Article published Dec 8, 2013
Weekly Planet column
A Wish List for Santa
Spoiler Alert: Parents may want to keep their children away from this column’s opening paragraph. Of course, how many children read my column in the first place?
It’s been many years since I stopped believing in you. In fact, I can still remember the exact day I realized you weren’t real. It was Easter — yes, Easter — when 7-year-old Carol concluded there was no giant rabbit hopping around the globe delivering eggs.
And as the Easter Bunny fell, so, too, did you. Don’t feel bad, Santa; that kiddie logic banished the Tooth Fairy the very same year.
But today, dear Santa, I am putting aside old grudges to send you my Christmas list.
The first thing I want is for the good folks who answer the phones at Vermont Health Connect to get their stockings filled with chocolate and flowers. Throughout the very rocky launch of our state’s health exchange, these people have been on the receiving end of frustrated and occasionally furious phone calls.
Include a few bottles of good Vermont wine, and hopefully they will finally know how much we appreciate their patience and support.
Please send our president a feather for his cap for bringing sweeping changes to our country’s inequitable health-care system. Although I was rooting for single-payer, he deserves credit for succeeding where so many others have failed.
But once you go down his chimney, please leave him Bill Gates’ phone number. Next time he needs some computer work done, hopefully he will ask a pro.
Santa, bring our governor and state Legislature the children’s book “The Little Engine That Could.” They will need courage and fortitude as they craft and codify our state’s single-payer system and stave off those who say it can’t be done.
And why not throw in a copy of “David and Goliath” to remind them that the little guys — us — can win against the giant — Monsanto — in the GMO-labeling war?
There’s a rumor going around that our beloved Sen. Bernie Sanders is thinking of running for president. While we are damn proud of our independent Socialist senator, please give Bernie a gift certificate for a weekend getaway with Howard Dean. And Dennis Kucinich. And Ralph Nader.
Please bring a red pencil to the U.S. secretary of agriculture so he can delete the inane food-safety rules included in the farm bill. While food safety is critical, these one-size-fits-all rules could put many small farmers out of business and make it virtually impossible for schools to get local food into their cafeterias.
For the Supreme Court justices, please give them the games of Monopoly and Operation so they can learn the difference between corporations and people.
I know I should ask you to bring something for the folks in Congress. But since you are Santa and not the Wizard of Oz, I guess brains and hearts are not possible.
Here’s a tough one, Santa. Please give all climate-change deniers the deed to a small sliver of beachfront in the Republic of Maldives, the island nation that is disappearing into the sea.
I know this seems like a reward for bad behavior, but there’s nothing like firsthand experience to change somebody’s mind. Plus your old standby of a lump of coal is what got us into this mess in the first place.
And lastly, for everyone who has everything he or she needs and yet fills their Christmas lists with more of what they want, please bring them all fruitcake and hope they can take a joke.
Thank you, dear Santa, for making all of my Christmas wishes come true.
Carol Tashie, co-owner of Radical Roots Farm, lives in Rutland City and tries hard to find a balance between what is possible and what is impossible to ignore. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.