The Santa Claus Democrats vs. St. Nicholas’s Aristotelian Generosity
Reminder: Kris Kringle has a twice-checked list of the naughty and nice.
December 1, 2012 - 7:00 am
Hardworking American taxpayers (who increasingly have less input in where tax funds go) foot the bill. The taxpayer is told he is Santa Claus, but something seems wrong with the fact that you have to pay a fine or go to jail if you don’t give the federal government what it asks for in taxes. It’s not the Santa Claus that you should believe in.
We don’t sing about Santa Claus being beaten because he had a bleeding heart (although grandma did not fare too well when she got in Rudolph’s way). It’s not that Santa Claus was too generous, but that we have forgotten what generosity truly means.
Aristotle said that generosity is a virtue; gifts are given to the right people, in the right amounts and at the right time. Santa Claus was very virtuous in the classical sense. Take a closer look at the Christmas carols passed along through the ages. Kris Kringle had a twice-checked list of those who were naughty and nice. Santa Claus does not blindly give to anyone who begs him for money; he makes an intelligent decision about where his gift goes. St. Nick gave gifts as a reward to those who did their chores, treated their parents with respect, completed their homework, and saved their allowance. The naughty children receive a lump of a certain natural resource (but Democrats don’t discuss coal, as they seem to be more obsessed with everything green). Perhaps Uncle Sam shouldn’t hand out all the Christmas money in his wallet without really teaching his nieces and nephews that rewards go to them only if they save, use what they are given, and don’t waste.
It is impossible for the government to be (and a bad idea for it to pretend to be) a charity. It’s no longer a charity if you are required to do give money (i.e., pay taxes). Truly serving another person is life-long personal work. That’s why there are social workers who devote their lives to it. Each less fortunate American needs to have continuous moral assistance in addition to financial support. It’s the difference between a one-time gift of a fish and a fishing lesson.
This misconception of the proper role of government and the misguided approach of Democrats are products of our modern culture. Santa Claus has become vastly commercialized, and we’ve lost the reason for the holiday season. We should remember who gives us the gift.