Technically Thanksgiving is about “giving thanks,” but if we’re being real, it’s also about surviving spending time with your family. Family members say the darndest things, especially when it comes to politics (looking at you and your lizard people conspiracy theories, Uncle Jared).
But this Thanksgiving is special: In addition to your run-of-the-mill debates about identity politics and what’s really causing near-daily mass shootings (guns. it’s because there are too many guns.), this holiday season also presents us with a thriving impeachment inquiry.
With Americans quite literally split down the middle when it comes to whether the president should be impeached and removed from office, this holiday season is likely to be even more tense than usual.
In order to avoid messy drama at the Thanksgiving table this year, we have laid out some responses to typical conservative talking points about Trump’s potential impeachment that might come up this year. Looks like we are what you can be thankful for this year. You’re welcome!
Cute Comment: Presidents trade things with other governments all the time. That’s foreign policy.
Fire Response: Sure, but typically that’s to gain something of value to the United States. What Trump did was try to dig up dirt on a political opponent. With zero evidence that Joe Biden or his son engaged in wrongdoing related to Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma, this “dirt” had no value to the U.S, just to Trump’s personal political goals. Ensuring Ukraine got military aid, however, did benefit us.
It’s kind of like when you gave me money to order pizza for all the little cousins when I was babysitting them and I pocketed it to buy frosting flavored lip gloss from Claire’s. Remember how mad at me you got for that? Okay, not a perfect metaphor, but the bottom line is Trump used his office and position of power to benefit himself, not help his own people, and in fact put our national security in jeopardy while he was at it. So.
Ignorant Insight: This is just how the government works, sweetie.
Fire Response: It sure seems to be how government is working rn, but it shouldn’t be! What Trump did is blatantly corrupt…he withheld military aid in an attempt to help his own political campaign. If any Clinton ever did this, you would be losing your mind…and you’d be right! It’d be corrupt. Sure, our government does some shady sh*t, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call them out when they do. Welcome to the resistance, Uncle Ted.
Silly Solution: Why not just let the people decide whether to remove Trump in 2020?
Fire Response: Impeachment is important because it’s the people’s way of showing that we aren’t going to allow a president to get away with breaking the rules. Some behavior is just too fucked up to wait for a performance review. Unchecked power leads to horrific things, and impeachment allows us to stop that from happening, as well as make a historical record that we, as a country, object to this behavior.
If we don’t put our feet down and let the record show that this sh*t doesn’t fly, future presidents will be able to do the same thing. Also, Trump tried to extort the Ukrainian president literally one day after Robert Mueller’s testimony failed to full implicate him in obstruction of justice. One day! What do you think he’d do the day after he wasn’t actually impeached?
President Trump clearly thinks he should be able to get away with things that the Constitution says he shouldn’t. If we don’t stand up to that, our democracy could begin to crumble. Idk about you, but I like my democracy fully intact tyvm. (Never gonna happen because Russia is already f*cking with us again, but worth a try.)
Fake News: There was no quid pro quo.
Fire Response: Mmm, there literally was though. The definition of a quid pro quo is: a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something. Trump expected Ukraine to announce an investigation into the Bidens, and in return, he would give them military aid. Quid. Pro. Quo.
But given that most people first encounter the phrase “quid pro quo” in sexual harassment training, it suddenly makes sense why Trump doesn’t seem to know it.
Also, two people with direct contact with Trump — EU ambassador Gordon Sondland and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — both admitted on live television that there was a quid pro quo. *Sips wine*
Stupid Suggestion: Idk, I think we need to hear from the whistleblower.
Fire response: I don’t really see why that is necessary, seeing as everything the whistleblower said has already been confirmed. Trump himself released the call transcript in which he replies to a foreign government’s ask for support with “I’d like you to do us a favor though” and mention investigations into the Bidens by name.
People who were on the call have confirmed the whistleblower’s concerns, saying even the damning version of the rough transcript released by the White House was altered to hide more explicit references.
