For those of you who don’t live in Takoma Park, it’s important — critical in fact — to know how to talk politics when you come to the Tundra. There are special rules, particularly in this day and age of Donald Trump, and navigating them can be tough if you don’t know how to proceed. Fortunately, I am here to help with these 5 tips.
1. When you are not sure what to say, you should always, without exception, start with, “I can’t believe Donald Trump is our president,” and when you say this, make sure to shake your head vigorously. This will immediately signal to the person you are talking to, and anyone else who is listening, that you understand. And don’t worry about the explaining part, because what you’re really doing is signaling, which is the same thing as explaining in the Tundra.
2. When anyone brings up the topic of immigration, make sure you are the first one to say, “We are a nation of immigrants,” so that you will sound the most reasoned, enlightened, and educated in the room. If you want even more praise in the eyes of those at Spring Mill or Republic, say something like, “Even our money says E Plurbus Unum, which supports open border policies that are anti-racist and anti-islamaphobic.” If you’re lucky, someone might put you in their Instagram post with the #woke hashtag.
3. If you want to get to know someone, and you’re not sure what to say, ask them, “Are you part of the Takoma Park Mobilization?” They will invariably say yes, even if they only went to the first meeting, receive group emails, or only know a friend of a friend who is actually part of it. You will then follow up by saying, “After this election, I just don’t know what to do. I want to #resist the best way I can.” Make sure you shake your head vigorously when you say this. You will signal that you understand the pain that the entire United States is going through except for those deplorable rednecks that are racist anyway.
4. Be especially careful if someone makes a joke, particularly a joke by a white male, unless you hear the word Donald Trump or Republican in it. It could be a trap because the joke might be racist, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQx, anti-feminist, or a myriad of other dangerous things that perpetuate white privilege and male hegemony. If you do not hear the words Donald Trump or Republican, make sure you speak up and immediately say, “This joke sounds extremely racist to me and I’m offended by your words.” Even if the joke wasn’t racist, and everyone is laughing, the fact that you were offended signals to everyone that you understand the struggle, and that you are doing your part to #resist. People in the Tundra look up to that, and will see you as a leader.
5. If you have a contrary idea that is not more liberal than the idea being challenged (such as $15 dollar minimum wage? It should be 40% of a business’s profits!), then it’s best not to bring it up in the Tundra. Some of the topics you should avoid at all costs are those supporting:
- Pro-life positions;
- Second Amendment;
- “American” Culture;
- The Flag;
- Religion (unless it’s Islam)
If you really have to talk about these things, go into your car and whisper to yourself, or go to Bethesda.