Monday 25 December 2017

Trump claims he saved 'Merry Christmas' from assault

'People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase,' says US president

In the last hours of Christmas Eve, Donald Trump took to Twitter to repeat his claim he was responsible for the return of people wishing each other a Merry Christmas.

The US president has long rallied against the phrase “happy holidays” which he deems excessively politically correct, while seeking to perpetuate the idea US citizens have been barred from using the more traditional festive greeting.

But the leader's insistence he had "led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase" prompted many to recount countless examples of his predecessor, Barack Obama, wishing Americans a Merry Christmas during his presidency.

Late on Christmas Eve night, Mr Trump tweeted: “People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. Merry Christmas!!!!!”

The message prompted other users to share a video showing the former leader of the free world employing the supposedly frowned-upon phrase.

“Merry Christmas to you too, sir! Although, respectfully, we never stopped saying it!” Daniel P Redman wrote.

“Here’s your predecessor saying it a bunch of times! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family, sir!”

It comes after MSNBC mocked the President with a montage of Mr Obama wishing America a Merry Christmas.

“Have a very Merry Christmas,” Mr Obama can be heard saying in the first section, is followed by clip after clip of him saying the same thing.

Mr Trump routinely pledged to end the supposed “War on Christmas” – a commonly held belief among many of the former billionaire property developer’s supporters and a frequent grievance aired by US conservatives  – during his campaign.

Just days ago, Mr Trump declared: “We can say Merry Christmas again".

Trump supporters have claimed the secular and more inclusive salutation of “happy holiday” which takes account of the non-Christian holidays  and celebrations that take place around the same time was disrespectful to the Christian population.

Hinting the saying had gone out of fashion, Mr Trump claimed on the campaign trail that Americans would say “Merry Christmas in every store” once he was in the White House.

The former reality TV star even made sure his official Christmas card reflected this sentiment by wishing Americans a “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” instead of the generic welcome of “happy holidays”.

His critics suggest he emphasises the freedom to say “Merry Christmas” in an effort pander to the evangelical vote and bolster his support among Christian conservatives.

Despite courting the Christian vote – 81 per cent of white evangelicals voted for Mr Trump – the president is not a regular church-goer and his references to Christianity tend to centre around political issues and talking points.

President Trump used his speech at the Value Voters Summit, the annual conference of an anti-LGBT group which has been classified as a hate group, last month to rail against the more religiously neutral greeting “happy holidays”.

Mr Trump, who was the first sitting president to address socially conservative activists and elected officials at the Washington conference, got his biggest applause from discussing Christmas rather than the economy or the border wall.

“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," he said prompting heavy applause and cheers from the audience.

“You go to department stores and they will say 'Happy New Year,' or they will say other things and it will be red, they’ll have it painted. But they don’t say - well guess what? We’re saying Merry Christmas again.”

Despite the President's disdain for less traditional festive greetings, it appears the message had not made it to many of his businesses, which opted to tweet out 'happy holidays' to followers - as did his daughter, Ivanka.

(Source: Independent

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