OT (humor) Santa Claus and politics

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said Pat Buchanan, banging the butt of his American Gothic pitchfork on my radio studio floor for emphasis. "That old guy is a foreigner who runs an elf sweatshop outside the country. Why should that alien be allowed to bring in toys tariff-free? They undercut American-made toys and cost millions of union workers their jobs! That 'Jolly Old Elf' doesn't know this peasant army. We have just begun to fight him!"

"But Santa gives these toys to children, making no profit for himself," I replied.

"Look," said Buchanan, tilting the upright pitchfork towards me like a lance, "we don't know what Mr. Claus's secret motives are, but we know he isn't for America First. He's a threat to our sovereignty. Once our factories are closed down, unable to compete with his giveaways, then 'Bam!'—he'll have our kids hooked and we'll have to pay through the nose for his slave-labor toys."

As Pat's face reddened, I wondered if he too had imbibed a bit too much of the eggnog and rum that had made me drowsy. "Lowell," Buchanan continued, "remember more than a year ago in Rhode Island when two barbers in one town tried to outlaw a third from giving away haircuts at an old-folks home? They rightly argued that these free haircuts took away their income. That's what Santa is doing to subvert America."

"I remember," I replied. "Back then you also wanted laws prohibiting young women from giving sexual favors to their boyfriends. You said it took income away from hard-working, blue-collar Buchananite hookers who needed to earn a living."

"I took a principled stand for Populist morality," said Pat. "And as to Santa, we need to control our borders. If he won't stop invading us once a year, we should send up F-16s if necessary to slay that sleigh. This is necessary unless Mr. Claus is willing to pay a tariff to offset the harm his toys do—or unless he starts importing as many American goods to the North Pole every year as he sends here. Also, has anybody calculated how much of our precious milk and cookies Santa devours each year? The cost of this alone could exceed a billion dollars."

"I don't like Santa either," said Hillary Clinton, seated at a radio microphone across the roundtable from Buchanan. "I mean, it's nice to do things for children, but his private gift-giving might seduce kids into thinking they are not 100 percent dependent on government as the real Santa Claus, the source of all gifts."

"But, Mrs. Clinton," I asked, "isn't Santa a wonderful example of generosity, of the joy of private giving?"

"I have big problems with the methodology of Santa," said Hillary coldly. "For one thing he's judgmental, providing benefits based on who has been what he deems 'naughty' or 'nice.' Worse, his politically incorrect moralizing is tainted with religion. Santa should instead redistribute wealth to those who have too little, especially members of minorities that vote Democrat. Santa should give nothing to children of the rich, the unfair winners of life's lottery. And I agree with Pat Buchanan. If Santa paid his fair share—a heavy tariff on the toys he imports—we in government could then do a better job than he does, using these taxes to benefit those who deserve it most. We think the 'naughty' deserve reparations for all the centuries Santa has shortchanged and discriminated against them. And when is this paternalistic white male sexist going to step aside, stay home with the elves, and watch Ms. Claus take command at the reins and driver's seat of that sleigh?"

"My father was one of Santa's elves," said Gary Bauer. "I'm proud of my working elf background. But I want to say that nothing happened between Mrs. Claus and me while Santa was away. Our long meetings behind closed doors were all business, and nothing but!"

"My father was Santa," said Steve Forbes, "and he distributed hope, growth, and opportunity to exactly the right people, the truly deserving. But now that the world's wealth is in the right hands, let's keep it here by flattening the tax code."

"My father was one of Santa's wooden toys," said Vice President Al Gore. "Being wood, I understand the threat that Santa's North Pole factory poses to the fragile Arctic ecosystem. We need global rules to eliminate the hazard his stratospheric sleigh's reindeer methane emissions pose to Mother Earth's ozone layer. We need to crack down on his abuse of those reindeer and on his wearing of fur. We need to unionize his elves, reduce their work hours and improve their standard of living, and collect lots of compulsory union dues to replenish Democratic campaign coffers. Did you know that to visit all the homes he does each Christmas night, Santa must go down more than 9,000 chimneys every second—and cause a sonic boom as his sleigh breaks the sound barrier each time he goes from one to the next? This contributes to global warming…"

"Hey," shouted Alan Keyes, awakening those dozing off from Gore's droning mindfog horn, "don't you understand that Santa is just an anagram for Satan? He's not 'Old Saint Nick,' but 'Old Nick.' These giveaways and pagan fantasies about elves are weakening our national will and values. Santa distracts us from the one for whom Christmas is named, the one George W. Bush calls his 'favorite philosopher,' Jesus Christ. We need somebody making a list of who's naughty and nice—and swapping surveillance data about private citizens with our government's Project Echelon. And how come only Memphis, Tennessee, has overcome its racism enough to listen to me and to select people with skin like mine, as black as the coal I used to get in my Christmas stocking, to portray Santa in its Christmas parades?"

