Claus, The Easter Bunny, and Compassionate Conservatives
By N. O'Neal
In having a conversation with one of my co-workers the other
day about the upcoming Easter holiday, I offhandedly mentioned
that my wife and I allow our five-year old to know that there
is no Easter bunny. Age not being the driving factor with
letting her know the truth; we have never told her there was
such an entity. When she was old enough to ask (about the
same time she could make coherent conversation) we did indeed
tell her the reality that there was no such thing. Aghast,
my office mate went on to inform me that I was robbing her
of her childhood. So, instead of reasoning upon this, I went
on to share that we also allowed our child to understand that
there was no Santa Claus.
"Shock and awe" must be the only phrase that can adequately
describe the expression on his face. I can relate, albeit
unintentionally, to the current administration's intent with
the bombing of Iraq of a year ago. My colleague was in disbelief
that we would do such a thing, thus the shock. The awe was
an apparent bone chilling awe, and not in a good way, that
my wife and I would dare go against all social convention,
tradition and mores of our microcosm in letting our child
know the truth.
Well, I can understand if you have developed a concept of
what I am going towards, so forgive me if I throw you a curve.
By promulgating the idea of nonexistent entities, have we
ourselves, as Americans, been primed to believe in a "compassionate
There is no Santa Claus and there is no such thing as "trickle
down economics"--either in the Reaganonics Era--or in this
period, when the Republicans call it tax cuts for the rich,
"jump starting the economy". We have bloated military budgets,
brought on by an invisible, ongoing threat with no end in
sight. Compare-contrast: --Cold War, "Star Wars"--to terrorism,
"Missile Defense Shield"--that take away from basic social
services for the poor, the elderly, education and anyone else
who cannot buy a big ticket plate at a Republican fund-raiser.
Those items are only the tip of the iceberg, Mankiw, Bush's
Chief Economic Advisor saying in a report (which Bush signed
off on, incidentally) that "outsourcing" of American jobs
is good for the economy. "Off-shoring" of American jobs will
raise the standard of living in those countries shipped those
jobs but, it also will lower our standard of living. Some
Republicans say that that those jobs will be replaced with
other jobs. Will that be the "manufacturing" of hamburgers?
Would a "compassionate conservative" suggest as Alan Greenspan
recently did at Senate hearings on the economy, to start to
cut future benefits for social security? Before we do that,
are there some other areas that we could cut, such the American
military budget that outstrips any other nation (including
the combined budgets of all the old Soviet Union federations,
Europe, North Korea, etc.) by exponential factors?
No, there is no such thing as a "compassionate conservative"
or the tooth fairy, unless you are Haliburton, receiving no
bid contracts. Yes, we all know it was the rouge subsidiary
Kellogg, Root and Brown, that over charged for oil coming
out of Kuwait to Iraq. This is an irony upon itself, seeing
that Iraq sits upon the second largest oil reserve known.
What about the food served to the military at sub-standard
levels or the charging for food not provided, are these truths
not beyond belief?
Who is the tooth fairy for Haliburton? Yes, we all know,
unless we have been primed to believe the unbelievable. So,
no, my wife and I will not put our child into a position to
believe in the unbelievable such as Santa Claus, the Easter
Bunny, nor the other fairy tales either, such as a "compassionate
Incidentally, since she's in on the truth or, maybe I should
say joke, she understands not to tell her contemporaries.
But, what about us adults, shouldn't we all know the truth?