5 Quotes Overheard at Christmas

The Christian holiday based on the birth of Jesus and made even more kid-friendly by Northern European folklore is upon us. The odds are pretty high you’re one of the nearly 100 million Americans who traveled to spend it with family and the odds are even higher you’re going to have a disagreement about politics while you’re there.

I’m in Madison right now, which is the Berkeley of the Midwest, but the holidays have also included Chicago and New York with plenty of visitors from all over in each place. It’s been an interesting sampling of the country (albeit with a fairly liberal skew). I’ve seen a heartening trend with millennial males where they’re into far-right black guys such as Tommy Sotomayor, E.T. Williams, and Taleeb Starkes. I guess it’s the only way to be non-liberal and still get laid these days. Among landowning fathers I’m seeing a lot of socially liberal fiscal conservatives who are libertarian on everything but open borders and will be against foreign intervention right after we take care of ISIS (nobody likes ISIS). Women, minorities, and young people tend to be incredibly left-wing and even more uninformed, which seems irrelevant until Michael Moore points out that they represent 81% of the population. Here’s what they’re saying.

(1) “[Trump] wants all the Muslims out.”

This was said by a thirtysomething white woman at a Manhattan holiday party where presents were exchanged and someone brought a Trump board game ironically. I was given the game by the person who won it because she didn’t really want it. I asked this woman to name one specific thing wrong with Trump and she said the above quote (I heard others joke, “He wants to get the difference out”). In their world, Trump didn’t just call for a temporary immigration ban on Muslims immediately after a terrorist attack—he wants all 12 million Muslims to be escorted off the continent. When I explained what he really said and why he really said it, she didn’t seem to care. When you hear politicians described as “idiotic” and “insane” their critics are usually extrapolating from cartoon premises that the politician never said and when that cartoon bubble bursts, they just move on to the next one.

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