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We are having about 20 people to our house for Thanksgiving. My brother and sister in-law are rabid conservatives who believe Obama is ruining the country. My kids are mostly Democrats and Obama supporters but have limited interest in politics and come to relax. Everyone only gets together about once a year, and they like to share with one another. My wife is a moderate conservative as I am but we believe the election is done and further discussion accomplishes nothing.

The kids and my wife would like to relax and talk about old times. My in-laws like to have crazy screaming matches which upsets my wife (though she has somewhat similar political views). My son also worries about his 3 year old daughter when she hears arguments.

How do we prevent politics from intruding. My wife has mentioned it, but my inlaws like to wait for the right opportunity, "kitchen appliances are expensive, wait till you see 15% inflation, unemployment, you voted for Obama, ha-ha."

Would you put up a sign, a safe room, say something. Aside from politics, my in-laws are wonderful, well-intentioned nice people and the non-political discussions tend to be friendly and constructive.
 

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My brother goes a little further. He tells people no discussions on politics, religion, or football. Anything else is up for discussion. It's funny how smoothly everything runs then. As a host, it's your job to make everyone feel warm and welcome. Unfortunately, that usually involves establishing ground rules.
 

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Aren't they in the same country as you and I. If there are inflations or unemployments, that effects everybody. It doesn't mean if you choose Romney, you are exception from that.

Tell them, we are in the same country. We have the same president. There's no point of arguing about it and you won't here of it. If you want to stay in the house follow the rule, or have Mr. Romney pay for your hotel.

I hate first world problem.
 

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Bobby,
I agree with the others here. If you are hosting and it is your house, it is your rules. If they don't like it, they can leave. Maybe make a call to your brother ahead of time and let him know that you respect his views but that Thanksgiving dinner is going to be one day where family and friends can get together, relax and enjoy the fellowship and love that a family should have. There will be no room for snide comments, backhanded jabs and needling questions. Politics are off the table! Take control of your home and just tell everybody.
 

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Tell them if you like Romney don't talk politics in my house. If you start talking or even hinting politic, we will assume you love Obama and you choose Obama for president.

Don't know if this will work, but it's funny.
 

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The joys of holidays and politics. The most effective approach is to use humor, and then change the topic. Be firm that holidays are for family and relaxing not hot political debates. In the end these debates divide and block people from connecting. Make clear statements when the debates start with a smile, that we all have different positions, and don't want to debate. Then think about other topics: sports, family memories, or even asking people to talk about their favorite holiday memories. Good luck, and I'll try to follow my own advice! David Olsen, PHD, LMFT
 
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