College students anticipate their parents' political talk this Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 22, 2017 at 5:30 PM CST
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Once you arrive at your Thanksgiving destination, there's often a different kind of navigating to be done: when the turkey talk turns to politics.

A new Associated Press poll says one in three Americans dread political talk at holiday meals this year. The research behind the poll says women and democrats who are the most uncomfortable with political talk.

Action 2 News caught up with UW-Green Bay students leaving campus to go home for the Thanksgiving holiday, and many had this very apprehension.

"I grew up in a very small town and politics was something that not a lot of people agreed with me on,” said Raina Mertz, a sophomore from Crivitz. “Politics comes up just a lot especially nowadays."

Most college students we spoke to assumed politics would inevitably be discussed at 2017 Thanksgiving dinner.

When asked who would be the one to bring up the politics, Senior Alex Vahlsing, senior from Fond du Lac answered, “It will be my stepmom.”

"I'm usually not the one dominating the conversation. It's usually my grandparents.” said Natalie Hoffman, a sophomore from Greenfield.

Students tell us that the most likely family member to bring up politics at the Thanksgiving table is whoever is supporting the current administration because they view themselves as the winners right now.

“Their president got elected and who they voted for got elected so they feel like they can talk about it whenever they want and they feel like they're right because their president got elected,” said Vahlsing.

"My dad and my brother sometimes argue. I don't think they're allowed to talk about it anymore because their debates get too off the handle,” said Matthew Drezdzon, a sophomore from West Bend.

Some keep quiet to keep the peace, but have certain triggers that cause them to speak up.

"One thing I wouldn't shut up about is when it comes to racism and social injustice,” said Vahlsing.

"Anything outright discriminatory because that is just something I absolutely do not stand for at all,” said Hoffman.

“Treatment of minorities—you know race, gender, LGBTQ stuff,” said Mertz. “I'm sure it'll come up and I'm excited about it because I like political science—that's my major."

“I mean, I love Thanksgiving and it's my favorite holiday so I love when the family comes together because it's always fun, politics or not,” said Vahlsing.