When I used to walk/run I loved how during my second mile my head would clear and I would enjoy the time alone with my thoughts. Those miles are on hold so now I enjoy those early morning thoughts that come as I get ready for my day. Today was one of those mornings.
This past weekend my small town kicked off the holiday season with their “It’s a Wonderful Life” parade. This year, the parade grand marshals dressed up as characters from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I have fond memories going to see the movie when it first came out as it was one of the rare times my parents took the family to see a movie at the theater. I appreciate the movie on a different level now as my husband and I are about the same age as Ellen Griswold in the movie and experience some of the adult struggles and frustrations Clark and Ellen had in the movie (balancing time with family, making sure our children are not forgotten during this busy time…). One of the most enduring, and memorable, characters in the movie is Cousin Eddie (played by Randy Quaid).
So this morning, out of the blue, I was thinking about Cousin Eddie. Next came this idea: if 1989 Cousin Eddie came to 2016 to participate in the 2016 Presidential Election who would he had voted for? Trump. I think he would have voted for Trump. How do I know? To support this assumption I’m going to use evidence from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Vegas Vacation (and I’m going to use broad generalizations of both major political parties. Please enjoy this as a thought exercise as it is meant to be entertaining). First, Cousin Eddie is paranoid of the government but wants the government to help him (his VA benefits). He is former military and though I’m sure there are many vets who vote Democrat I know far more who vote Republican. He kidnaps Clark’s boss and presents him as a present for Clark (after Clark’s boss did not give the usual Christmas bonus). What an irrational reaction (and illegal)! My favorite evidence that supports my thought that Cousin Eddie would vote for Trump comes from this clip from Christmas Vacation (the same scene the above photo is taken).
In this clip it is clear that Eddie has little care for the environment as he emptied his waste into a storm drain. For those of you who do not know, here’s how a storm drain works. Rain that does not soak into the ground and goes flowing down the street into a storm drain drains directly into the nearest body of water. So that waste Eddie is putting into the drain will not be treated but will end up in the nearby pond or creek. In a way it is a similar attitude #45 has toward the environment–little regard for the long-term effects of his daily decisions or Executive Orders (such as hunting certain animals).
Once I finished thinking about what oval Cousin Eddie would have filled in to choose who would fill the Oval Office, I got thinking about other popular Christmas movie and Christmas literature characters and how they might have voted in last year’s election. Here are some I thought of (please add your thoughts in the comments section).
(Image from imdb) George Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life)–Hilary. He wants to help his neighbors.
(image from imdb) The Conductor (Polar Express)–Hilary. He looks out for the downtrodden.
(image from imdb) Kevin’s Uncle (Home Alone)–Trump. Very concerned with the cost of things and making sure he only pays what he owes.
(image from imdb) John McClane (Die Hard)–Trump. Don’t think about taking away his guns.
(image from imdb) The Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge are interesting characters as they both change greatly from the beginning to the end of their story. If we’re looking at them at the beginning of their story I would have to say they would be voting for Trump. They have very little concern for those less fortunate and want what is due to them. Through the experiences of their stories both have a change of heart (for The Grinch it is quite literally a change in heart as his heart grows) and have a great appreciation for their fellow man and Who–making them Hilary voters at the end.
(image from imdb) It is hard to forget one of the biggest characters of Christmas, Santa. Actually, I’m pretty sure I saw Santa’s sleigh sporting an Obama 2012 sticker back in 2010. He gives to all. I know it is said that he has the naughty and nice list but I’m pretty sure, at 11:59 on December 24, most people have worked their way to the nice list and will find something under the tree (or in their stocking). Even his tag line, “Merry Christmas to all!” is a wish for all of humanity, not just the good, the worthy, the wealthy, or the ones who feel they’re entitled, but everyone gets a gift (at least in most of the Santa picture books I read to my students). I’m sure Santa felt “The Burn” the spring and summer of 2016, and when November rolled around voted for Hilary.
I have enjoyed this little thought exercise and I hope you have too. I also hope this got your gears turning to think about other characters and how they might have voted in the 2016 election. Actually, if I was teaching Jr. High or Sr. High English I think this would be a great week before Christmas assignment. Maybe I’ll play this game at the Thanksgiving dinner table later this week…wonder how that will go…