In grade school, there were students who took sadistic delight in shattering the hopes and dreams of younger children by announcing, “There is No Santa Clause.”
These students felt intellectual superior. “I know something you don’t know.”
Those infected with the “There Is No Santa” Syndrome grew up to become contemporary bubble-poppers, nitpickers, and trolls. Today, they have become intolerant, intellectually myopic, “cancel culture” bullies.
As children and adults, they tried to justify their failings by pointing to the flaws in others. They attempted to elevate themselves by pushing others down. They craved attention in their insecurity. They wanted to feel intellectually and morally superior.
There are several names for these iconoclasts. None are complimentary.
- Niggler (be careful using this word, sounds similar to the “N” word)
These iconoclasts want to tear down monuments to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison because they legally owned slaves in a slave culture. These trolls perpetuate the fallacy of presentism. They ignore the fact that these great men did more to benefit humanity than few others. They have intellectual tunnel vision and myopia.
These “cancel culture” critics want to remove memorials to Abraham Lincoln and Winston Church because they made statements, that by today’s standards, may be considered racist and inappropriate. Again, these nitpicking whiners perpetuate the fallacy of presentism and ignore the great contributions Lincoln and Churchill made to humanity.
Every hero has flaws. Every human is a mix of virtue and vice. No one is perfect. Thus, every hero is a potential target of the “There Is No Santa” Syndrome.
For example, it is just a matter of time before they want to tear down memorials to Martin Luther King because he sexually harassed and physical abused women, ignoring his great contributions to humanity.
For example, it is just a matter of time before they want to dishonor Nelson Mandela because he enabled political terrorism, cutting off noses, and “necklacing” blacks deemed to be “collaborators,” ignoring his contributions and inspiration.
In “judging” heroes and role models, we must weigh the good they have accomplished against their mistakes. It is intolerant, myopic, ignorant and unfair, just to focus on their flaws. Jesus said it best. “Let him who without sin cast the first stone.”
The best way to respond to the “There Is No Santa” Syndrome, the bubble-poppers, nitpickers, and trolls is to just ignore them. “Don’t feed the trolls.” Don’t acknowledge them. This denies them the attention and recognition they so desperately crave.
Moreover, don’t let the bubble-poppers, nitpickers, and trolls dissuade you from your efforts and good works. “Let the caravan move on while the little dogs bark.”
The scriptures warn: “Fools mock, but they shall mourn.” (Eth. 12: 26)