An MSNBC writer has a sad, angry take about NORAD’s annual Santa tracker

I will be blunt: There’s very little newsworthy happening around the holidays but media outlets still have pages, either on paper or in the cyber world, that need to be filled. This is the time when you get a lot of cozy human interest stories and cute cat and dog photos. But still, there’s yawning empty space and looming deadlines. That’s when writers dig deep into themselves and write those essays that come most easily to them: They go public with their pet peeves. And that, undoubtedly, is why an MSNBC writer decided that the best thing to write for Christmas Eve was a post complaining that NORAD’s Santa tracker dangerously militarizes good old Santa Claus.

You know me and my need for context so, for those readers unfamiliar with NORAD’s Santa tracker, here’s the down-and-dirty (yet sweetly wholesome) back story: In 1955, a Colorado Springs newspaper misprinted an advertisement that encouraged children to call a phone number so that they could talk to Santa. Instead of going to the Sears Santa, the number went to Col. Harry Shoup’s top-secret hotline at NORAD’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command.

As soon as Shoup realized he wasn’t being pranked but was, instead, getting calls from children who were certain Santa was on the phone, the buttoned-up military officer instantly went into Santa mode for the children on the phone. He even assigned a couple of airmen to handle the many calls that came in.

Someone in the department thought it would be a good joke to draw a little Santa in his sleigh on the glass board tracking airplanes over the U.S. and Canada. Shoup called the local radio station and announced that the Combat Alert Center had located an unidentified flying object that looked like a sleigh. And so a tradition was born. Now, NORAD has a special internet site tracking Santa for children across the world. It’s cute.

Image: NORAD’s Santa Tracker.

But if you’re a leftist, there’s nothing cute about it. MSNBC’s Hayes Brown wants the tradition to end right now. Forever:

No, I’d prefer we end the tradition because it’s about time that we decoupled St. Nick from the world’s most powerful military. American culture is saturated with a desire to associate the military with the saccharine. We get videos of soldiers returning home to their pets or children but never questions about why they were deployed for so long or what threat they were fighting; military jets flying over NFL games give us an injection of jingoist testosterone before more regionally focused battles of testosterone are played on the field; and we get the Netflix movie “Operation Christmas Drop,” a seasonally themed rom-com that cheerfully seeks to boost approval for America’s military base in Guam.

There’s more, but that’s the gist.

Currently, I’m pretty disgusted with America’s military at the upper echelons. I have nothing but respect for the men and women who do the hard work of making the military function.

I have no respect whatsoever for the panderers in the Pentagon whose lust for power has them embracing “White Rage”; Critical Race Theory; Transgenderism; an “anti-extremist” agenda that’s manifestly intended to purge Christians, conservatives, and Trump supporters; and every other loopy leftist idea that, when implemented, will infuse racism into the best-integrated entity in America and destroy our military’s battle readiness.

On the whole, though, separate from these dangerous, distasteful woke Pentagon people, I heartily applaud integrating the military into America’s fabric. This isn’t because I’m jingoistic. Indeed, having seen how the Pentagon, the politicians, and the military-industrial complex about which Eisenhower warned us have wasted so much American blood and gold for almost 20 years, with nothing to show for it, I’m the opposite of jingoistic.

We don’t exist to defend other people’s democracies. We exist to defend our own interests, which may intersect with defending other people’s democracies. We also have a moral and political obligation to defend those who gave up defenses based on our promise that we would be there for them (and I’m thinking of former Soviet bloc countries when I say that).

But I’m still pro-military and that’s because, unlike communist countries in which the military is a separate class that exists to protect the country from foreign threats and the government from the people, we have a civilian military. We’re saccharine about it because it’s our fathers, sons, brothers, mothers, daughters, and sisters who make up our military. They’re not a separate class. They are us. They are the ones who, for patriotism, for a love of adventure, for G.I. Bill money, to learn skills, grow up, or for whatever other reason, donned the uniform and took the oath to defend America.

So NORAD, keep tracking Santa; YouTube, keep up those videos of troops returning home; Hallmark Channel, keep making romantic movies; and NFL games (not that I’d ever watch those woke shows), keep those jets flying and the color guards marching.

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