fingers.
In these moments, it can be difficult to remember that justifiable homicide is not the reason for the season. And doing an impression of Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate by grabbing the nearest cross and swinging it at the future father of your grandchildren is a last resort only.
Of course, when articles at liberal outlets like Salon about how to deal with conservative family members at Christmas begin with, “Happy holidays, fellow soldiers in the War on Christmas,” it can be hard not to start muttering the lyrics of “Onward Christian soldiers” under your breath in return.
Instruction manuals for the liberal faithful about how to deal with “unenlightened” family members at the holidays have become commonplace since Democrats first issued followers “talking points” on Obamacare with which to bludgeon relatives nearly a decade ago.
Typically, conservative outlets have not offered similar resources for those Americans who still believe in what used to be known as America—but perhaps it is time for that to change. After all, fueled by a little too much eggnog, any holiday conversation can quickly get political and heated. Debates about the glaze on Uncle Joe’s ham can quickly become debates about the glaze in Sleepy Joe Biden’s eyes.
So with this year’s Christmas battleground just a few days away, it’s smart to have a few tricks up your sleeve. In fact, a little reality check may be the best gift you can possibly give the bloviating liberal in your life this holiday season.
“Ho, ho, ho,” indeed.
Start by trying to get everyone else in the family laughing at the humorless left-wing scold. When a hopeless lefty at your table starts prattling on about how all Republicans are “insurrectionists” who “literally tried to overthrow the United States government,” tell the liberal that he has convinced you: you have seen the light; you acknowledge the error of your ways. But then, insist the discussion can go no further until everyone in the family has proclaimed their designated pronouns.
The wokesters can choose whatever gender identity they want—apparently, “ze” and “zir” are popular with them—but as for you, choose to be addressed for the rest of the evening as “guy who is right about everything” or “Your Radiance.”
But such misdirection won’t cut it in every situation. There’s a good chance you’re going to have to take the weak arguments of your liberal family members head-on—the poor little things.
If you want to come in “guns blazing,” so to speak, here are a few explosive “stocking stuffers” to take with you to the dinner table.
Are the strident young socialists in your family bitterly complaining about the spectacular implosion of Joe Biden’s massive wealth redistribution plan, “Build Back Better”— cursing West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin? Well, tell your young relatives that in honor of their noble commitment to “equity” and “social justice,” you will be redistributing their Christmas presents to people who really deserve them: namely, all of the “kids” Joe Biden is keeping “locked in cages” at the southern border. This year, there have been more of them than ever before!
Is your quadruple-vaccinated 24-year-old niece upset that she has to quintuple-mask because she heard that her bank teller wasn’t vaccinated? Tell her that you have become a firm believer in the most sacred principle of radical feminism: “My body, my choice!”
Does this glib remark trigger the proud “male feminist” in your family to begin huffing and puffing about Mississippi’s abortion law now being considered by the Supreme Court? Make his leftist head spin by telling him that you believe America’s abortion laws should be exactly as liberal as those of his favorite European utopia—for instance, France or Germany, with their bans on abortion after 12 weeks. (After all, 47 out of 50 European countries limit abortion to 15 weeks or less, same as the Mississippi law.)
You may find that the liberals in your life inhabit such comfortable cultural cocoons that they are accustomed to spouting their most ridiculous ideas completely unopposed. Do not be alarmed if they have a wildly disproportionate reaction when you speak up and say that no, Cousin Chad, Jesus was not a refugee, abortion is not “healthcare,” trans women are not women, Build Back Better does not cost “zero dollars,” Santa Clause is not a racist symbol, Donald Trump is not a Russian agent, Hunter Biden’s artwork is not “critically acclaimed,” and Kamala Harris is not cool just because you are wearing her face on your ugly Christmas sweater.
Unfortunately, dear reader, you are likely going to find out sooner or later that liberal pieties such as “Everyone is Welcome Here” and “Kindness Is Everything”— proudly displayed on your relatives’ platitudinous lawn signs— do not apply to YOU.
The good news is that a quick one-liner can leave a misguided leftist sputtering and dumbfounded. Did your sister-in-law just regurgitate the latest Rachel Maddow hot-take about income inequality? Tell her there is no reason to fret – thanks to rising inflation, the wealth of the top 1% of Americans are worth less and less each day. Thanks, Joe Biden!
But above all else, don’t underestimate the power of putting Christmas—rather than politics—front and center.
It may not fill buckets with liberal tears, but the story and message of Christmas provides a timeless illustration of conservative values.
On its own, Christmas reaffirms grace and faith, the importance of gratitude, the dignity of every human life, the unchanging nature of mankind, the need for context in time and place, and the power of strong families.
There will be opportunities for liberal tears in the future—like future inauguration days. But a dark church slowly coming to a light glow, candle-by-candle, heart-to-heart can bring tears to all eyes and some balm to a divided nation.
Savoring Christmas and guiding all conversations in that direction are the gifts of wise men indeed.
Cal Palmer is the pen name of an analyst and fellow at a national think tank. He is an attorney and officer in the US Army Reserve.