Comedian Jamie Kilstein — a self-described ‘piranha’ on both sides of the political aisle — joins Glenn to dissect exactly how YOU can handle those awkward, news-related discussions around the table on Thanksgiving. In this clip, Kilstein provides four of his top tips that will help your survive the holidays with your favorite, liberal relatives…
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Jamie Kilstein he is with us. He's a comedian, and the host of Advice Not Taken.
He's a guy who we probably would have really hated each other years ago, and now it's just simple dislike.
And Jamie is here. He is -- he was a guy who was way on the left. In fact, I want to read something from July 2019. A few weeks ago, this fragile Jew flew to Texas to meet his girlfriend's very conservative mom and dad.
You're writing out a list of people who wouldn't like me, it would read conservatives, Christian gun owners, oilmen, and Justin Timberlake.
Mainly because I've had several public conversations with Noam Chomsky. The Bible scares me more than pet cemetery. I also felt I would accidentally kill myself if I ever owned a gun. I drive a Prius, and I really don't trust Justin Timberlake.
So he's gone from this, to let me just say, as I welcome Jamie Kilstein on, congratulations on your baptism a couple years ago.
JAMIE: Oh, man. And -- and I bought a gun, and I'm still alive.
STU: Wait. What's the current status with Justin Timberlake?
Do we have any update on that?
JAMIE: I'll find him one day. He knows what's up.
GLENN: All right. No. Seriously, I had some really nice notes from you, the last couple of weeks. I really wish I could have been invited to your baptism.
But I'm so happy for you.
JAMIE: Well, man, and I really do -- I'll say this publicly. Where part of my shift -- you know there's this -- I wasn't planning on talking about this. There was this dangerous thing that happened, especially on Twitter. Although, maybe not anymore, if Twitter goes down. Where anyone who has any change of political beliefs, is automatically called a grifter. And I almost want to write a piece called defending grifting. Where for me, I -- I have had plenty of opportunities, to -- to do that. To pretend I was conservative. To be the -- you know the former woke guy. And to profit off of it.
And I was never interested in doing this heel turn just for my career. The reason that I have become more conservative, and that I have -- and you know that I did find Jesus after. I mean, I opened for Richard Dawkins back in the day. It wasn't because I was like, I need to make a career pivot. It was because, when I made -- that's what you do for Jesus.
GLENN: Yeah. Yeah. Sure.
Because it's so very popular right now. Yeah.
RICHARD: Yeah. Once the Chosen took off. I was like, this is my path. But the -- by the way, I'm going to see the premiere today.
GLENN: Yeah, me too.
RICHARD: But I met. It was meeting guys like you. Meeting guys like Tim Kennedy. Becoming legitimately friends with people who were conservative, who also I go, man, this is the kind of person I want to be. This is the kind of dad I want to be. This is the kind of husband I want to be. This is the kind of conversations I want to have.
And so what happened, I go, well, if I admire these men as men. Then maybe I should take a step and look at these things that I thought I would hate them for that they believe. And ask them why they believe it. And then it just sort of all started happening.
So it was the opposite of what we do on Twitter.
Ask what I used to do. Instead of looking at someone's political beliefs and their tweets. And judging them by that. I looked at them as a person. As a human. And then if I respected them as a human. I said, yeah. How did you get to this belief? And it just opened my eyes.
GLENN: Yeah. That's crazy. I don't know why anyone would talk to somebody.
So, Jamie, you were -- in 2019, you were -- you know the pariah, at the holiday table.
GLENN: Now, if I remember right, you're -- your father was a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, and your mom, I think bought your first pack of cigarettes.
JAMIE: My dad definitely wasn't a fundraiser. But they're very liberal. My mom certainly bought me my first pack of cigarettes.
And I believe it was for Christmas. And it was from Santa. I feel like, when you become 40 years old, and you're like, you know, I've spent years being like, man, I have a cool mom. And as you get older, you're like, was she just an alcoholic? Everybody's mom lights their cigarettes on the stove, right?
So, yeah. There's a lot -- a lot of -- I'm learning.
JAMIE: But, yeah. They're liberal. What's funny, I've always been a pariah, because I was too left for my family, and for a lot of my friends. I was too liberal. And then now I'm very too conservative. But I figured out ways to talk to people, who I disagree with.
JAMIE: And I think -- that's what I -- I just wrote about it. I started a Substack. And I wrote about tips to essentially not kill your family over Thanksgiving.
GLENN: Yeah. This is a big one.
There's a lot going on. The Hunter Biden laptop. The change of Congress.
JAMIE: Yes. And that's exactly -- it was bad enough, before we knew about Hunter Biden's laptop. It's hard enough to go to your family. And explaining why you don't have kids yet.
Let alone, now I need to have talking points, on gender assignment therapies. Or how I have an opinion on -- like Substack.
It's so hard.
Romda, who is this great spiritual guy, who I -- I -- I loved. He had this great quote. He's literally one of the most spiritual people who has ever lived. He has this quote that says, if you think you're enlightened, go spend two weeks with your family. And like, there is -- it was already hard. But like, our forefathers did not see us arguing about Libs of TikTok over Thanksgiving.
You know what I mean?
RICHARD: So it's -- you can't go into it, prepared for battle. You have to remember, it is your family. You want this holiday to be good.
And I feel like, people are already sort of memorizing their talking points.
I used to do that. I was the insufferable person, sent to ruin November through December. It's like, oh, if my dad was praying for a Jewish holiday, I would have to remind him about how I --
GLENN: Oh, my gosh.
