Howard Hewitt – It’s hard to keep a good man down – even after 12 years of trying!
Santa Claus survived another spirited Wabash College debate Dec. 7 by members of the Parlimentary Union. The sometimes-annual debate resolves: "This House believes Santa Claus is detrimental to American Society."
Members of the government position, Ian Bisbee ’07 and Matt Plachta ’07, centered their argument around economics, lying to children, and staking out a position that Santa is a bad example of healthy living with his rotund figure.
Opposition leaders Grant Gussman ’09 and Rob Bloss ’09 countered with a bah humbug to the government argument. The two suggested Santa bolsters the economy each year, and that Santa fosters a child’s imagination. Additionally, the opposition spokesmen said the idea a little milk and cookies one night a year contributes to childhood obesity was absurd.
The debate was carried out in traditional parlimentary fashion with good natured ribbing from the house and pointed questions to each side prior to final rebuttal statements.
But in the end, the House voted overwhelmingly to reject the proposal that Santa is detrimental to American society.
Rhetoric professor David Timmerman guesses this was the 12th year, not all consecutive, for the Santa debate. And as David noted, Santa remains unbeaten.
Who says education can’t be fun?
In photo: Grant Gussman, at right, answers an audience question, while government spokesmen Plachta and Bisbee listen in.