The Lubavitch News Service propagandizes:
Millions are by now accustomed to the menorah display in their respective town squares, and, Jewish or not, they welcome the light, often joining in the festivities celebrating the message of Chanukah. After all, the menorah’s message is universal, which explains why governors and mayors and councilmen nationwide are eager for the chance to get into those ubiquitous cherry pickers and put flame to wick.
No. Not really. In fact, not at all.
First of all the mesage of Hanukka is not universal. Judaism does not endorse the freedom of polytheists to practice their religions. When the Maccabees took control of Judea, they did not allow (in the first years) polytheism to continue in the areas they controlled. No Temple of Zeus was endorsed by Judah Maccabee and he did visit any such shrine in a fit of "religious tolerance." Further, the later Maccabees became hellenized and were heavily criticized by the rabbis as a result.
Second, politicians light the menorah because it is a photo op and free publicity, two things politicians thrive on. But Chabad prattles on:
More than any other symbol, the menorah is representative of Chabad-Lubavitch and its efforts to displace darkness with light. When Chanukah was an unknown among the general American public, Chabad introduced the holiday. At the time, it didn’t seem to have much hope of ever competing with the pervasive and highly popular sights and sounds of the December holiday season.
Funny. I remember 40 years ago, well before Chabad's public menorah lighting campaigns, my local television stations reporting on Hanukka and broadcasting a menorah with the proper number of burning candles at the beginning and end of each commercial break. Our newspapers had front page coverage. Radio stations played a few Hanukka songs. Public schools mentioned the holiday. And I live in a metropolitan area with few Jews. And friends from around the country had similar experiences.
Yet Chabad writes: "When Chanukah was an unknown among the general American public, Chabad introduced the holiday."
What was unknown among the "general American public" and among Jews anywhere was the new Chabad menorah, which has become the trademark of Chabad-Lubavitch. For more on Chabad's misrepresentation of that menorah, see The Rebbe And The Menorah. For historical details on the story of Hanukka, read The Little Menorah That Didn't.