Beginning in 1916, Wisconsin began placing a Christmas tree in its Capitol rotunda to celebrate the holiday season. The tradition would last until 1985, when everyone from big box stores to major corporations realized the whole Christmas thing was leaving out 30 percent of the population that wasn't Christian.
Wisconsin began to call its magnificent pine a “holiday tree.” No one thought much of it until the first shots were fired in the most harrowing conflict of our time, The War on Christmas.
This grave battle was popularized by former Fox News host and noted moralist Bill O'Reilly, before he was fired for being a serial pervert. It was always a curious conflict. The basic idea was that America's 70 percent Christian majority was somehow being bullied by a disjointed collection of smaller religions, agnostics, atheists, and people who never really gave it much thought.
Think of it as a cross between Antietam and Normandy, only wholly imaginary and with nothing of consequence at stake
But Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the son of a Baptist preacher, considered it of great import. Upon his election in 2011, he once again declared it a “Christmas tree,” striking a valiant blow against the dark forces keeping Christendom from ruling as if no one else mattered.
Walker wasn't exactly a model soldier. Some might even call him a disciple of Reverse Jesus.
His eight-year reign was marked by harsh policies toward working people, while swaddling the wealthy in his manger. His crowning achievement was the largest single corporate welfare package in U.S. history. Esquire often joked that he'd turned Wisconsin into the Midwestern subsidiary of the Koch brothers.
Alas, the good people of Wisconsin finally tired of Walker's version of Christianity last year. He was defeated by new Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who once again anointed a state “holiday tree.”
Walker was outraged. He took to Twitter to note that a Christmas tree should always be called a Christmas tree. In the world of Scott Walker, nothing is allowed to evolve or vary.
But as you can imagine, the darkest of enemies were ready to pounce, and they would spare no mercy. Walker was last seen buried under a firestorm of mockery:
Check out this guys awesome Holiday tree. It’s the middle of November, but whatever. https://t.co/8yhujMRkIN— Colin Hanks (@ColinHanks) November 9, 2019
Col. Scott,— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) November 9, 2019
I know well the horrors you must endure at the front lines of this dreadful war. Your early Christmas tree has ambushed the holiday rebels and they are angry. Very angry.
The elves must not see you lose hope -- stay brave!
Gen. Santa#LettersFromTheWarOnChristmas https://t.co/IdIvs46HeM
You do know that trees were stolen from a pagan holiday? And Christ wasn’t actually born on December 25th? It was a day celebrated by Roman pagans and taken over by the church in the fourth century. And that many faiths put up trees that aren’t Christians.— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) November 8, 2019
Man, I remember when politicians had loftier goals than to defend against imaginary assaults. Please defend us from the Candy Corn Wars: the struggle is real.— Rob Anderson for Louisiana (@RobAnderson2018) November 8, 2019
I have so many questions...— Hank Green **PIH.org/hankandjohn** (@hankgreen) November 8, 2019
1. Has someone been bullying Scott Walker into calling his Christmas tree a Holiday tree?
2. Does Scott Walker's tree go up 20 days before Thanksgiving?
3. What kind of monster wraps every present with the exact same minimalist wrapping paper? https://t.co/oFwq64Dx01