President Donald Trump promised to end the “war on Christmas” on the campaign trail, something he has since said he has fulfilled. But critics of the president believe Trump’s crusade to say “Merry Christmas” is promoting Nazi-esque white supremacism.
Who’s saying that?
Newsweek magazine featured three university professors in a story on Christmas Eve who charged that Trump’s desire to say “Merry Christmas” instead of the politically correct “Happy Holidays” is steeped in racism.
The critics said Trump is promoting an exclusionary holiday and is attempting to define America as a country of white Christians.
Richard King, a professor at Washington State University, told Newsweek: "I see such invocations of Christmas as a kind of cypher, what some would call a dog whistle. It does not appear to be intolerant or extreme, but to attentive audiences it speaks volumes about identity and belonging — who and what are fully American."
"Much like 'Make America Great Again,' panics over the protests by NFL players, and the defense of Confederate memory, Christmas is a way to talk about peril, to assert a soft or hard version of white nationalism," he added.
Dr. Randy Blazak, a sociology professor who has taught at the University of Oregon, explained: "Committed white nationalists love Trump's bring back Christmas campaign almost as much as evangelicals. His followers see this as gospel and a rebuking of multiculturalism and political correctness, and the growing influence of Jews, Muslims, atheists and other non-WASPs."
Do the comments get worse?
Unfortunately, yes. Newsweek also quoted Joe Perry, a professor who teaches at Georgia State University, who compared what Trump is doing with Christmas to what the Nazis did in 1930s Germany, namely to re-write history and holidays to be only accepting of what he deems as worthy.
"The far right’s engagement in the ‘war on Christmas’ explicitly posits that there is one single true or correct Christmas. The holiday’s true nature is somehow under threat from outsiders and liberals who act as forces of degradation, multiculturalism and secularization," Perry said, adding:
Trump and the Nazis share aspects of race-baiting and perhaps broader aspects of extreme conservatism—many political ideologies do.
Frankly, I’m not sure how far Trump himself is willing to go to use the holiday to promote anti-Muslim or anti-minority visions of America, or if he even really understands what he is doing with his "Merry Christmas" tirades.
Newsweek gave Perry the benefit of the doubt and characterized his position as not believing Trump is exactly like the Nazis, but emphasized there are "clear parallels" between Adolf Hitler's vision for Germany and Trump's vision for America. The magazine also declared that the major difference between Hitler and Trump is that Trump has never advocated genocide.