Just how dumb is the GOP resolution to “defend” Christmas?

December 28, 2015 Originally published on SFGate

Do congressional Republicans twitch in their sleep? Sweat profusely? Scream at random and suffer all manner of strange hallucination and paroxysmal night terror? I imagine they must.

I imagine House Republicans in particular, along with all GOP presidential candidates, must experience a whole range of rash, ganglion, delirium, gastrointestinal distress and inexplicable lesions in unhappy places pretty much all the time, given their uncompromising dedication to the imps and demons of Fear.

How else to explain? How else to imagine what these overcooked white males – most with semi-legitimate college degrees – must endure, every day of their lives, as Guardians of the Dumb, as Protectors of the Infantile, as Defenders of That Which Shall Not Be Dislodged By Your Annoying Little Facts?

Try this: 36 House Republicans, grown men and women with actual university educations and privilege for days, just signed on to a hilariously pointless resolution “defending” Christmas.

Do not laugh. It actually happened. Christmas is, conservatives love to remind us every year forever, under attack from the imaginary bogeymen of godless liberalism, spiritual independence, actual thought.

Christmas! Can you imagine? It’s so sacred! Even though we totally made it up and it’s not even a true Christian holiday and bloated American Christmas has never been more grossly… Christmassy than it is today! Oh well.

Christmas is safe! Holiday spending was off the charts in 2015! What else matters?

Christmas is safe! Holiday spending was off the charts in 2015! What else matters?

I always think the same thing at times like this: Some of them must know, right? A few of those unfortunate GOP drones must be horribly embarrassed that they had to openly support yet another inane, humiliating statement that insults the intelligence of your average 5-year old? Surely some who voted for the Christmas resolution stumbled home that night, plopped down on the Levitz, cracked a bottle of Jack and stared, hard, into the near distance – My life has really come to this? – until blackout. Right?

Correction: The Christmas resolution does, of course, have a point. It exists, like the House members themselves, to appease, to placate, to feed the insatiable maw of the puling demon known as “the GOP base,” that vulgar gaggle of white, mostly male, mostly uneducated humans who are – how to put this gently? – famously, dangerously, just plain inexorably… not very bright.

Of course that’s the reason. The base believes there really is a “war on Christmas” because Fox News told them there is (for ratings), because Republicans plaintively agreed (for votes), because this is just how the Republican party operates: The base must be sated. The Demon of Dumb must be fed. It’s the only way the party survives. It’s the only way Trump exists.

This means, of course, that facts matter not at all. It means you can talk ‘til you’re blue in the voting booth about how Christmas isn’t even really Christmas, how it’s really an ancient pagan festival stolen, gutted and repurposed by the grumpy old men of the early church, for power and political gain.

You can point out, for the hundredth time, that Jesus, that swarthy, anarchist Jewish mystic, if he existed at all, was likely born sometime in June.

You can even try, if you’re a bit of a masochist, to remind nervous conservatives that America is, constitutionally speaking, all about freedom of religion, home to Muslims and Jews, Buddhists and Sikhs, Hindus and Rosicrucians and not only do most of them not celebrate Christmas, we invented the whole goddamn country so they wouldn’t have to.

Good luck.

But let’s be fair. There is indeed a grain of truth to the make-believe “war” that so terrifies all these conservative white guys.

See, America is changing. Demographics are shifting dramatically. Increasing numbers of young people don’t identify with any religion per se, are more “spiritual” than religious, more liberal than conservative, more inclusive than prohibitive.

And they definitely don’t go to church. Fewer young people than ever believe in the old, dying institutions: a bloated military, corporations, God, marriage. Women and minorities dominate America’s future. The melting pot is evolving.

No wonder they’re scared. It’s not Christmas that’s under attack – it’s their entire worldview, their very existence (it was always an anomaly anyway). Turns out there really is a “war” on angry, xenophobic, conservative white American males. And they’re losing. Even Santa knows that.

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Mark Morford

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