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Monday, November 1, 2010

Voting Against Arrogance

I was thinking of not voting this year, until I saw a message on Facebook. A “friend” managed to take a video I posted on PhillyACCESS, an informational website for people with disabilities, and turn it into a message against the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The video was of an extreme sports athlete doing a long jump off of a ski jump type of ramp in a wheelchair. It’s an amazing video.

It also doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the ADA.

Yet, somehow he posted the words, “Must be a guy in charge of his own destiny ... probably doesn't spend much time worrying about the ADA.” I only know what the hell that means because I know how he thinks.

On the surface, it’s completely incoherent. Actually, even when it’s examined a little deeper, it’s completed incoherent. But, like I said, I know how he thinks.

The guy thinks the rest of the world should just pull themselves up by the bootstraps he never needed to pull on.

If you haven’t guessed, he’s a Republican.

He’s the guy who thinks “programs are out there to help those people,” and everyone should just fend for themselves. He thinks he can get away with saying these things because, after all, he knows someone with a disability. It’s sort of like the guy who tells racist jokes, but thinks it’s ok because his best friend is black.

I’m tempted to explain just how little he knows about my experience, but his ignorance is only the impetus for this post.

His ignorance is that of the elite and the wannabee elite. As a casual observer of politics, it seems perfectly clear that one of the main political breakdowns in this country follows the fault lines of the wealthy and those clutching at their skirts to become truly wealthy versus everyone else. The other falls along the lines of racial tolerance and racism, inclusion for all and ignorance.

I was actually a registered Republican during the last election. I had registered when I was old enough, and followed in my parents’ footsteps without much concern for which party I was registered with. I had this crazy notion that I would actually try to learn about the candidates running for election.

Yet, after the last election, I was simply too embarrassed to be registered as a Republican. Their not-so-veiled racist attitudes disgusted me. Sarah Palin’s presence on the presidential ticket was simply insulting to anyone with a brain, as was her suggestion that giving birth to a child with a disability made her an advocate. It most assuredly did not, and the attitude she and John McCain demonstrated toward the then infant son of Palin only proved it.

I figured Palin would fade back to oblivion where she belongs after the election, and things would settle down. Instead, Republicans have merely dug in their heels and two years later still call the airhead from Alaska their voice of the future.

There’s a future I want no part of.

The venom that continues to spew from enraged Republicans, angered by the fact that a black man is in the White House, is what has me going to the polls. It’s not really covered by the media, but we all know President Obama’s race is the cause of the vitriol.

Ignorant people want to hide behind catch phrases like Obamacare, big government, bailouts, and socialism. Of course, most of them obviously don’t understand what socialism is, don’t seem to comprehend that the bailouts of the banks have their origins in the Bush administration, and are somehow offended by the notion of attempting to give everyone health care.

They merely “want to take the country back,” which doesn’t mean anything. The country wasn’t taken over by an enemy. It’s merely code for “we want a white guy back in the White House.” Just ask Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who recently said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

That’s funny. I thought it was about governing the country better, in their opinion, than President Obama.

For two years, I’ve been told by obnoxious Republicans that I regret my vote in the last election. I most assuredly do not.

According to all reports, my vote won’t matter much tomorrow. But voting against the arrogance of Republicans is never wrong.

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