President Donald Trump appears to be capitalizing on his campaign promise to end the “War on Christmas.”
The White House unveiled its annual holiday card on Nov. 27, which wishes Americans a “Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year” instead of “Happy Holidays,” the Daily Mail reported.
The holiday card is different from Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama, who wished Americans a “joyous holiday season” in last year’s card. Both cards however, did include a family photo.
Obama received some criticism for being too “politically correct” for wishing Americans “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Trump was particularly invested in the issue during his 2016 presidential campaign.
While speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., in October 2016, Trump made the argument that political correctness has undermined the spirit of Christmas.
“We’re getting near that beautiful Christmas season that people don’t talk about anymore. They don’t use the word Christmas because it’s not politically correct,” Trump told the audience, according to Newsweek. “You go to department stores and they’ll say ‘Happy New Year,’ or they’ll say other things and it’ll be red, they’ll have it painted. But they don’t say — well guess what? We’re saying merry Christmas again.”
During a “thank you” rally in Wisconsin in December 2016, Trump again brought up the issue of political correctness, insisting that it is preventing Christians from expressing their religious beliefs, The Hill reported.
“So when I started 18 months ago, I told my first crowd in Wisconsin that we are going to come back here someday and we are going to say merry Christmas again,” Trump told the audience as he spoke in front of a row of Christmas trees. “Merry Christmas. So, merry Christmas everyone.”
At this year’s annual summit of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., Trump again promised to end the “War on Christmas.”
According to a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling in 2016, only 31 percent of Americans believe in the existence of a “War on Christmas.” However, that number takes a considerable leap to 60 percent among Trump voters. The poll also found that 24 percent of Trump voters say the “War on Christmas” is more concerning to them than a potential war with China.
“The Heritage Foundation speech is another sad example of President Trump continuing to pander to the religio-political extremists of the far right,” Rob Boston, communications director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told Newsweek. “He does this because, according to the recent polls I’ve seen, they’re about the only people still buying the political snake oil he’s been peddling now for more than a year.”
Interestingly enough, first lady Melania Trump took to Twitter on Nov. 27 to offer a what appeared to be compromise between her husband’s holiday greetings and the more politically correct holiday wishes from the Obamas.
“The decorations are up! [The White House] is ready to celebrate! Wishing you a Merry Christmas & joyous holiday season!” the first lady tweeted.
Sources: Daily Mail, Newsweek, Public Policy Polling, The Hill, Melania Trump/Twitter / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr / Embedded Images: Ron Sachs CNP/Mega via Daily Mail, Daily Mail