Is Santa a Republican?

Douglas Kern attempts to rebut P.J. O’Rourke‘s famous assertion in Parliament of Whores that Santa Claus is a Democrat. For those not familiar, a summation of O’Rourke’s position:

I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this: God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat.

God is an elderly or, at any rate, middle-aged mate, a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations. He holds men strictly accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well-being of the disadvantaged. He is politically connected, socially powerful and holds the mortgage on literally everything in the world. God is difficult. God is unsentimental. It is very hard to get into God’s heavenly country club.

Santa Claus is another matter. He’s cute. He’s nonthreatening. He’s always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything they want without thought of a quid pro quo. He works hard for charities, and he’s famously generous to the poor. Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one: There is no such thing as Santa Claus.

Kern explores this via a Socratic debate with someone who reportedly isn’t his brother-in-law. A couple of snippets:

KERN: Shall we begin our colloquy with a simple Karl-Rovian analysis? Santa Claus is a self-employed Caucasian male who’s been married to the same woman for several centuries. It appears likely that he is a churchgoer, insofar as he is a Catholic saint and a former bishop. Is not Santa’s political affiliation perfectly obvious from his demographic profile alone?

NOT BROTHER-IN-LAW: I will rebut your assessment with Steve-Sailer counter-analysis: Santa Claus has no children. High-achieving professionals without children trend Democratic.


KERN: Santa’s aggressive adherence to a binary naughty/nice list suggests an impatience for nuanced moral positions that betrays his Republican preferences.

NOT BROTHER-IN-LAW: Santa’s list is to presents what Scripture is to Episcopalianism: a meaningless set of prescriptions meant to allay the concerns of the far right. Surely you have noticed that millions of “bad” people receive excellent presents every year.

I leave it to the reader to decide.

FILED UNDER: Humor, Popular Culture, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    When I read the first Kern snippet, what occurred to me is that millions of people vote Democrat despite practicing what might be labelled “red-state values” in their daily lives. The disconnect is a combination of Dem leadership overdefining red-state values on the one hand, thus inadvertently writing millions of Democrats into the GOP without their consent; and possible inconsistency in many people’s political philosophy, failing to see why the values they practice in their daily lives should make them more leery of the Democratic Party.

    “Not Brother-in-Law” rebuts Kern’s point in the second snippet rather effectively. Unless Kern does better in the rest of his piece, I’d give this debate to P.J. and “Not Brother-in-Law.”

  2. Attila Girl says:

    This is an ongoing point of concern for me WRT my liberal friends: they do not preach what they practice. In their own lives they achieve excellence, but to minorities, women, and those with real or imaginary disadvantages, they say only “you can’t do what I have done.”

  3. carpeicthus says:

    Well, he DOES give all the best presents to the rich…