Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin, diversity and the disabled kids down the block

So my email box is full of opinions about Palin's speech last night. (See what I'm calling the BBC Palin Page here.) She's no doubt a disarming choice for vice president. Palin did her best with a speech some Democrats are calling mean spirited, attacking Obama and promoting her own mayoral experience and her experience since 2006 of being a governor, and many Republicans are hailing as salvation.

You know what? I'm not comfortable with either Obama's or Palin's lack of experience. Palin has no experience in Congress which, let's face it, is pivotal for knowing how to get things done if she has to take over the Presidency. And Obama's experience in Congress , in my opinion, was very brief, although better than none. As for Palin's arguments about her own experience, they fell flat for me. No points there, especially her digs at what Obama has done in his life that she hasn't done. You know. That social justice work she poked fun at, her argument seeming to be well what kind of experience is that? Not like being mayor. I thought that was a blatant slap in the face to people of the inner city and, unfortunately, a preview of the shortcomings of a candidate who is unschooled even in the most basic skills of representing a diverse country.

Yeah, diversity. Oh that.

And then there's the disability issues. Palin told mothers of special needs kids that they will have a friend and advocate in the White House if she's elected. And if she's elected , that's a good thing since McCain has, at present, no disability platform. He's openly against the Community Choice Act, which would allow disabled folks to live in the community. [See article and video link here.] I can't vote for any candidate who would willingly put my butt in a nursing home.

The reality of politics for people with disabilities is that we have to get empowered and read up on candidates' disability platforms. Because if candidates don't have one even before they're elected, then golly gee whilikers what's the chance of them having one after they're elected?

I applaud Palin for speaking up for kids with disabilities and their families. But I didn't hear one word about not institutionalizing people with disabilities, including those special needs kids, once they're grown ups. So is she going to prod McCain into having a disability platform of sorts or not? Is she going to care about those same special needs kids when they grow up and face institutionalization when family can no longer care for them?

Or is she going to be unable to do anything about the issue because she's only a vice presidential candidate?

Bingo.

8 comments:

hotwheelz said...

Unfortunately the Community Choice Act is getting lost in discussions because all the writing is about special needs children and Palin's child right now. That's a great discussion to have, but it doesn't make other disability issues go away. Our country is very bad at facing long term issues and community care for those kids as adults is an example. Or baby boomers. Take out stock in nursing homes so you can make money on the poor slobs who become the ones who have to go into them must be the line of thinking.

Julie said...

Umm, politics. Hate politics.

Only one issue is speaking out loudly to me this election year. The issue of Life. Obama's clearly pro choice when it comes to abortion. Don't trust him when it comes to physician assisted suicide or euthanasia. During the 20th Democratic presidential debate he said the one vote he would take back was his 2005 U.S. Senate vote to help save the life of Terri Schiavo.

I was not aware that McCain is against the Community Choice Act. This disturbs me very much. I need to check into him regarding that.

I DEFINITELY agree more needs to be done for those with disabilities AFTER they turn 18/21. I wish we could make our legislatores see that.

But with only two real choices for President this year, I have to go with the candidate that is more pro life, though I don't completely trust McCain on this issue either. I'm hoping that Palin can be a voice in the issue.

FridaWrites said...

It's ironic to me that McCain draws a $58,000 disability pension each year, tax free, but doesn't give a flip about anyone else with a disability. And after all, he's still been able to work; is it right for him to accept his money? I guess he sees himself as more worthy of welfare than people who really need assistance. Other people with definite severe disability get turned down or waitlisted for programs "just coz."

Wheelie Catholic said...

Thanks for your comments.

Just added another link to Disabled politico post/video link to McCain's position on Community Choice Act. You can find it here:

http://www.disaboom.com/Blogs/disabled_politico/archive/2008/07/08/mccain-voices-opposition-to-community-choice-act.aspx

Anonymous said...

This doesn't make sense. How can both a party not support a law like that if they are getting up and saying they are allies for disabled kids? Maybe Palin hasn't had a chance to talk to McCain about it yet.

Bob said...

Hits the nail on the head. Okay to talk about disability as an emotional issue, but not real life solutions. I've been in a wheelchair too long to fall for that.

Wheelie Catholic said...

Bob- According to my Google Reader, you're not alone feeling that way. I have too much work here to assemble disability bloggers and what they're writing, however, but sounds like they want to see a concrete disability platform too.

FridaWrites said...

Definitely. I don't understand why people won't support in-home or community care. It's absolutely what's right, but even if they only look at money, it's less expensive. I wrote letters to my senator and representative both on this issue a few years ago--the representative wrote back a supportive response indicating he agreed. The senator wrote back a vague letter about costs to taxpayers.