Things Your Wingnut Brother In-Law Says At The Family BBQ - And How To Respond

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If you're like most people, you have a couple of wingnuts, some independents, and some rather conservative Democrats in your family. (In addition to the real Democrats, I mean.)

Here are some of the more common topics that will come up at the family's July 4th celebration, and some amusing suggestions for responding:

The Affordable Care Act. Try not to focus too strongly on the actual facts, like whether it will cut Medicare spending by $500 billion (it doesn't) or death panels. The thing is, true believers are more interested in how they feel, not whether they're accurate. Fox News Facts are just the scaffolding that holds up what they already believe.

So keep the conversation in that ballpark. When Bobby goes off on a rant about freedom, look at him, snap your fingers and say cheerily, "That reminds me! Personally, I think the freedom for people to have health insurance that isn't connected to their jobs is going to set off a wave of national entrepreneurship and small businesses, which are going to be great for the economy and bring real innovation back. It's going to be great, don't you think? Plus, we'll be able to compete with other countries that already provide universal healthcare, so our jobs won't be going overseas! I thought you'd be happy!"

The Kenyan. This one's so silly, it's absurd to try to "prove" it's wrong. Just change the subject again: "You know, I've been wondering about those stories that Mitt Romney was born to a polygamous family in Mexico. Sometimes I'm convinced, and other times I think it can't be true. What do you think?

Voter fraud. As we already know, this is a solution in search of a problem. So what do you say when Aunt Mary has had a few beers too many and starts talking about ACORN, voter fraud and the unelected Kenyan? Just smile and say, "Yes, it took me a while to get over the Bush family and the Supreme Court stealing the 2000 election, but look at me now!"

If all else fails, place your hands on the top of Cousin Louie's head and start praying in tongues. It's a real conversation stopper!


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