By Johnny Trlica
Opinion: Dear Santa, Little Johnny here. I bet you are surprised to get a letter from me since it has been a long time since I have written to you. Well, I’m all grown up now. What is it? 60 years or so?
When I was younger my requests were simple. I remember wanting a furnished toy mobile home that came with a truck. And you delivered! I spent countless hours playing with it and rearranging the furniture inside. That was my first crack at interior design. You knew me well back then and I still have that toy.
As I got older, I began having doubts about your existence. I never received the 1977 Pontiac Trans Am, like the one in Smokey and the Bandit, that I wanted so badly. And I was an incredibly good boy that year, too.
Then there was that time that I asked you for the Houston Oilers to “kick that door down” and go to the Super Bowl. You not only didn’t deliver on that one, but you also took my team away from me.
Even so, I’ve decided to write to you again this year. Instead of bringing me something this Christmas, I want you to take something away. So Santa, please find it in your heart to take away the fear-mongering, truth-denying, gun-loving, conspiracy theory enabling, and in many cases the downright meanness that has infested today’s Republican party.
Santa, can you help the right learn to love our children more than they love their guns? As you probably know, gun violence is the leading cause of death in school-age children. In 2022, our nation broke the record for school shootings. There were more than three hundred incidents of gun violence on school grounds including the mass killings at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
How about taking away assault rifles, the weapon of choice for mass murderers? Think of all the toys your elves could make with all that scrap metal.
Mr. Claus, can you remove the right’s irrational fear of LGBTQ+ people, particularly the trans community? Like Rudolph, your red-nosed reindeer, trans folks are misunderstood and just want to be accepted for who they are. Ask Rudy.
State legislatures all across the country have passed drag show bans, labeling them as sexually oriented adult entertainment. I’d like to invite you and Mrs. Claus to see a show and find out for yourself how fun they are. Bring along a few of the elves — the more the merrier.
Santa, helps Republicans understand that a woman has a right to make her own decisions on her healthcare. Some states have enacted total bans on abortion, even if it jeopardizes the life of the mother. They do not consider if the pregnancy is the result of a rape or incest, or the age of the victim. That’s right Santa, they are mandating 10-year-old girls deliver a baby in some cases.
So Santa, I guess I am asking for something after all. Can you please bring my Republican compatriots back to a moral center? Help them realize they have become extreme in their ideations; in fact, some would say they have become radicalized and mean.
They laughed at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband being attacked with a hammer in his own home and made jokes about “walls.” They showed no empathy when kids drowned crossing the Rio Grand River. They showed no sympathy for kids being separated from their parents trying to immigrate, some of whom were never reunited.
In denying the truth, they accepted lies about the 2020 election and the insurrection at the Capital; they were not tourists. They made life-saving vaccines a political game, resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths.
But that’s nothing, Santa, compared to how they defend Donald Trump. Even though he has 91 felony counts in four criminal cases and has no morals or ethics, they defend him and repeat his lies. A jury found Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing a woman and awarded her $5 million in a judgment and they laughed at his victim.
He made fun of a reporter with disabilities and made jokes about Mr. Pelosi’s attack.
A Colorado court determined unequivocally that Donald Trump committed an “insurrection against the Constitution,” under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and they shrugged it off. Santa, please restore the Republican’s belief in our Constitution and of our legal system and courts and help them realize that the courts are not fixed against their hero.
Santa, you know most of them are good boys and girls, err, people. But somewhere along the way, they got misdirected to the land of misfit conspiracy theories and lies. Perhaps like that night when Rudolph helped guide your sleigh, you can help guide them back to truth, fairness, reality, and being nice people.
And dear Santa, it’s not too late to bring me that 1977 Pontiac Trans Am.