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An Insightful Note on the Christmas Constituency

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Thanks to Stanley for his insightful comment on my last post about the bogus image of "traditional" Christmas being peddled by right wing culture warriors. I heartily agree with the thrust of his analysis (though not some of the details) and want to note that he was able to make this analysis because he empathizes with the people he is describing enough to understand the way they see the world. Blogs on topics like this tend to be clever polemical one-upsmanship, mine included. Here's a timely reminder that real insight demands more from us than that. Besides, it's Christmas and Stanley's words serve its spirit well!

"Your right and they are wrong. That's not the problem. Huge corporations and millions of people who share the "feeling that what they represent has lost its dominance." listen to Bill and Sean and not to you. That's the problem.

It's not because Bill and Sean have the genius or personal charisma to lead without thoughtfulness. But they have tapped into an emotion that rings true with many they know and grew up with. What they are tapping into is the feelings of the disenfranchised majority, who are mainly Catholics by the way, not fundamental christians. Hannity, O Reilly, Cavuto, are you seeing a theme here? These sons and grandsons of Catholic immigrants grew up with stories of being the mic, wop or pollack who had to scratch out a living, working low wage labor so, their children could get an education. Their dream was they would grow up and eventually get money and power. It was the American dream. They wanted them "to be somebody." Now that they are "somebody," in their own opinion, there are a bunch of atheistic lawyers at the ACLU along with the "don't offend anyone crowd" arguing their traditions are crap and diluting their romantic memories of what was...These people don't hate diversity nor are they intolerant of other traditions. They are simply sick of feeling bad for being who they have always been during the holidays. First the protestants made them feel bad so they joined up with the democratic party. Then the atheists and hardcore socialists make them feel bad and don't represent their world, so they join up with the Republicans (who now conveniently see them as conservative Christians) Whether you label them as hypocrites or heathens it doesn't matter really. Before they were called Wops, Pollacks and Mics and now they are called conservative Christians. It sounds better, but it is still a label. Then Sean, Bill and Neil jump on the bandwagon and call them "patriotic Americans" and all hell breaks loose... As you pointed out, they aren't thoughtful or devout Christians, but this is all they got for a tradition."