What would Christmas be without warnings of the secular crusade to destroy it? Thanks to the fulminations of cable news cranks and evangelical moralists, the War on Christmas has become an annual outrage. A far-right state senator from Utah, Chris Buttars, fired the opening salvo in this year's Christmas war, sponsoring an urgent resolution demanding that stores greet shoppers with the phrase "Merry Christmas."
The Christmas kulturkampf is a growth industry in a shrinking economy, providing an effective boost for conservative fundraising and a ratings bonanza for right-wing media. So who was the genius that created it? Was it the irascible Bill O'Reilly, who fumed in 2005 that "secular progressives" plotted against Christmas in order to legalize drugs and gay marriage? Or was it a band of resentful little elves in Santa's workshop? After a visit with the ghost of conservatism's past, I revealed the answer at The Daily Beast.
On December 5, Peter Brimelow explained to me how he conceived the War on Christmas during the mid-1990's, then brought his crusade to the conservative movement. Who is Brimelow?
A former editor for Fortune and the National Review, Brimelow is now a leading figure of the white nationalist movement. His website, VDare.com, is the internet's leading anti-immigration journal, providing a forum to allies like Jared Taylor, a white supremacist publisher, and Kevin MacDonald, an evolutionary psychology professor who claims that Jews are possess special psychological traits that enable them to out-compete Gentiles for resources and power. For his part, Brimelow has argued that the influx of "weird aliens with dubious habits" from developing nations was eroding America's white Christian "ethnic core." In 2003, four years after VDare's founding, the Southern Poverty Law Center classified the journal as a "hate group."
How did the War on Christmas spread from Brimelow's website and fevered imagination to O'Reilly and the conservative media? I reveal the details at The Daily Beast.