Peace and justice files

All I want for Christmas (2021 edition)

By SKIP MENDLER
Posted 11/23/21

My wonderful and beloved wife has already started dropping some hints about what she’d like for Christmas. (A good book, geared for artists, on the anatomy of animals, for instance. Any …

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Peace and justice files

All I want for Christmas (2021 edition)

Posted

My wonderful and beloved wife has already started dropping some hints about what she’d like for Christmas. (A good book, geared for artists, on the anatomy of animals, for instance. Any recommendations?) And of course, she wants to know my gift list as well... but I really haven’t been thinking about it all that much, as I’ve had too much other stuff on my mind these past few weeks. I already have most of the material things I need, after all–and intangibles like “more productive time” or “better stress management skills” aren’t exactly available on the open market.

But there are a few things I can think of that could help me have a much merrier holiday season.

One would be some evidence that the rule of law is still a reality in this country, for example. You know, just some indication that certain malefactors are not going to simply walk away from accountability. A just verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial would have been a nice surprise, for example, or it would be in the trial of those guys who killed Ahmaud Arbery, or in the Charlottesville trial, or… well, the list does go on, doesn’t it? And while there have been some stiff sentences handed down recently to folks involved in the January 6th insurrection, I’d also like to see some of Donald Trump’s lieutenants, if not Trump himself, dragged before a Congressional committee or grand jury, under oath, confronted with evidence, and forced to ‘fess up. Unfortunately, Congress hasn’t shown much interest in enforcing its own subpoenas, for reasons that escape me at the moment.

Speaking of Congress, I’d also be delighted to see a few other items from them under my tree—a proper voting rights and election reform bill, for one. Otherwise, I’m very concerned about how reapportionment, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and other nefarious tactics will be used to skew the results of the 2022 Congressional and state elections in the Republicans’ favor, and possibly open the door for Trump’s return in 2024.

There are also all the perennial items on my wish list—things like multiparty democracy, single payer health care, Constitutional reform, a real Green New Deal. (I’d also love it if somebody would get rid of all those intelligence-insulting Medicare ads on the TV!)

But most of all I’m looking for reasons for hope and optimism going into the next year. I need encouragement, fellowship, and community. I suspect I’m not alone in this. Fortunately, these are locally produced commodities, not dependent on overloaded supply chains or insufficient distribution systems. They are things we can give each other all year long, without fear of running out. No need to stand in long lines!

And speaking of locally produced stuff and supply-chain hysteria, let me also encourage you to consider giving your loved ones things created by the many talented artists and craftspeople that call our corner of the Universe home. Give your time. Make donations in someone’s name. And don’t forget to give to yourself as well. Happy holiday season!

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