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NORAD is tracking Santa. Why aren't we tracking our government's complicity in Santa's lies?

What do we really know about this "St. Nick" guy, anyway, except that government officials are telling bold-faced lies about him?
Image: Santa COVID Tracker
NORAD isn't just tracking Santa this year. It's showing how we all spread Covid-19.Adrian Lam / NBC News

As a nation, we cannot begin to heal until we confront our government's web of shameless lies about the clear menace of Santa Claus.

On Saturday, at a forum moderated by the neurosurgeon and journalist Sanjay Gupta, veteran anchor Erica Hill and two of the least embarrassing figures in American news media — Big Bird and Elmo — Dr. Anthony Fauci flatly contradicted his earlier assertion that Santa is immune to Covid-19 and instead said that he had traveled to the North Pole to administer a vaccination directly to the spirit of Christmas himself.

Are we really to believe this? Fauci violating both the CDC guidelines on international air travel and its tiered system for determining who gets the vaccine? Who does he think he is, Dr. Deborah Birx?

We may have to take his word for it. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has offered Santa a different kind of immunity: He is now exempt from the state’s quarantine requirement.

The truth of the matter is that we know precious little about St. Nick, if that is his real name, save that children are encouraged to trust him to bring them toy cars, dolls and new bicycles; that he possesses such a sophisticated surveillance apparatus that he has known whether individual children are sleeping or awake since at least 1934; and that he is prone to violence, having punched a heretic at the Council of Nicea. He claims to satisfy the greed of selfish “good” children around the world — but ask anyone and they’ll tell you of the bicycle they didn’t get when they were 9, for example (a red Huffy they definitely deserved and which Santa didn't bring).

It is time to cut ourselves free of our government's tangled web of lies.

Beyond his clear privacy violations, his moral failings and his inability to provide children with the simplest of requested gifts, Santa also has a number of pre-existing conditions — obesity, obviously, and an advanced age of around 1,740 years. But those may not be enough to keep him home on the night of the 24th, when his reckless decision to continue his seasonal rounds and our feckless leaders' obsequiousness expose us all to a chimney-borne and potentially deadly contagion, to say nothing of the disappointment felt by children across the world when they rush downstairs and see immediately that no presents under their trees are anywhere near large enough to be bicycles.

These flatteries and deceptions on the part of our government leaders are not new.

In the newspaper year after year, we read about the children who flooded the Continental Air Defense Command (which was later folded into the agency that became the North American Aerospace Defense Command) with phone calls on Christmas Eve in 1955 because of a misprinted item in a local paper in Colorado Springs, and of the kindly Col. Harry Shoup, who had patiently answered them in his best Santa voice and referred them to his men.

But this is all lies!

A single child had made the call to CONAD asking for information about Santa on Nov. 30, 1955 — a misdial, not a number printed in the paper — and Shoup was short with him. “There may be a guy called Santa Claus at the North Pole, but he's not the one I worry about coming from that direction,” he said.

The truth of the matter is that we know precious little about St. Nick, if that is his real name, save that children are encouraged to trust him.

Still, the Cold War-era military loved good public relations, and so, two days before Christmas in 1955, CONAD announced that it would grant Santa “safe passage” and track his flight all the way across the world. And so what is now the “NORAD Santa Tracker” — and the tradition of allowing a foreigner to flout our national borders for some antiquated notion of “goodwill to men” or “children’s happiness” or “moving on to a new topic because we have guests and they’ve heard you talk about this before” — was born. But it is time to cut ourselves free of our government's tangled web of lies. If Santa actually brought children the bicycles they’d asked for, I could understand this indulgence — though I still wouldn’t condone it, because it's bad for the government to lie to its constituents. But he doesn’t.

And this year, the risks are worse than ever.

It’s not that we don’t have the capability to keep Santa’s now-possibly-diseased sleigh off Americans' roofs: One of the sponsors of the NORAD app makes guidance systems for missiles. (Actually, wait: two of them do.) The companies’ programs will follow Santa around the world like an errant warhead this year as every year, but will they do anything about his possible worldwide trail of carnage? The push of a button could send a miniature sleigh, eight tiny reindeer and its little old driver into the depths of the Arctic Ocean, no matter how lively and quick he happens to be. It's not like he's laden down with bicycles for all the kids who asked for them.

We have the technology. We simply lack the strength of will.

If Santa actually brought children the bicycles they’d asked for, I could understand this indulgence. But he doesn't.

In lieu of some sort of Christmas miracle overcoming this nauseating bipartisan willingness to deceive innocent bicycle-loving children, I propose we look to Santa’s natural enemies, and consider arming the moderate rebels in the war on Christmas. One such ally-in-waiting is the Yule Goat — a festive, horned fellow so notoriously dedicated to the meting out of well-deserved justice that he has attracted mockery and scaremongering from the depraved liberals of Hollyweird.

While it is technically true that the Yule Goat (alternately known as “Krampus”) has been accused of dragging naughty children to Hell to sup with his master, the Devil, perhaps we could work to redirect his zeal (and the respect he commands with his whip of birch sticks) at his nemesis — that baby-dandling, peppermint-scented, cherry-nosed malefactor known as Kris Kringle.

After all, NORAD teasingly dangles crosshairs over Father Christmas year after year, leaving us to watch impotently as he drives his bicycle-free sleigh to the houses of little boys all around the world who will be filled with disappointment the next morning, even though they sent Santa a letter specifically asking for a red Huffy 10-speed.

No more, I say. Let Krampus do to Santa what NORAD will not. Because he has the coronavirus, probably, you understand, not because of any grudge I personally hold against him from when I was 9.

Coronavirus. That’s the only reason.