December 10, 2012

(Sergey Ponomarev, Associated Press) This file photo actually shows Father Frost, not Santa, but they all look the same to me.

A poll from Public Policy Polling discovered that 44 percent of Americans believe Santa Claus is a Democrat. 28 percent don’t know his political affiliation. The other 28 percent think he’d vote GOP.

This is startling, to say the least.

If the caricatures we saw of Mitt Romney are any indication, Santa should be a Republican. He’s an old, fat factory owner who lives in an all-white environment and only visits houses with chimneys. If he were running for president, someone would emerge with a recording of him speaking dismissively of “all the special interest groups who think they’re entitled to handouts.” I’ve never seen him pay taxes, of any kind, ever. He seems to be a science denier, powering all his tasks by magic and living at the North Pole, in blatant defiance of climate change. He is surely not an equal-opportunity employer, or he might have some employees of average height. And he’s clearly in the pocket of big coal.

In some areas, Mr. Claus’s affiliation remains unclear. He seems to have little respect for privacy rights, constantly surveilling children around the world and putting them on Naughty and Nice lists.

What arguments are there for his being a Democrat, working off parallel stereotypes? Well, he is a celebrity, I suppose, the star of numerous movies. He spends all his time redistributing toy wealth and distributing gifts to various constituencies — but only to people, not to corporations. He’s taken environmental sensitivity and workplace non-discrimination to such an extent that nine of his co-workers are talking reindeer. And he always visits the East Coast first.

Still, it’s stunning that such a high percentage of Americans think they know how Santa votes. At least he hasn’t let his political affiliation blind him when it comes to gift-giving. 63 percent of the respondents to the same poll said that Mitt Romney would be on the Nice list this year; only 51 percent said the same for President Obama.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.