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Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, and Compassionate Conservatives
March 20, 2004
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 conservative"?

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 conservative".

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?

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