Monday, December 17, 2007

This Year, Why Not Santa for President?

(From the December 13, 2007 Grand Haven Tribune)

It’s been a perfect storm. First, the presidential elections have encroached on Christmas territory. We’ve got debates and election coverage crowding into annual ‘Frosty the Snowman’ TV specials. In fact, if you were paying attention, you may have noticed that there actually was a snowman asking a question in one of those silly UTube debates. I actually remember the snowman better than any of the candidates. There are more people running for president this time around than there are BCS bowl games.

Meanwhile, there’s a writer’s strike going on in Hollywood. In response, the networks are airing reruns, reality TV, and more Christmas specials.

It’s bad enough during most of the year when Hollywood and Washington pine for our attention. But now the intensity has risen. The writers’ strike is getting more testy, and the politicians apparently feel that the primaries should move up in equal proportion to the number of candidates.

The Grinch can take the year off. Politicians and writers are stealing Christmas this year.

But then one night, as I flipped channels and saw glimpses of stump speeches and bad sitcom reruns, it hit me—Santa for President.

Why not? Let’s combine fiction, Christmas, and politics once and for all. There are lots of good reasons.

For one, Santa’s not a bad candidate. He makes all kinds of promises every year. Some people don’t believe him, but how is that any different from the other candidates pre-primary? You want a new Wii or Play Station? Sure. Reform Social Security? No problem. That new monopoly game that takes credit cards? It’s on the list. Free health care for everyone? Ho ho ho!

He looks like a politician too, when you think about it. He always wears the same suit, and could stand to lose some weight.

Santa has a distinct edge in some areas. One, with all the milk he drinks on Christmas Eve, and his endorsement of stockings, he has the dairy associations and textile industries locked up for support.

He’s strong on foreign policy too. Santa has name recognition all over the world. In fact, he’s actually part of traditions in more countries than George Bush can name, or pronounce.

Speaking of foreign countries, think of how much he can save us on travel. He takes that sleigh of his all over the world without burning any fossil fuels. We could moth ball Air Force One during a Santa presidency.

His one liability could be outsourcing. Everyone knows he has his toys made by elves at the North Pole. This will likely upset the unions and other protectionists. But, if he’s smart, he could turn this negative into a positive. Move the elves to Washington, and get rid of Congress. Shoot, some of our congressmen are older than elves as it is. Plus, those elves are pretty industrious—they might actually get something done.

We’d keep Teddy Kennedy though. With his red nose, he could come in handy if Rudolph is ever unable to fly. That’s Rudolph the reindeer, by the way, not Rudolph Giuliani. That Rudolph’s face was read on “Meet the Press” recently, but not his nose. Plus, he can’t lead a sleigh. He has his own driver.

Santa could draw on some of the other candidates for his administration. Dennis Kucinich, for instance, admitted during one debate that he has seen a UFO. Since he’s savvy of the night skies, he could be Secretary of Sleigh Navigation. Then again he’s also kind of short and has big ears. Maybe he’d be a good director of FEMA—Federal Elf Management Administration.

The again, let’s just make a fresh start. All our current congress people and presidential candidates should be sent to the “Island of Misfit Toys.”

Santa can pick his own cabinet from some well-known Christmas TV special friends. Frosty could head up a special task force on global warming. Let’s face it—he has a strong personal interest in that cause. Ebeneezer Scrooge would make an excellent Treasury Secretary. He’s on top of every penny. The Nutcracker could be Secretary of Defense. With a name like that who’d want to mess with him? Plus, the uniform is impressive. Santa could handle national security by himself. No need for a Patriot Act or wiretapping for him. He’s already had a naughty and nice list for years. Finally, the Grinch would make an excellent vice president. He has a rather dour demeanor and lives at an undisclosed location most of the time.

This is all silly fantasy I know. But, if Santa ever did become president? Well, my heart would grow three sizes that day.