Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's the Most "Socialist" Time of the Year

So we come to another season of unbridled avarice, greed, and materialism, our annual celebration of the birth of Christ.  There are some who believe that Christmas has become too commercial to be considered a religious holiday anymore, and others who question whether it ever was.  They believe it started out as a Pagan celebration, but that's an argument for people way smarter than I.  Anyhow, whether you believe Christmas to be Christian, Pagan, commercial, or just a nice way to take your mind off the snow for a few weeks, there's one word that you'd hardly use to describe the holiday.  A word which, ironically enough, seems to fit more than any of the others...Socialist.

I'm actually quite surprised that the so-called "anti-Socialists" on the right haven't figured this out.  Of course it could be that because they claim the rights and the patents to all things "Christian" in this country they may well be blinded to the connection.  But seriously, when you really think about it, there's probably no more socialist holiday on the calendar.  Here you have wealth redistribution, caring for the sick and the needy, self-entitlement, free-stuff for the 'undeserving', and mandated consumerism.  All those things that the anti-government Teabaggers hate, except during the month of December when they take a moratorium on the crazy.

For starters, this is time of the year where we're supposed to be more caring toward the unfortunates who, according to the right-wing, are solely responsible for the entirety of the national debt.  The poor, unemployed, homeless non-productive dregs of society who become our sole focus this time of year.  Then you have the unfunded mandate of buying things that you can barely afford, for people you can barely stand.  That's the whole 'redistribution of wealth' thing that you hear righties whine about.  And then there's the myth we terrify our kids with every year when we force them to sit on the lap of a guy who looks like he spends most of his time trolling the playgrounds looking for a child to "help him find his puppy."  That would be the myth of a certain fat Dutchman who flies around the world giving "free stuff" to all the good little boys and girls who've done nothing to earn it.  Free stuff that's not made in America, depriving good, honest, hard working "real Americans" of manufacturing jobs that are now being done by unionized elves.  And finally, let's not forget the true "reason for the season", the birth of a long-haired hippie from Nazareth who, along with his merry band of "Occupiers", go around helping the sick and the needy, loving sinners, saying nothing about the "homuhsexuls", and waging "class warfare" on the money changers in the Temple.  Yes, all of this is what your anti-government types call "Socialism" and what we call...LIBERAL. 

Now the Teabaggers may argue, "It's not really Socialism since the government doesn't force us to celebrate Christmas.  We do this of our own free will"  Well, the government may not force us to celebrate the holiday, as much as the faux-Christian right would love it if it did exactly that, but ask yourself this.  Are you really celebrating the holiday of your own free will?  Ever see the movie "Christmas with the Kranks"?  A couple decides to take a year off from celebrating Christmas, and the whole town turns against them and forces them to celebrate it anyway.  Furthermore, we're inundated from September to January with ads telling us to shop for Christmas, cook for Christmas, travel for Christmas.  All culminating in that true spirit of the holiday, buying your significant other a Lexus with a big red bow on top of it.  Just try to ignore the holiday (even if you replace it with Kwanzaa or Hanukkah) and watch how long it takes for Fox News to accuse you of waging a "War on Christmas".  Ask any Jew.  Ask any Muslim.  Ask any Atheist.  Whether it's a government mandate, societal tradition, right-wing ideology, or insane hyper-marketing, we're all of us forced to at least acknowledge Christmas whether we want to or not.

Now I'm no Atheist (or Muslim, or Jew), and when it comes to Christmas my apartment could send Clark Griswold into seizures, so I'm not hating on the holiday.  It simply occurs to me that all of the anti-government folks with a bug in their shorts about Socialism truly have no idea of what true Socialism actually is.  If they did, they'd shun the holiday the way they shun science, public schooling, oral hygiene, and real news.  The truth is, Christmas is the holiday where the hypocrisy and/or ignorance of the right-wing is put on full display along with all of the other decorations.  They make the claim that the rest of us are waging a War on Christmas, when they wage that very same war all year round.  Every time they slam the so-called 47%, every time they make the claim that the poor and unemployed are simply "lazy", every time they allow hate-speech against Gays and Lesbians, every time they view helping the less fortunate as an inconvenient "sacrifice", every time some right-wing talking asshole makes a nasty remark against a minorities, immigrants, women, or some other group, every time they use the Bible as an excuse to look down in judgment on anyone who doesn't share their world view, they wage war not only against Christmas, but against true Christianity, and against Christ himself and everything he stood for.   

So when you hear folks like Bill O'Reilly, Pat Robertson, the news models on Fox News or some other pseudo-Christian right winger talk about a War on Christmas, you have to wonder if what they're really talking about is the war that's being waged within their own conscience.