I will bet anyone that the 2020 elections will involve some sort of pandering to the disabled community. You may have seen this in 2016; there was a commercial of a disabled child (yes, I said child; this kid had to be no more than 12 years old) who was saying he was horrified at Donald Trump’s “mocking” of a disabled news reporter. I don’t remember this kid’s name, what disease he had (he was wheelchair bound; that much I could tell), or what PAC he represented, but it really sickened me when I saw this. Now, I’m not going to defend all of Donald Trump’s behaviors; I don’t particularly like when he uses swear words. However, I do need to debunk this “mocking” bit first.
In his book “Game of Thorns: The Inside Story of Hillary Clinton’s Failed Campaign and Donald Trump’s Winning Strategy”, historian Doug Wead went over the supposed “mocking” incident. According to this book, Trump had never met the reporter he was allegedly mocking. So, right there we see that, even if he had been mocking the reporter, it was by pure chance that they turned out to be disabled. The second issue with this supposed attack is that one can find many times where Trump repeated the same “mocking” behavior to illustrate the incompetence of other rivals or enemies.
My single biggest issue here was when they used a child to try and win over parents of disabled children, or relatives of those children. I myself am a disabled individual; I have a hereditary condition in which my vision slowly contracts over time to a point (probably one day) where I will go completely blind. I’m not saying this as a chance to earn sympathy points with anyone; I just want to let you know of my personal standing beforehand.
The reason I’m not going to support the Left if they try to pander to my community is because a blind individual in 2019 has little to no items they would need from a party, unlike the situation for that same community in the 1950’s. Before the 1990’s, disabled kids were treated as normal students by the education system. That meant that a child with autism was expected to perform like any other child. This same treatment existed for all other children. Then, the Americans With Disabilities Act came along, and all that changed. IEPs (Individualized Education Plan) set up advantages for disabled kids in the school systems so that they could perform on the same level as non-disabled kids did. Kids with blindness could opt out of gym or art class and could instead focus on things they were more able to do. I have been able to opt out of taking any such sort of Physical Education classes (excluding Health) because of these advocacy programs. It’s a wonderful thing. However, apparently that’s not enough for us disabled people. Or, that is what the Left tried to say in 2018.
I want to start off this section by stating one thing: I hate pretend advocates. Personally, I have had family members in the past who have been wonderful at defending my ability to opt out of certain classes or things at schools. I’ve had aides who have served the same role. I love these people for the work they’ve done. They are what I call “real advocates”- they aren’t just there for the PR or the exposure and won’t vanish once a situation has been made accessible or optional. They didn’t start advocating, do it for a while, then leave. These people have been there for as long as their job has allowed them to be there. However, then these people in the House of Representatives (such as Nancy Pelosi) come along, and start announcing that “we’ll do more for the disabled community”. Excuse me? I don’t believe I know what you’re talking about, Mrs. Pelosi. As far as I know, I can go into almost any field that I want to without much resistance (aerospace and aeronautics aside, of course). This previous statement does not include disabled veterans; these people are a special case as they are so much more complicated and delicate to handle. I don’t mean this in a demeaning way – the disabled veterans community should be protected and advocated for as much as anyone else.
Where was this “Advocacy for the Disabled” in 2016? The only time the Left brought up the Disabled community was when they tried to use us against Trump. The Left only focused on Hispanics, the LGBT, women, and the black community in 2016. The disabled sector of the population was only weaponized against the Right. But now, three years later, they want to come to our door, offering us solutions to problems that I personally consider “non-issues”. Of course healthcare is exempt from this list, since it has and always will be an issue.
If I were being lynched or discriminated against because of my blindness, I’d consider that an issue. If someone were to not allow me from working in a field for a poor or weak reason (I can’t see; I could see why it’d be an issue if I wanted to be a brain surgeon). If it were the 1950’s, and I were being treated like a black person in an all-white school (segregation), I’d want an advocate in the Senate. However, nothing like this has been happening for quite a few years. When the Left comes out of nowhere to try and gain my vote by mentioning my disability or the communities I belong to, it really looks fake and desperate. What happened to the LGBT community? Weren’t you the party of women and children? Why are you suddenly “defending” me again?
The pandering to this community does not worry me. The disabled community itself isn’t all that political. However, as with all pandering, this targeting isn’t trying to hit the disabled community; it’s trying to hit those who are advocates of the community. These include activists (or as Styxhexenhammer calls them, “craptavists”), political figures (like YouTubers or church leaders), and political groups (like the ACLU or Wounded Warriors). In 2020, it’s all going to be about identity politics: “I’m a divorced woman! I’m a guy with only one lung and no kidneys! I’m a transgender-transracial black woman who’s been divorced and abused by white power!” These people will target minorities, since they’ve lost manufacturing and white voters. We as conservatives need to reach out to these communities and show them our support. If we can build up a portfolio of past aide efforts, then we can rely on this to back up our support claims against the Left. I predict the Left will go with something like “We’ve done everything for , and the right hasn’t done a thing!”
Please realize that I am not calling for a shift in the Republican’s political platform. We should not change policy ideas just for the sake of pandering to the different progressive communities. I believe we do need to point out our overwhelming tolerance for those of different backgrounds that we have had in the past. I believe we could save our communities from being taken up by the Left by pointing out that the 2nd Amendment (which we overwhelmingly support and defend) has saved lives of the minorities, unlike the gun control which the Left pursues. We can show these communities the tax breaks, which have helped lower-income individuals in poorer neighborhoods. I think we should show off our business-friendly anti-regulation policies, which have helped businesses thrive, and have thus provided more jobs in our country for more citizens belonging to these groups. I think we should show off our pro-freedom initiatives; we were the party that gave women the right to vote, the party that ended slavery, and the party that expanded rights for these ‘underprivialiged’ citizens. Trust me, the Left will bring up all of these issues that are taken out of context to make us conservatives look bad. They’ll try and bring up old things like abortion and ‘racist’ border policies. What we need to do is remind America what we as the Right have really done for these minorities, and what we could still do if we remain in power of the government.