"We need to find out what political party Santa belongs to," injected Rush Limbaugh. "If Santa's a Republican I'm for him 100 percent, whatever he does. If not, then I agree with Alan Keyes and his Keyester followers that the funny old guy in the suspiciously red suit is a bad cultural influence teaching our children to expect rewards without effort or excellence. And I also agree with Lowell Ponte that if Hillary Rodham Clinton uses her maiden name on the New York ballot, then her followers should be called Rodhamites."

"I'm a law and order guy," said New York Mayor Rudolph "Rudy" Giuliani "I don't care if I was named for Santa's red-nosed reindeer. I've ordered the police in my city to bust anybody trying to break into homes via the chimney."

"If Santa'd just let me do the negotiating, I could get 20 percent more production out of those elves," said Donald Trump. "And we could put more enterprise, more entrepreneurial spirit into our kids if we taught them the art of the deal and of gambling. Kids could write Santa offering to go double or nothing on their presents. And I could build a casino complete with fashion models at the North Pole, so those elves would have some place to spend their wages. All Santa's gifts would be much more valuable if we put the name TRUMP on them, and I'd license that for only a tiny trademark fee per present."

"I just hope Santa and one million others put a $37 contribution in my Christmas stocking," said Senator Orrin Hatch, "and I can win this race and return power from the special interests to ordinary Americans. Given his international experience, I might even make Santa my Vice President. That would give welfare-state Democrats a run for their money next November. They've won by pretending to be Santa, but we Republicans would offer the real thing."

Senator John McCain held back an outburst of anger by clenching his teeth in something resembling a laughing smile. "So is my honorable colleague from Utah saying he would accept foreign campaign contributions from a citizen of the North Pole? No, we need to stop such outside influences. I reluctantly agree with Pat Buchanan. We need a limited Star Wars capability to deal with any rogue elf incursion into U.S. airspace. I intend to call Santa before my Senate Commerce Committee to find out how his millions of gifts are distorting our democracy….and to discover what's in his bag for me."

"If Santa really cared, he'd give people bandages and aspirin and other health care options," said Senator Bill Bradley. "Allocating all these valuable resources and labor to provide Baby Furbies and computer games is wasteful and doesn't solve our biggest social problems. Government could use these resources of Santa's better than he does. And I'm patriotic enough to ask why Santa delivers so many soccer balls to suburban kids, especially with the new evidence that this game causes low-grade brain injuries. Why isn't he bringing basketballs instead? Also, what kind of role model do our kids get in an adult as fat as Santa? Holding Santa up as a hero is like telling our children that 'fat is beautiful,' and we'll pay a price for that down the line in less fitness and higher health costs. Maybe it's time to tax fattening food and fat people."

At last it was Texas Gov. George W. Bush's turn to speak on my show.

"I think Santa does a good job ruling the Nation of Arktica, which was named because Noah's Ark landed there. Maybe St. Nick came to power in a snow d'etat, but he's been good for the stability of the region. Some say he is only a spirit. But Santa is the ghost of Christmas present, and I find him inside every time I open a Christmas present. I'm an experienced compromiser who knows about giving…and taking…and as your President I will keep that spirit of the U.S. government as Uncle Santa alive and well. God bless us, every one."

I was about to go to callers on the full bank of flashing lights on my radio talk show. But when I looked up again to my round table, the guests had vanished, like the promises of a thousand politicians before them. Somehow I'd fallen asleep under the winking lights of the tree. Had it all been a dream? It had seemed as real as our Presidential debates, our choice of political leaders, our democracy.


-- Bob (bob@bob.bob), December 23, 1999


Font off

-- Santa's little helper (north@pole.c0m), December 23, 1999.


That's good. That's really good. Absolutely hilarious ;)


-- Leo (lchampion@ozemail.com.au), December 23, 1999.

Thanks Bob, interesting link. Appreciated it.

-- Michael (michaelteever@buffalo.com), December 23, 1999.

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