In the opening sequence of Scrooged — which Sonny Bunch correctly identifies as one of the great Christmas movies of the modern age — we’re teased with the trailer for a movie called The Night the Reindeer Died. In this fictional made-for-TV movie, Santa’s workshop is attacked by machine-gun-wielding terrorists. Amid heavy artillery fire, Mrs. Claus races to the gun locker to hand out heavy weapons to the elves. Suddenly, Lee Majors, the Six Million Dollar Man (that’s $32 million in today’s dollars), rides up on a snowmobile. As the bullets fly, Majors asks Santa, “Is there a back way out of this place?” Kris Kringle responds, “Of course there is, Lee, but this is one Santa who’s going out the front door.” Majors nods silently in admiration of Santa’s grit. But he warns St. Nick, “Look, it don’t matter a hill of beans what happens to me, but the world couldn’t afford it if anything happened to you. Now you stay put.” “Aw, that’s very nice of you, Lee,” Santa says gratefully. He then adds, “And, Lee, you’re being a real good boy this year.” Majors then sets off on his death-dealing way to vanquish the enemies of Yuletide. “Eat this,” he grunts as he mows down the Santa-sacking psychos with his modernized hand-held Gatling gun. Now that’s my kind of war on Christmas. Alas, today’s “war on Christmas,” which has become for cable news an annual ritual, is merely another one of those metaphorical wars, like the wars on women, poverty, cancer, global warming, history, energy, religion, and science. (I’m sure I’m leaving a few dozen out.) Of course “metaphorical” doesn’t mean “fictional.” The “war” on poverty is — or was — a real thing; it just wasn’t a war. And yet the metaphorical wars have the capacity to elicit as much outrage as actual wars. For instance, in the Middle East and ever-growing swaths of Africa, there are nonmetaphorical wars on women, Christians, Jews, science, history, and gays. These wars have all the hallmarks of actual war, what with the killing, rape, and slavery. But in the United States the “war” on women that arouses so much passion from politicians and liberal activists should really be put in air quotes. Ditto the “war” on Christmas. Of course, the Left has always loved its metaphorical wars, ever since William James announced the pressing need for the “moral equivalent” of war. President Obama has kept that tradition alive, routinely calling for warlike unity in his effort to pour money down any number of rat holes. But the moment when the tail-chasing dog ate himself came when Obama declared a lexicological war on war, changing the “war on terror” to “overseas contingency operations.” Terrorist attacks became “man-caused disasters,” and American reprisals were euphemized as “kinetic military operations.” It was, to borrow a phrase, a metaphorical war to end all literal wars. We’ll know that battle has been won when we start talking about the Domestic Contingency Operation against Christmas. The merits of these metaphorical wars vary widely. War on cancer? Worth fighting. War on science? Mostly a bogus PR campaign to bully conservatives into silence. But the war on Christmas represents a special kind of passive-aggressive jackassery because the aggressors deny they have declared a war. They simply take offense at Christmas cheer. They cancel Christmas pageants. They leave baby Jesus in a cardboard box in the church basement, but see nothing wrong with celebrating the Winter Solstice as if that’s a more rational thing to do. And then, when people complain about this undeclared war on Christmas, the aggressors mock and ridicule them for paranoia and hyperbole. Since we’re comparing things to actual wars, it’s a bit like Vladimir Putin’s mischief in the Ukraine. He sends troops across the border, then denies they’re Russian soldiers. The soldiers kill Ukrainians, but Russian TV floats the idea it’s all a hoax trumped up by the West. Then, after the Russians create facts on the ground, they whine when anyone makes a fuss. So it is with the war on Christmas.
Exactly… For more of this timely op/ed by Jonah Goldberg, click on the text above. Merry Christmas!! 🙂