Commentary: My Christmas List

first_imgBy Mary Beth SchneiderThe StatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—It’s all well and good to say “all I want for Christmas is you.” But we all know that, truth be told, we want so much more.Trouble is, much of it cannot be wrapped in pretty paper and tied with a bow. And most of it wouldn’t fit under the Christmas tree. But what wonderful gifts they would be.So, Santa, if you’re listening: I want a president who doesn’t call opponents juvenile names and who doesn’t Tweet insults. I want a president who supports our allies instead of coddling dictators. I want a president who doesn’t lie every single day, including on easily disproven things such as whether he signed a bill into law that actually was passed under a predecessor or whether any new sections of a border wall have been constructed.I want traffic lights that are synchronized. (Start with West Street, please.)I want politicians who put country over party, principles over partisanship and who seek to understand the needs of all their constituents, not just those who wrote them checks. And I want independently-drawn legislative and congressional districts that lead to fair representation.I want blue jeans that fit perfectly even after they are washed. (Just saying.)I want health care that is universal and affordable. And I want life-saving drugs such as insulin to be at minimal cost. After all, the people who invented insulin in 1923 – Frederick Banting, James Collip and Charles Best – sold the patent for one dollar because they felt it was unethical to profit from a discovery that saves lives. A life very precious to me has required insulin since she was a child; it shouldn’t cost hundreds of dollars each month.I want facial moisturizer that really does eliminate wrinkles. (Asking for a friend.)I want people to realize that the only fake news are lies completely made up. Reporters are human and make mistakes – but take it from me, they agonize over them and strive every day to get important stories out and to get them right. And I want people to know that good journalism doesn’t come for free. Subscribe to as many sources as you can – but especially to your local newspaper. In most communities, there is no one else to cover your mayor, your council, your schools, your community.I want to win the lottery. (Hey, it could happen!)I want the Statue of Liberty to represent our present, not our past. I have Dutch ancestors who came to what later became New York in the 1600s, seeking a new world. I have Irish ancestors who fled famine in the 1800s. I have Hungarian ancestors who came in the early 1900s, fleeing oppression. For the most part, they came with almost nothing. Some, like my grandmother, couldn’t speak English. Yet they built homes and lives, and the nation is richer for people like them.I want zero calorie chocolates. (So long as they taste like a 200-calorie truffles.)I want children to go to school without once having to wonder if that bang is from a slammed locker or an active shooter, and parents who don’t have to kiss them goodbye in the morning, wondering if that is the last kiss.I want to go through life without once being told “ok boomer.” (Seriously.)I want a government and corporations to realize we have very little time – if, that is, we have any left at all – to address climate change before our world no longer sustains life as we know it.And I want to be more grateful for the gifts I’ve already got.So I’m grateful for the gift of a father, who loved me no matter what and thought everything I did was just great.And I’m just as grateful for the gift of a mother who, while she always loves me, definitely doesn’t think everything I do is perfect. It taught me to take responsibility for my shortcomings and to try to do better.I’m grateful for the gift of a son and daughter who have given me years of memories and the pleasure of knowing so much more are in store. And I’m grateful for a husband who has shared all that with me.And I’m grateful for the gift of writing and the knowledge that some people enjoy it, too.Merry Christmas. I’m wishing, too, for your Christmas wishes to come true.Mary Beth Schneider is an editor at TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalists.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more