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Moderating Thanksgiving dinner

Written by Alex Gill

A satire about family political debates over the holidays

The Jennings family is bringing journalist and anchor Lester Holt to their home this holiday season to moderate political disputes at their family gatherings.

One year after the controversial election of President Donald Trump, the American political atmosphere continues to be rife with conflict. The Jennings say they are far better prepared to deal with all of the challenges of their family’s diverse political atmosphere at the Thanksgiving table this year though.

“Lester is going to start by giving Grandma two minutes to justify her continued support of the President and explain why she will not be watching football after dinner,” father Keith Jennings explained. “Following that, my hippie brother-in-law, Joe, will want to respond with something about the Green Party. Aunt Sally is then requesting two full minutes to voice her support for the troops without context or provocation. So, it should be a lot more organized than last year.”

Family members also expressed concern for the eldest child of the extended family, Steve Jennings.

“He just went off to college for his freshman year,” explained Aunt Marie. “He’s probably been exposed to all sorts of new ideas.”

Her voice dropped to a whisper as she told reporters, “I heard a rumor that he joined the College Democrats at his school, so I am more than a little concerned. I’m glad Lester will be there, but who knows what that boy is going to be bringing up.”

The trepidation of the family as a whole is understandable. Last year’s Thanksgiving dinner resulted in a shouting match between Grandma and Steve, a product of the tension following the election.

Grandma could not be reached for comment, but Grandpa reports that she has been preparing talking points in advance of the upcoming debate.

“She told me that if I don’t help her with her practice debates, she won’t bring her mashed potatoes, so I am stuck in a tough spot here,” Grandpa said. “I’ve been reading Democrat campaign platforms for weeks so that I can best oppose her when we practice. Don’t tell her I said this, but they have some pretty decent ideas over there.”

Despite possible tensions, Holt is excited to moderate the debate.

“We have a number of strongly opinionated individuals on all sides,” Holt commented. “This should be an interesting and insightful time for the family and the nation as a whole. We are currently finalizing topics, but the list will likely include diverse issues such as kneeling during the national anthem, perspectives on building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, attitudes towards immigrants, gun control and if we have time, an in depth discussion of tax policy over pumpkin pie.”

The Jennings family debate will be televised on CNN (against Grandma’s wishes) and streamed through their website. In addition to Holt’s moderation of the debate, NPR will reportedly perform fact checking online. If you or your family are interested in having Holt moderate Christmas dinner, reports say he is available and willing to offer his services.

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Alex Gill

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