It’s Christmas Eve, for most of us an occasion to think of fun times, both present and past. It’s a great chance to wish that Santa would bring some much-needed gifts.
I’m asking Santa for some gifts especially for Louisiana. I am not given to Pollyanna behavior in my columns, but it’s the holidays, so allow me to ask Santa for the nearly impossible. Who knows? Maybe the seemingly impossible can happen twice this year.
Please, Santa, see if you can provide these things:
Give Gov. John Bel Edwards the gifts of foresight and courage to guide Louisiana through the storms of politics, along with the devastation both, man-made and by nature, facing this state. This will be a tough run.
Hike the price of oil to at least $75 per barrel so that the state can find hundreds of millions of dollars in unexpected revenue that can be used to fully fund help to our mentally and physically impaired, especially the children. They live in the shadows, and we have to be shamed into thinking about them when their stressed parents bring them to the Capitol.
Use some of that money to provide safe places for our mentally ill. Jail, prison and under highways are not the places for people who need this special care.
And Santa, if you give us the extra money, give us a gift of smarts that won’t allow us to Jindalize it by spreading it as welfare to big businesses and special interests. Remember how Gov. Bobby Jindal and his band of lemmings — sorry I mean Republican legislators — blew through a $1 billion surplus and proceeded to decimate our state’s future?
Give the families that are displaced because of the historic flooding the gift of a good day tomorrow wherever they are. They have suffered so much. And, if you can, help those young children who will cry because they don’t understand why things are so different this Christmas.
Give those heroic parents who are hurting because they can’t give their children the Christmas they wanted the gift of strength to know that things can get better and that one of the best gifts they can have is being together as a family.
Please give men the gift of good sense to manage their emotions so they don’t, in a fit of rage, beat or kill more women and children. Give them the good sense to move on. Oh, and you can give that gift to some women, too.
And Santa, please bring us the gifts of wisdom and respect. We need it all of time, but we will need it by the ton whenever a decision is made about the Alton Sterling case. We will need incredible leadership from every corner of Baton Rouge and Louisiana no matter the decision.
In that same vein, Santa please give Louisiana the thread to unite us into being the greatest story in America. It would be a tale of how we pulled together a population separated by race, income and politics, into a state of respect for each other, knowing there will always be disagreements, but everyone will be heard. Maybe this is the most Pollyannaish of my gift requests, but Lord knows it is one that is needed.
While you’re at it, Santa, I want to thank you for the early gift of sparing us a certain “ear-ritating,” whiney-sounding politician for the year now that campaign season is over. His bogus, homespun accent and the stomach-turning one-liners drove me nuts. His ridiculous and insensitive declaration that he would be willing to drink weed killer — essentially suicide — was one of the lowest points of all the campaigns.
Santa, as a gift for the future, please don’t let that guy run for office again, but if he does, I think we all should have a mute button, just in case.
Email Edward Pratt, a south Louisiana freelance writer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.