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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Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

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