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political potluck

Political Potluck: How To Make It Friendly And Fun

by Lisa Lotito

What were your family holiday dinners like?

My childhood Thanksgiving dinners were celebrated with a Judge, a Catholic nun, and the Director of Adult Probation and Parole

The conversations at those Thanksgiving dinners taught me how to host a political potluck dinner.  My grandfather, now deceased, was a judge.  Also present was my aunt who was and still is a Catholic nun with the Sisters of Charity. And then you had my father, also deceased, who was the Director of Adult Probation and Parole for our county.  It was a potluck potpourri of dinner guests. 

I vividly remember the table talk when I was growing up.  Having three dynamic personalities, all with different points of view, provided for a number of lively discussions. Our Thanksgiving conversations were a total “potluck.”  Many times,  the table talk went beyond “pass the mashed potatoes”.

And then I grew up…

Once I was able to vote, I became interested in the political “table talk.”  Sometimes the conversations were pleasant.  But more times than I can remember, the discussion became heated, loud, and controversial.  Sometimes, all I wanted was more mashed potatoes! 

However, my experience during those Thanksgiving dinners provided me something special. I now have the ability to host my own political potluck dinner.  Why?  I learned how to respect and respond to different political points of view.

And then the world went crazy!

The pandemic and current state of our nation have increased political discussions among family, friends, and neighbors.  Everyone has an opinion, side, or perspective.  When there are differences in political beliefs within a family – especially between a parent and child – it can be difficult to navigate discussions.

Parents need to remember young adults are exposed to so much more than we were at the same age. Everything is political nowadays!  Social media, alternative news sources, and influences at school all impact political views and beliefs.  Think back to your own late teens and twenties.  Are your political beliefs still the same? What about your political party?  Has it changed over the years?

Don’t be intimidated!

Many parents find it difficult to talk with a child that has different beliefs or even a different political party.  But, hosting a political potluck dinner is easy when you take the time to create a recipe for success.  To avoid your own Thanksgiving tirade, these do’s and don’ts can make all the difference:

DO – tell your child where you stand on issues and why.  Explaining why you stand behind a particular issue or candidate is important.  Too many young people get caught up in the “popularity” or “movement “of an issue or politician.  Many do not investigate or understand the real agenda or truth behind a policy.

DON’T – dismiss your child’s ability to know more than you do on a certain subject or topic.  Remain open to the possibility that you may be wrong.

DO – Stay true to God at all times.  Politics can blur the lines between right and wrong.  Rely on your faith as the real source of truth.   When faced with a topic or a discussion that you know is not following the way of Christ, stand firm in your convictions.

DON’T – be condescending or accusatory.  Politics can become more than the issue on the table.  You can always agree to disagree.

Remember, SHARING the word of God will always ensure your table is set for success!

“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

Romans 12:2

Lisa is a wife and dog mom.  Her past career in marketing allows her to work as a volunteer helping charities with fundraising and promotional needs. She is the head of Evangelization at her parish and serves in a variety of ministries to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

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