But in any event, whistleblowers need to be protected by anonymity for their literal safety. Revealing their identity would put that at risk — and if something awful happened to a whistleblower, you think people would still speak up about dangerous government corruption? Would you? Could that be exactly Trump’s hope by publicly threatening the whistleblower? *Sips more wine*
Misinformer Misdirection: But Trump never had anything to do with it directly.
Fire Response: Sorry hennie, but Gordon Sondland squashed that theory (a good time to ask for someone to pass the squash).
Sondland said that Trump repeatedly asked people to work with Giuliani, and digging up dirt on the Bidens was Giuliani’s mission. Also, a U.S. official based in Kiev, David Holmes, testified last week that he overheard Trump on the phone with Sondland talking about “the investigations,” and Sondland told him directly that Trump only cares about “big stuff” in Ukraine, like “the Biden investigation.”
And I think we all know this sounds legit, because Trump speaking loud enough on the phone for everyone in the building to hear it is the least shocking thing I’ve ever heard.
Nope: Ukraine ultimately got the aid, so what’s it matter?
Fire Response: Do you hear yourself?
Attempting a crime is still…a crime! Ever heard of attempted murder? If you fail at murdering your victim it’s not just a no-harm-no-foul sitch, you still have to answer to the law. Same thing applies here. ALSO, most importantly, Trump only released the aid to after the whistleblower’s report was filed AND after he was notified of it. So like, once Trump had been caught. Coincidence, I THINK NOT AUNT BECKY.
But Ukraine does have a history of corruption. And we give out too much foreign aid anyway!
Measured reaction: True, Cousin Karen. But this new progressive-minded president, Volodymyr Zelensky, had already enacted reforms to combat the country’s issues with corruption. Trump was asking him to behave corruptly! As for foreign aid, if Trump thinks the bill is too high, he has other ways of bringing that to Congress’s attention.
This Ukraine aid packaged had already been approved by Congress because helping Ukraine protect itself against Russian aggression — a reminder, the country is very much at war with Russia — helps U.S. strategic interests and national security.
Cold Take: Okay, so maybe the White House meeting was conditioned upon aid, but none of the witnesses were sure that the military aid was. I think that’s more serious — Ukraine can’t protect itself against Russia without it.
Fire Response: Exactly! But also, sorry. You’re forgetting that White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on live television during a press conference that aid was withheld. He straight-up admitted to a quid pro quo and said the words, “That’s why we held up the money,” and then I believe used the phrase, “Get over it.” So. Oopsies!
I Can’t: But her emails…
Fire Response: OMFG Uncle Paul, in the words of Mick Mulvaney, GET OVER IT. If you’re so obsessed with making sure politicians don’t do shady sh*t for their own personal benefit, then hop on board to this impeachment and bring your but her emails energy to the actual problem happening right now.
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Feeling horrified, embarrassed, insulted, and generally offended are part and parcel as we trudge into the holiday season. When you stick a bunch of weirdo relatives that haven’t seen each other in a year in a small house rife with alcohol and tryptophan, it’s a recipe for frightening questions, conversations, and interactions. Whether it be your Aunt Linda constantly suggesting you’re going to die alone, or Grandpa Ralph’s troubling views on it’s important to find ways to steer the conversation back into territory you feel comfortable eating copious amounts of turkey in. So once you’ve hit Uncle Billy with an “actually memes aren’t legitimate news sources and what you just said was racist,” it’s time to deescalate and allow him the time to process the roasting he just endured. Knowing what to say to your relatives that both shuts down their bullsh*t and enables you to change the subject is a delicate art, and we’re here to help you perfect it. Here are some ways to save yourself from holiday hell no matter what your relatives might throw at you.
They Bring Up Your Ex
They Say: “Are you still dating Bill/Bob/Kyle/Chad? We liked him. You should get married.”
You Say: “Did you know that the average life expectancy of a woman goes up by 90% per dog she adopts? This is Rufus. *shows phone* He just graduated training school and he made a lot of new friends at the dog park. He also volunteers at the old folks’ home! Speaking of which, I saw they have an opening if you’re interested! I can definitely talk to them—I think they have a ground unit available with or without the emergency push button on each wall.”