RICHARD: Well, I have a rant about Jesus and capitalism. Dude, I was like a step away from, is leaving cookies for Santa fat shaming? Like, it was so bad. It was so bad. And so like, I'm not -- I'm not judging. Like my new friend Jesus, we are not here to judge.
JAMIE: But I really do think there are things that you can do. So I wrote three things.
GLENN: Okay. What are them?
JAMIE: So the first one, you have to find things you can all agree on. So, for example, and I've done this so many times. All politicians suck. You open with that. You don't open with, your team is bad. You open up with, hey, man. I'm not a fan of a lot of democratic politicians. I'm going to agree with some of their stances. But I think that it's just so much more honest, if I'm representing liberals.
Yeah, man, Biden is not doing great. Because now they know, I'm not a liar. I think that conservatives --
GLENN: So wouldn't tip number one actually be don't lie?
JAMIE: It would be don't lie. We don't do that. Because we are trained by social media, to be like, I have to defend my team, no matter what -- do you know how many Republicans were just white knuckling it, defending certain things Trump said, or how many liberals are doing the exact same thing with Biden?
I mean, guys, how many people were doing that just the other day, with his speech? Where they were like, this is what I have to defend?
Okay. Yeah. I guess execute drug dealers.
They don't -- and if you can admit, if you can admit when your side is wrong, the other person is going to start seeing you as someone who wants to make the world better. And fix the system. And not someone who just wants to attack them, for who you voted for. Right?
We can all agree Nancy Pelosi is a ghoul, we can start there. And then move on.
GLENN: Tip number two.
JAMIE: Number two. If all of your relatives can do is shout things they heard on Rachel Maddow or Tucker Carlson, maybe their life is kind of rough, and we should actually feel compassion for them. Right? Like, if someone at your table refuses to leave until they win an argument about January 6, you kind of already won. Right?
When all I could do was argue about politics, Glenn, I was so depressed. I was so miserable. I was in a crumbling relationship. The only thing that made me feel good is this illusion that I was doing something, by yelling at people on Twitter. But in reality, like, I was suffering.
And so I think, if you have a family member, who was glued to their phone all day, angrily sharing political memes. You shouldn't be like, oh, I can't believe I could slam that guy at Thanksgiving.
Don't give him more ammo by fighting with him. You need to give that person a hug. You need to talk about anything but politics, and connect with them. And honestly, make sure they're okay.
GLENN: Holy cow.
JAMIE: And we can all check ourselves on that. When I got back on to Twitter, I just go, what am I projecting? What am I hiding from?
And oftentimes, it's just something I'm not taking care of within me, so I just have to make it about Washington.
GLENN: I am -- you're preaching. I mean, I'm about to shout amen. This is an actual beginning of a conversion here. Because these are all Jesus tips.
JAMIE: Right. Right.
GLENN: You know. Kind of got the --
JAMIE: I didn't think about that.
GLENN: There's -- there's nine others.
But you have the, don't lie and love one another. Just have compassion for one another.
What's the third one? Is it about false idols?
JAMIE: Right. The third one is storm the Capitol.
The third one is -- okay. So this one is going to sound rough at first. So stay with me. The third one is hold hands and watch the world burn. And here's what I mean by that. I'm not a fan of apathy. But when you think about what your family, on Thanksgiving and Christmas, what are you doing in that moment to change the world, as you're screaming?
You guys are arguing with each other, like you're making your case in front of the UN. But is your uncle on the Supreme Court? No.
Did anybody in the family pass the laws you're mad about? Do you even know how laws get passed? Right. Probably not.
In that moment, there's literally nothing your family can do to change the system. So maybe we don't let these jerks in Washington, ruin one more good thing, by tearing our family apart. Right?
So here's how you can inspire your family member who thinks differently than you to be more like you.
It's not screaming at them, like an unhinged CNN pundit whose ratings are in the trash.
It's be a good ambassador for your side. Right? So instead of throwing a fit about who your sister voted for, why not be so cool, that people want to be like you? Be so kind and generous that others start to wonder who you voted for, without you even having to tell them. Right?
When you see someone. Again, myself included. Screaming about something.
Even cross fit. You have to do cross fit. You must. Why?
So you can be miserable like me. My lower back hurts all the time. If they're screaming at you, they're projecting. So, Glenn, back to the baptism thing. Going to an atheist, to finding Jesus at 40. The reason why I haven't written a piece called, if you don't go to church, you're garbage. Because for the first time in my life. I feel like I have nothing to prove to anyone.
Right? Like, I don't need to project that, like I did with my old liberal talking points. People respect how I treat others, and they're curious about why, I will tell them. And they can tell because I'm actually happy, right? So if you're the only conservative at the dinner table. The best thing you can do is be kind. Ask questions. Be open-minded.
Use phrases like, I never looked at it that way. Do not bring up Alex Jones. Like if you're a responsible gun owner, talk about things you would do to prevent mass shootings, instead of shouting, come and take them. Like, all you have to do is through your actions, be kind.
And make people want to know how you think politically. Because you didn't -- like I did with you. Man. The first time I met.
Well, that guy is nothing like I thought he would be. So now I want to learn more about him. And like, you can be that person, for your family. That actually destroys all the stereotypes that people have about Libertarians or whatever.
GLENN: So here we are, getting ready. The last break before my Thanksgiving break. And I am truly grateful for this very funny and very enlightening segment. Jamie, I'm so happy for you.
You've got -- you've got all kinds of stuff ahead of you. It's all good.
He's the host of the podcast, Advice Not Taken. I would suggest, that maybe some of this advice, we all take on all sides of you know politics. Jamie Kilstein. Thank you so much. God bless you.
JAMIE: Thank you, God bless you too. See you soon.
GLENN: You bet.