Oh, Lordy. It is that time again. Thursday is Thanksgiving— the official kickoff event of the 2008 holiday season. For a lot of progressives, these festivities also mean that we're about to spend more quality time with our conservative relatives over the next six weeks than is strictly good for our blood pressure, stress levels, or continued sanity.
These family gatherings were hard enough to stomach through the appalling years of the Bush Adoration—but this year, it's likely to be even worse. Our beloved family wingnuts were insufferable, in a grotesque Mayberry-on-acid surreal kind of way, while crowing into their succotash about the manly Godliness (or was it Godly manliness?) of Our Divinely Ordained Commander-in-Chief. But this year's different. This year, they're on the way out of power—and they're scared witless about it. Which means big steaming heapin' helpings of liberal-bashing are likely to be featured prominently on the menu next to the mashed potatoes, as they put fresh vigor into every paranoid anti-liberal fantasy ever spouted by Rush, Reverend Pat, or their new darling, Sarah Palin.
The black guy won. Armageddon—or, at the very least, socialism, atheism, gun control, and a national epidemic of erectile dysfunction—must certainly be at hand.
As you prepare to head once again into the family fray, it might be useful to note that most of the right wing's favorite anti-liberal slanders are rooted in some deeply-held—and deeply wrong—assumptions about who liberals are, and what we believe. If your relatives, God bless 'em all, insist on going down that road, your best defense this year might be to listen closely for these underlying myths and fables at work—and be prepared to challenge them head-on when they surface in the discussion.
Here's a basic set to get you started. Tuck it away in your bag with your Xanax and Maalox, and apply (liberally, of course) as needed.
#8, "Liberals are Godless—and therefore, amoral," is my especial favorite, in light of the book I'm writing. But they're all wonderful, and should come in useful once it comes time to once again be subjected to ye olde "Libruls are whut's wrong with Amurka" lecture.
This is one of many things I'm thankful for - I do not have to go through this agonizing torture. For those of you who do, good luck and my sympathies, my darlings.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
(Tip o' the shot glass to Crooks and Liars)