Perhaps, though, you'd like to actually engage with your relatives in a spirited discussion of what precisely happened earlier this year. Sure, it's a hackneyed tradition for media outlets to provide a "how to argue with your uncle" piece the day before Thanksgiving, but we are a media outlet, and doing hackneyed things is what Thanksgiving is all about.
We have isolated three of the most likely subjects that will come up tomorrow and outlined, step-by-step, the savviest, most insightful ways of demonstrating your point to your interlocutor. Let's go!
The electoral college should block Trump's presidency.
- It is true that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and that Donald Trump won more electoral votes.
- However, it is also important to remember that the electoral college is made up mostly of space aliens.
- These space aliens hail from the planet Pluto.
- No, you cannot see their cities in those photographs that NASA took last year because the cities are underground.
- The entrances were covered with snow in preparation for the NASA probe flying by.
- Of course they knew it was coming. They have people on Earth, who are in the electoral college.
- They arranged mirrors to spell out a message that was visible from Pluto to warn them about the approaching spacecraft.
- They didn't want to be detected because they still need to cast their votes in the electoral college.
- If we had discovered that there were cities on Pluto, we would clearly have started wondering if the Plutonians had made it here before we made it there.
- We'd have started questioning everything. Were there pod people among us? Could we be confident that those who appeared to be human actually were? How long had they been here, subtly guiding our culture? Our politics! Were they involved in our politics? And so on.
- That said, there is no rule that the electoral college has to be composed of humans, so Trump will still be elected president.
Clinton misjudged support among traditional Democratic voters in the Midwest.
- Much of Donald Trump's improvement over Mitt Romney's run four years ago came from voters across the Rust Belt and upper Midwest.
- But if you think about it, what is the Midwest, really?
- California is as far west as you can go in the continental United States, and it is not the case that if you leave New Jersey and head to Ohio that you then need to travel that same distance again in order to reach California.
- Nor is it the case that, of the Western states, Indiana is in the middle of them.
- The middle of the Western states is, like, Nevada.
- Some will tell you that it is called the "Midwest" because back when the United States was a little tiny baby country, the farthest west people cared about was the Mississippi River.
- The Mighty Miss.
- Ol' Muddy.
- In that sense, Ohio is more like the Midwest, I guess? But some people don't really think Ohio is in the Midwest.
- Which brings us back to the overarching point: Anything you learn from books is bad, including geographical descriptions.
- How can you take books seriously, anyway?
- What a waste of paper!
- Now we have iPhones and such and we don't need books. We can download any words we want, just like that.
- Maybe that's what Clinton really misjudged: How much people care about books.
- No one cares about books.
The election was upended by independent candidates, including Gary Johnson, Evan McMullin and Bernie Sanders.
- Independent candidates are an interesting aspect of American politics.
- They are defined less by what they are than by what they're not.
- Evan McMullin and Bernie Sanders don't have a lot in common politically, but they still share the same appellation: independent.
- In a way, they're simply a different sort of politician than one who adheres to party labels.
- In another way, they're sort of like alternate versions of normal politicians.
- They are like Gobots.
- Remember the Gobots? Gobots were sort of cheap Transformers.
- I don't remember if they were literally cheaper than Transformers, but I suspect they were. The sense I have of Transformers is that they were a bit more solid, built with more metal than plastic.
- That could be wrong; that's just how I remember it.
- Regardless, Transformers were clearly the cooler, more popular version of the things-that-turn-into-robots toys.
- But Gobots had a base of support.
- You know what were the worst? Rock Lords.
- Do you remember these?
- Rock Lords were rocks that transformed into robots.
- Can you imagine how idiotic that was? Who is the guy who was sitting in some meeting in a low-rent office park outside Newark one day who was like, hey wait, I have an idea on how we can drop production prices even further.
- You know what kids love to play with: rocks.
- How about rock robots?
- If you actually know who that person was, I would sincerely love to interview them about their process.
- Now, in the interest of providing as much detail as I can to you, the reader, I actually Googled "Rock Lords" and — big shock — they were a spinoff of the Gobots.
- Of course they were.
- Someone at Gobots was fired for thinking of a car that became a robot and they hired a guy who'd been standing around outside the building ranting about the apocalypse to come in and shake things up. You know what kids love to play with is rocks, he said.
- Oh, wait, I'm supposed to be telling you what to say, not just riffing about robots. I sort of lost the thread.
- So, I guess if the person is over the age of 40 say, "Bernie Sanders is bad," and if they are younger than that say, "Bernie Sanders is good." That should do it.
And those are the only topics that are likely to come up. Goodbye.