Steer as far away as possible and get out of the subject! But feel free to get a jab or two in there since, f*ck that, Chad was a douche.
They Bring Up Politics
They Say: “Trump doubled jobs and is the best president we’ve ever had! The liberal cry babies are just mad they lost.”
You Say: “You know what else is the best? Thanks to President Trump and his policies, I just took up Canadian residency and I’ve become a lover of poutine. There are so many ways to prepare poutine. My personal fav is classic with brown gravy and cheese curds. What are your favorite poutines? Do you like classic or do you get wild with it? Canada has such a fascinating culture.”
YIKES. This is bound to happen, and it f*cking sucks because, especially if the convo veers into the “racism” territory, we all have to be ready to push back at f*cked up things our relatives say. And really, they’re the ones who created this awkward situation by being racist when they could have just been quiet, so no need to feel bad about putting them in their place. Try responding calmly and clearly about why what they just said is wrong, and before they can hit you with some “facts” they learned in the comment section of YouTube, excuse yourself to “use the ladies room” aka “hit your vape pen in the hall closet.”
They Say: “I noticed you’re not wearing the purity ring I got you for your 13th birthday. Have you been going to church?”
You Say: “That reminds me of a hilarious meme I saw” *shows 100 memes so that no other terrible convos can start* “Did you catch this week’s episode of 90 Day Fiancé? It really got me thinking about the passport process and how it’d be great if we could submit our own pictures, amirite?”
Oh boy. Avoiding your more religious family members’ comments about your own devotion is like, an Olympic level Thanksgiving sport. Your 90-year-old Grandma Jesus Freak is not going to understand that for you, religion is less about “going to church on Sunday,” and more about “having visions during hot yoga.” Best to just distract your relative with memes and reality television and GTFO.
When Are You Having Kids?
They Say: “Dogs aren’t children. Your eggs are dying. Time to breed!”
You Say: “I really love not having to fork over my hard-earned money into a savings account so that a kid can waste it in college or finding themselves while abroad! On the other hand, if you’d like me to have children, I JUST opened a KickStarter you can donate to! Here’s the link.”
Talk about dogs and kitties. This is your business—no one else’s. You can shut it down quickly with a “that’s kind of private” and embarrass whoever’s asking the personal questions, or you can keep it light and ask for money for said future kid’s college fund.
They Have An Issue With One Or All Of The Letters In LGBTQA
They Say: “It’s TERRIBLE. The gays have taken over television and are pushing their agenda!”
You Say: “I have a gay hairdresser and he could work WONDERS with your complexion, Aunt Diane. Did you also know that there’s a same-sex penguin couple at the zoo that is raising a baby chick? Here are some pictures. Aren’t they cute? That reminds me—I hear Antarctica is GORGEOUS this time of year. You should go! I think you’d have a GREAT time.”
Yo, f*ck them. It’s 2018. Tell them to get with the program. Passive-aggressive (and straight-up aggressive) jabs are allowed. Lock eyes with your Great Aunt Homophobe and describe to her, in detail, the time in college you hooked up with a woman, keep describing it until she finally backs down and hits you with a “let’s not get into this—there’s turkey to be eaten.” And again, the same goes for racism, sexism, or any other -ism that might pop up this holiday season.
They Say: “What are you doing at your job these days? You should have been a doctor or lawyer. What in the world are you going to do with a communications/art/history degree?”
You Say: “In my day-to-day, I spend most of my time trying to figure out how to communicate in memes and gifs. Do you know what those are? Have you seen the moth/light memes? Personally, I feel they went a little off the deep end, ya know? You know what I do love, though—the new publishing tools on Facebook. They’re really easy to navigate. Whaddya you think of them? I didn’t think I’d ever get over the new algorithms in place, but I’m starting to appreciate them, ya know?”
It’s your business. And, honestly, you probably have a 9-to-5 or a side hustle or are living at mom and dad’s. Whatever—you do you.
