How To Stay Civil This Thanksgiving

Nov 27, 2019

This Thanksgiving holiday comes in the midst of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Iowans may find themselves spending time with friends and family with very different political views, but there are some ways to keep conversations civil.

At a time when the country feels so divided, it can be hard to talk politics. Scott Raecker directs the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, an organization that promotes civility and ethics.


This holiday it may be better for families to focus on what unites them, rather than what divides them, Raecker says. But he has recommendations for those who do want to talk impeachment.


“Focus on relationship building. Clear communication. Seeking to understand others and to be understood for the purpose of learning more rather than changing minds. And thinking about my own action plan about how I’m going to enter the conversation,” Raecker said.


Raecker says it may not be possible to change someone’s mind on the impeachment inquiry over the turkey and stuffing. And pushing for a political conversion may not be advisable anyway, he adds.


“As I said I don’t think the Thanksgiving dinner table is where you’re going to change somebody’s opinion on that,” Raecker said. “If we really want to enter into dialogue around that, and civil dialogue, I would suggest that we first start out with seeking to understand what other’s viewpoints are.”


And if the subject is too volatile, maybe just avoid it.