I’m asking Santa for a few things this Christmas that I think will benefit most everybody around Newton County and metro Atlanta for years to come.
Many are things that I’ve wanted for years but have proven unrealistic, either politically or practically. Some are proving even more unattainable as the years go by.
Santa is getting a request from me for a faster rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines so everyone who wants it can get it now, not later.
I want regular Joe’s to have the chance to get the vaccine and get this country back to work.
Peace on earth seemed doable when I was young, but I know now that’s unattainable. So I’m merely asking Santa Claus for peace in Newton County.
I think people should get off their phones and laptops and start talking to people face to face. Yes, we have our differences but we should be looking for ways to make Newton County a good place to live for all county residents — not just the residents of the rural parts or the suburban areas. Everyone.
I want people from both sides of the aisle to be able to see things from the others’ perspectives — not just from the narrow view they and their close inner circles have always seen it from. These are things like systemic racism, or the perception THEY are pushing you out of your lifelong home — no matter who you are.
Some of my Christmas wishes involve the responsible use of Constitutional rights.
I wish people who own guns — even if illegally — have something automatically etched in their brains as soon as they touch the handle that forces them to use the firearm responsibly.
It should only allow them to use guns after age 25, or the same age you are allowed to use another metal weapon called a motor vehicle.
Gun violence is an awful thing. Too many promising young people have lost their lives because of the stupidity and immaturity they show toward the weapons.
I also want Santa to bring me a ban on trolling on social media.
I hate to say it, y’all, but it’s needed in some form, even though it would open a major debate about the Constitutional right to freedom of speech.
The problem is that people often use this Constitutional right irresponsibly. The comments section beneath many Facebook posts are filled with hate speech, rumors, conspiracy theories, misinformation and more. It has produced a whole range of problems.
I also am wishing for a ban on all political postings on Facebook — only pictures of new grandbabies and videos of cats allowed.
I’m pretty sure when you post your complaint about a politician on Facebook, nine times out of 10 the reader could care less.
I know this Pandora’s box was opened years ago but I believe something’s wrong here. Our deep political split and the person in the White House for the past four years has made any sort of useful political discourse with this platform and others obsolete. It’s just a place to bicker at each other, from what I’ve seen.
I guess because of our political mechanisms — the fact you can’t directly fire an elected leader because you disagree with their decision or view — leads people to believe their only recourse is to bash someone, or insult them, or worse.
In the case of election workers merely doing their jobs and getting death threats because of it, those making the threats ought to be ashamed.
I used to think talking behind people’s backs was bad. Now, someone possibly using their real name talks in front of you on Facebook and Twitter while their like-minded, mean-spirited troll friends pile on and become sort of a digital mob.
If you have something bad to say about a politician, go to a town hall meeting or speak during an open forum.
Have the courage to say it to their face or, better yet, write a good old-fashioned letter to the editor using your real name.
Tom Spigolon is news editor of The Covington News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.