I’ve often been asked, “How do you tell your kids that Santa isn’t real?”
Actually, I don’t.
As my kids mature, I just change the way we talk about Santa. When they’re little, they think of him as a powerful entity with endless resources and the ability to make their dreams come true.
Frustratingly, he doesn’t always use his powers to fulfill their fondest wishes. Sometimes he brings socks or a boring lunchbox. And they grieve. But their power is limited so they write letters and wait and hope for good things to happen.
But, as they grow, we have a frank discussion. Santa is real, but he’s not just one guy. He’s millions of people who use their time and resources to make magic happen. I’m Santa. They’re Santa. And they become actively engaged in spreading holiday joy.
It’s an earthshattering and exciting transition.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve experienced a similarly disruptive and thrilling change in the way I think about presidential elections.
As a moderate conservative, human person, who believes in equality and civility, I watched with horror as Donald Trump snagged the presidential nomination before the Washington State primary.
My last choice Democrat was running against my last choice Republican. And I felt completely powerless. It was like hiding and watching Santa fill my stocking with lima beans. Slowly. For months. And there was nothing I could do about it.
Because Santa is in control. And we say, “Thank you,” and move on.
I turned off the news. I blocked friends who posted political rants. I gave up.
The two major parties are like our parents, telling us that Santa is The Man, and we are welcome to write him letters but they probably won’t make much difference.
The major media outlets are like that mean kid in first grade who tells you there is no Santa.
Evan McMullin actually has the momentum and credibility to say, “There is a Santa. And we’re all him. And if we work together, we can realign America with its founding principles.
His chances of winning the White House are slim. He needs to win enough electoral votes to stop both Trump and Clinton from reaching 270, sending the decision to the House.
It is the longest of longshots, but I have never seen anything like the groundswell of support that follows whenever he opens his mouth. Americans recognize truth. We crave it. And he’s in a virtual tie with Clinton and Trump in Utah and gaining supporters daily. In a tight race, that could be the ballgame. If the race isn’t tight, it still sends a clear message to the Republican Party that we demand candidates who reflect our values.
So, suddenly I transitioned from discouraged and apathetic to outspoken activist. Many of Evan’s supporters are people who have never taken a public stand politically, attended a rally, or drummed up political discussion at the bus stop. But, suddenly we are engaged and we are on fire.
And every day I hear, “A vote for McMullin is a vote for Clinton,” and “A vote for McMullin is a vote for Trump.” The truth is, when you realize your actual power as a voter, you can’t vote the odds anymore. You can’t practice statistical democracy.
A vote for Evan McMullin is a vote for civility, patriotism and a new generation of American leadership. A vote for Evan McMullin is a vote for Evan McMullin.
I don’t tell my kids there’s no Santa. I explain what Santa looks like to caring, engaged adults.
I won’t tell you there’s no hope for change in American politics. I’ll tell you what hope looks like to caring, engaged adults.
Hope looks like Evan McMullin and his millions of supporters who are proving it is possible to Make America Engage Again.