Headlines about Trump’s “Great Wall” along the Mexican-US border and the Trump administration’s decision to deport more Cambodians put me to mind of Scrooge this morning. The USA is increasingly the country of Scrooge before his awakening to compassion and charity. Indeed, the miserly Scrooge is a decent model for Trump, except with Scrooge you always knew he had a heart. But Trump is hardly solely to blame; he’s just a horrifying exemplar of a culture consumed with narcissism in pursuit of money and a few more “mean sticks of furniture.”
My wife and I always watch “A Christmas Carol” around this time, the classic version with Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. Before his redemption, Scrooge is the ultimate miser, a mean-spirited soul who refuses to give to charity since he’s already paying taxes to support prisons and workhouses. For his fellow man Scrooge has no concern, arguing that those who can’t support themselves had best die “to decrease the surplus population.”
By all accounts, including his own, Scrooge is a successful man of business, always keeping a positive balance on his ledger sheet, even if he has to pinch pennies to do so. Generous he is not; you might say he passes nickels around as if they were manhole covers.
His partner Jacob Marley, dead for seven years, restores Scrooge’s humanity with the help of three spirits. Perhaps Marley has the best line when…
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