A polling firm polled several famous names to test their favorable/unfavorable ratings. Turns out the most popular man in America is Abraham Lincoln (at 91/2), which puts him well ahead of George Washington (86/3). Apparently old George (who owned slaves) didn't poll as well with African Americans as old Abe (who freed them).
Jesus came in second (90/3), but among Republicans he had a 0 unfavorable rating. And Santa Claus was way down the list (67/13). 13% unfavorable? Who hates Santa?
But among Republicans, Santa got a 75 favorable rating (among Dems it was only 61). Think about that for a second. An old bearded, white man with magical powers who gives away free presents to "good" people is more popular with Republicans. I can't even think of any other parallels. Really, I can't...
Nor does this unearned largesse comport with Libertarianism. You would expect the Tea Party to throw Santa's presents in the trash: how else to teach kids that success is something you earn through your own merits, not an entitlement from distant and powerful forces? It's almost like they aren't really into the whole "do-it-yourself" thing, but more into "suck up to the rich and powerful." Go figure.
In other polling news, here's another reason I like being in Australia: Only 50% of Australians are religious. And half of them admit to not practicing it. It's almost like Scandinavia! Except for the snow.