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Op/ed: Super Bowl Party or Political Party?

How Foods for the Big Game Can Deliver a Partisan Bite

By Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz and Joshua J. Dyck

Super Bowl snacks

Amid rising partisanship and concurrent Super Bowl hoopla, a UMD researcher and colleague offer tips to avoid a partisan debacle at your big game watch party.

Photo by iStock

Want to fumble your chance at a winning Super Bowl party? Just serve a Donald Trump favorite on Sunday to a gathering of Barack Obama fans, or vice versa, a University of Maryland public policy researcher and a colleague write in a new essay in The Conversation.

Following in the footsteps of their leaders, more Americans than ever claim to be avid partisans, with their sentiments driven by dislike of their opponents along with their own beliefs, say Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz, Saul L. Stern Professor of Public Engagement, and Joshua J. Dyck, director of the Center for Public Opinion at UMass Lowell. To avoid a party-line split at your party, the co-authors of the recent book “The Power of Partisanship” offer some tongue-in-cheek advice:

For a party of Democrats, chili—possibly with an arugula salad on the side – is a safe bet. But meatloaf would be a better choice for a party of Republicans. You could reinforce those choices by accompanying the dishes with photos of the politicians with their favorite dishes.

Other foods also divide Americans. Consider steering clear of Coca-Cola if you are having Republicans over: The company criticized Georgia’s 2021 law that shortened early voting and made it more difficult to vote by mail.

If you order takeout, some Democrats might be reluctant to eat Chick-fil-A because of company leaders’ past opposition to LGBTQ rights and marriage equality. But more recently, it’s Republicans who have criticized the fast-food chain for hiring an executive focused on diversity, equity and inclusion – and for shifting the company’s donations to be less political.

Read the rest at The Conversation.



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