Editor, Times-Union:

According to my opinion “pals,” all I do is sit around and complain. Well, here I am again, crazy liberal hippie that you claim I am. However, this time I am presenting a list of things I want — not just for me but for our entire population of short, tall, men, women, straight, gay, trans, bi, etc., brown, black, yellow, red, tan, ecru, purple, green, etc., young, old, middle-aged, Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist, etc., intelligent, ignorant, sympathetic, empathetic, apathetic, Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc. people.

We want — equal pay for equal work and for that pay to be a living wage and for everyone to pay their fair share of taxes.

We want — all children to learn, from preschool through college, the true, unedited history of our country and the world (good, bad and ugly) — not to make anyone feel guilty but to teach them we all have stories, burdens and beliefs —and that is okay. That is how humans learn to get along, to empathize, to accept and appreciate, not judge and ridicule our differences.

We want — schools to be safe places of learning — not of fearfulness and violence.

We want — freedom to read any book we choose and not be stifled by the judgment of anyone who wants to control our choices based on their beliefs.

We want — freedom to be our true selves and not be ostracized by anyone who deems us lesser than or inferior to them.

We want — freedom to make our own health care decisions with the help of loved ones, doctors, or spiritual leaders — but not government.

We want — freedom to vote conveniently without intimidation, bullying, or excessive, unnecessary restrictions.

We want — freedom to love and marry whomever we choose.

We want — freedom to live, shop, worship wherever we choose without fearing people “packing heat” and wondering if they are good guys or bad guys.

We want — all countries of the world to live as freely and democratically as we do and to assure them we will defend their right to do so and expect them to do likewise.

We want — the knowledge that our freedom of the press is safe — and that truth will always be conveyed.

We want — reassurance that our freedoms of speech and assembly are still sacred and abusers will be held accountable.

We want — assurances that all of our leaders appreciate the arts and sciences and the expertise of those who create it or research it or explore it and allow them to enrich our lives, save our lives and save our planet.

We want — a real two-party system that cooperatively governs according to constituents’ wants — not theirs.

We want — wait for it — America to be great again, and it was pretty great, even with its pesky problems, until a flood of self-righteous extremists and conspiracists decided it wasn’t.

America’s democracy has always been a work in progress. Recently we hit a little speed bump created out of fear, hypocrisy and egotism. This is not the first time, but maybe it is the worst time. We can be great again — because we want.

Jeanne Schutz

Winona Lake