Angry Words From Santa

Santa – Claus – Presidential – Candidate – POTUS – Independent – JetBlue – advertising – truth in advertising – third party – choice – voting – vote –

Santa is mad!

I like Santa Claus. He’s one of my favorite people. Not the Santa that visits us on Christmas, but the one who’s running for President of the United States. If you haven’t heard of him, it’s about time you had.

Santa emailed me the following JetBlue advertisement and had a few complaints about it:

Santa fired off an email to Allie, who probably works in JetBlue’s customer relations. Here is the text of that email:

… regarding your ill-conceived ‘election protection’ program:
Jet Blue has just alienated 40% of its potential market.

By limiting the choice for voters to Republican and Democrat, you omit the 40% of Americans who self-identify and independent voters.

As I wrote previously, you are promoting your ‘contest’ in a misleading way that appears to constitute false advertising – since participants in your contest cannot actually vote for the candidate of their choice.

Either drop the contest or include a selection/choice for “other” or “independent” candidate. Otherwise, you risk offending followers of independent and third-party candidates, such as myself. Alienating 40% of your potential market is a big risk.


To which Allie replied:

Hi Santa,

We appreciate your interest and for reaching out. Our poll is officially unofficial and we know it’s not truly representative of all the possible choices.

A big part of why we decided to run our fun marketing campaign is to encourage Americans to get out and vote for whatever party and  candidate they’re interested in.

Best of luck in the upcoming election!

All best,

But Santa was still angry, and felt that Allie missed the point. So he fired back:

Hi, Allie:

Thanks for your well-wishes. Unfortunately, JetBlue’s stance doesn’t address the concern among the 40% of voters who can’t vote for an independent in your ‘election protection’ poll. It can’t be that hard to add a block for independent voters to click, as you already have for Republicans and Democrats.

Jet Blue is giving the impression that its “throwing many millions of independent voters (and their candidates) under the bus,” and that, likely, will be the tone of the press release I am drafting. This election isn’t limited to the two main parties, contrary to your promotion. JetBlue’s stance on its promotion is about as un-American and un-Democratic as it gets.

If you actually mean what you wrote in your response to me, that JetBlue’s “marketing campaign is to encourage Americans to get out and vote for whatever party and candidate they’re interested in,” then do that by including a block for independents to click. Otherwise, JetBlue is misleading its potential customers and showing and telling independents they don’t count. That block of voters is larger than either the Republicans or Democrats.

All the best, Santa

I wrote Santa the following email tonight, to let him know my thoughts on his actions:

You are absolutely right: the tone of JetBlue’s piece is offensive because it is so depressing. Rather than making people feel like their vote counts for something REAL, they make us feel as though we are boxed into two choices, and neither one is very good. I’m sure that they echo the feeling of the masses, and that is precisely the feeling that YOU and I mean to blast through, saying “It doesn’t have to be this way!” People who are depressed feel as though they have no choice, there is no other option than to feel terrible. That is essentially how most people feel about politics.

What makes me most angry is voter-eligibles who choose to throw their vote away because they haven’t even considered voting for the alternatives. Rather than throw your vote away, vote for someone whom you can get behind and who you believe in! It might be a symbolic, protest vote, yet if enough people did it, we would have a real “third party” come out of it! (Though I don’t mean to say a “party” is even necessary). I believe in the people, in building consensus, in a collective consciousness if you will, that is more powerful than any political party.

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