The Critical Mass

We’re bringing Christmas back

If you’re indulging today in that Christmas Day tradition of turning on the television, you may encounter this: A commercial announcing President Trump has won The War on Christmas.

I literally burst out laughing yesterday morning while reading a story about a television commercial created by America First Policies, a nonprofit group composed of some of Trump’s former campaign aids. It would air on Christmas morning, featuring a handful of what some ad agency’s idea of everyday Americans look like offering thanks to President Trump for all of the things he’s supposedly done for us in that alternative world in which they live. That includes a little girl at the end who says, “Thank you President Trump for letting us say ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”

The War on Christmas. Is that still a thing?

In all honesty, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Christmas. Or, at least, the idea of Christmas. Giving gifts, receiving gifts, parties, music, food, a garishly decorated aluminum tree in the living room. Yet most of us who enjoy these traditions are also eye-rolling enlistees in the fight against the overwhelming commercialization of the holiday, which now butts into our lives beginning sometime in October. There’s your War on Christmas.

A War on Christmas? Ridiculous. Christmas has won, it is inescapable. And political. Hollywood, that pack of liberal sexual harassers of women, continues to make movies celebrating the holiday with laughs and happy endings. Fox News, that pack of conservative sexual harassers of women, continues to feed the Suburban Legend that politically correct police are urging little girls to not say “Merry Christmas.”

A recent Pew Research Center study shows that most Americans don’t care if they’re greeted with “Happy holidays” or “Merry Christmas.” The War on Christmas was simply some folks’ negative reaction to our increasingly inclusive, diverse and welcoming society. The painless expansion of our vocabulary to “Happy holidays” is now a virtually unconscious phrase. But one that, in the Christmas spirit, welcomes all. Jews, Muslims, Hindus and the fastest-growing religious belief in America, “None of the above.”

Trump can take credit for winning this imaginary war if he likes. “Remember I said we’re bringing Christmas back?” he said at a rally earlier this month in Utah. “Christmas is back, bigger and better than ever before. We’re bringing Christmas back.” And America First Policies is free to create TV commercials that credit Trump with an alternative universe of accomplishments. It’s their money.

But if you see that commercial on Christmas day, or find it on the internet, take note of the everyday Americans who aren’t there, thanking Trump. The victims of gun violence, the people of Black Lives Matter, those who live in poverty, the homeless, Muslims, the marginalized LGBTQ, the millions who will likely lose their health insurance next year. Robert Mueller and the FBI investigators closing in on the Trump-Russia election connection. The women who have accused the president of sexual assault.

And the very, very rich aren’t in that commercial. Because America First Policies doesn’t want to remind you of the Americans who are the overwhelming beneficiaries of the new tax plan that was passed this week. And what a Happy Holiday it is for them.

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