Images: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash; Giphy (6)
Thanksgiving can be one huge blur of red wine, unresolved tension from last year’s political debate, and too many slices of your mom’s pumpkin pie. I mean, we don’t blame you for eating your feelings. Between all the preparing, forced family time, awkward personal questions, and sampling every dish before it hits the table, the holiday can be pretty exhausting. Nothing’s stopping you from eating your Thanksgiving meal like you’re preparing for a nuclear apocalypse (not a bad idea considering the way things are going for our country rn), and we get it. However, if you want to burn a few extra calories to get your body ready for all your fav dishes, we’ve found a few ways that don’t consist of skinny teas or any other Instagram diet hacks. Here are some scientifically proven ways to burn calories so you can go ham at Thanksgiving dinner:
1. Drink Lemon Water In The Morning
Remember when we used to take gummy bear vitamins just because we were told they were good for us? That’s kind of like what lemon water is today. Basically every nutritionist and health guru in LA swears by a glass of hot water with lemon in the morning, so we believe that it does something for us. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning has been proven to kickstart your digestive system and speed up your metabolism, so it will help you burn more calories throughout the day. Drink a huge cup of lemon water on the morning of Thanksgiving and you’ll feel better all day even when stuffing your face with pumpkin pie. Like, an extra slice is fine because I drank lemon water, right??
2. Get Off The Couch And Help Out
Being home for Thanksgiving is basically an excuse to lay around all day and try to drink enough wine to deal with your annoying second cousins, but if you actually do something to help out, you’ll end up burning calories just by being *somewhat* helpful. Help carry the groceries inside, cut the vegetables, or take the dog on a walk. I know laziness is inevitable when you’re home and don’t have any responsibilities, but any sort of moving around helps keep you active. I’m not saying carrying a case of water bottles inside the house from the driveway is gonna make you lose three pounds, but keeping your body active will prevent your metabolism from slowing down throughout the day, and we can honestly use any help we can get at this point.
3. Get In A Quick HIIT Workout
There’s no better excuse to escape family time than your physical health. It doesn’t matter if you don’t even work out the other 364 days of the year. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to lie to your loved ones about your personal priorities and insist on spending a few minutes by yourself to get in a quick workout. I mean, this is assuming your high school dealer is out of town and your friends are busy with their own families. Either way, HIIT isn’t such a bad last resort, and it’s the most logical way to burn calories when you’re planning on indulging later on. Even a 15-minute interval-based workout can help you burn calories for up to 24 hours afterwards, so put on a sports bra and do the damn thing. We even made a workout routine for you, so what’s your excuse?
4. Drink Cold Water
Thanksgiving can be a great time to catch up on your hydration, considering you don’t remember the last time you actually drank a full water bottle unless you were severely hungover or coming out of some bootcamp class that still gives you PTSD. We already know that staying hydrated keeps you full and clears your skin, but apparently drinking cold water helps your body burn more calories when at rest. When you drink cold water, your body has to work to bring the water up to its own internal temperature, which burns calories without you even realizing. If I were you, I’d start chugging.
5. Add Cinnamon
Luckily for you, cinnamon is kind of a seasonal staple, so it’s probably in a good number of your Thanksgiving desserts already. Cinnamon has been proven to help you burn calories and lose weight because of its regulatory effect on blood sugar levels. Here’s how it works. When your body’s insulin levels increase, it increases the metabolism of glucose, and the cinnamon helps prevent fat from being stored from the high blood sugar. In other words, a scoop of cinnamon can stabilize your blood sugar and prevent your body from holding onto extra fat. Sprinkle some in your coffee or anything else that makes sense to put cinnamon in. It’s Thanksgiving… it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.
6. Eat The Brussels Sprouts Side Dish
There’s a ton of amazing food at Thanksgiving, but brussels sprouts are KEY if you want to burn calories while eating. It sounds impossible considering all foods have calories, but eating cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts will actually make your body burn calories because it needs to work extra hard to digest the fiber. This applies to veggies like kale and broccoli, too. There’s basically this scientific phenomenon where some foods have a thermal effect, which means your body uses extra energy to digest them. Brussels sprouts are packed with fiber, so your body will literally burn calories while digesting it. Everyone wins.