My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Aug 29

Talking to Republicans

Category: Life,Opinions

So, a bunch of my mom’s friends and associates who have kids with disabilities are Christian conservatives and they now LOVE Sarah Palin. Well, somehow I ended up on their mailing list, and, well, I got involved…

You’re assuming that a VP Palin would be able to DO anything in her office.  Our country’s in a hole, our society’s practically moving backward in every way important.  McCain would just be a different flavor of what we have right now, and what we have is pretty rancid.  America needs a change, something completely different.  I guarantee that if we stay on our current path of war, pollution, cultural stagnation, rights for the relatively few of us with disabilities will be quite low on anyone’s “to-do” list.  


Michael Phillips
On Aug 29, 2008, at 8:24 PM, Nikole wrote:
Dear Michael,         

I so respect and honor you as a person.  No one has lived the life you have, no one has the knowledge of what it is like to fight for rights, even for life itself as you have.  I must agree that no one administration – Republican or Democrat is the answer.  Over the years your mother and I have fought battles on both sides of the political realm just to get what children with disabilities needed.  We have seen an amazing Governor Jeb Bush honor our kids and the horrible Governor Crist cut their services to the point of families losing their ability to care for their loved ones in their homes – both Republicans.  I have seen amazing work by the Kennedy family for our kids, and at the same time several Republican Presidents who signed more civil rights laws into action than the other party.  

What I have learned, and even more recently experienced is that amidst all these who we choose to support or believe in, there are those who care, those who understand, and those who do not – and unfortunately most do not.  What I see in Palin is a glimmer of hope that she will “get it.”  I have a new word for the most insidious form of discrimination – Benevolent Discrimination – most likely the title of the book I will write some day.  It is meant for those who seem to care, but instead have very low expectations.  We found that in the judge I just had for my due process ruling.  If you read the ruling carefully you can sense the discrimination.  The fact is that he felt Andrew was not capable of what we were asking and that the low expectations of his teachers were okay, since they were doing their best, and they cared for him.
I think it must be akin to those slave owners who treated their slaves well, physically, but never believed they were worth valuing on an equal basis.
The Republicans have failed people with disabilities.
So have the Democrats.  The Democrats of today are not the same as the party of Martin Luther King.  I heard his niece on the radio on the historic day of his speech, yesterday, and she decried the abortions in this country her uncle would have despised.  
So in no party is the answer.
The answer is in the hope we need to all seek, no matter who is elected.
The answer is in the valuing of worth of each individual in our country as equal  – not special rights for special interests,  but equal rights, no segregation for the disabled, and no low expectations.

One of the wisest men I know, a proud member of the Green Party, Mark (who in a personal letter to me after our recent loss said the following) (hope you don’t mind me sharing Mark)  The root of the problem in our schools and in society in general is an ugly prejudice toward individuals with disabilities.  It has to do with the way society views their worth.  We live in a crass, commercial age, where we measure human worth by an individual’s ability to conform to our view of physical beauty and intelligence and their ability to produce capital wealth.  The revolution that is needed is a spiritual one, where we view an individual’s worth by their spiritual beauty and the innate value given by God.
I have been following Palin since the birth of her child in April, and have learned that she understands the value of her child, his “spiritual beauty and the innate value given by God.”  While I understand that it takes more to run a country than valuing one human life, one that some would say a life worthy of abortion, I think it is a good start.
With love

On Aug 29, 2008, at 7:03 PM, Michael Phillips wrote:

Trust me, I don’t think a Republican administration is God’s answer to anything.

On Aug 29, 2008, at 6:56 PM, Lilly wrote:
Amen!  Praise be to God!  This is the best news I have heard in a long, long time – I have to say that as a registered democrat who served for several years in a democratic administration, my vote will always be for “our children.”  And this mom of 5 is one of us and she sure has my vote!!!!        
Dear Friends,
What I thought to be only a long shot has come true. For the first time in this election I have hope, real hope for our children, our broken education system. I cried when I learned McCain had chose Sarah Palin for his running mate.
Read her personal statement regarding having a child with Down syndrome.
On April 18, 2008, Palin gave birth to her second son, Trig Paxson Van Palin, who has Down syndrome.[11] She returned to the office three days after giving birth.[12] Palin refused to let the results of prenatal genetic testing change her decision to have the baby. “I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection,” Palin said. “Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?”
Read her position paper on education:
Never in the history of our country has anyone with such personal, direct ties to a child with a disability come into the Presidency/vice presidency. In times when many of us have considered our views non-partisan – what matters is our kids – here is our chance to vote for our kids and their rights. I have no doubt that Palin will advocate for us in a new, fresh, strong way. I will take any woman with the nickname Sarah the Barracuda.
from an older blog:
This blog is the result of about a month worth of research on potential Republican Vice-Presidential candidates for the 2008 election. I had been considerably less than thrilled with all of the early speculation, mostly swirling around second-tier presidential candidates, so I decided to see if there was anyone better suited for the job that I hadn’t been hearing about. So, I developed the following profile for the perfect VP candidate (using Rudy Giuliani as my presumptive presidential candidate):
1) A energetic, young, fresh face who will energize the electorate
2) Not connected to the current administration
3) Pro-Life
4) Pro-Gun
5) A woman or minority to counter Hillary or Obama and put to rest the idea that America only elects white males
One of the first names I found that fit these qualifications was that of Sarah Palin, the recently elected Governor of Alaska. I knew that I had stumbled upon a fantastic candidate for national office, but I kept looking in the hope that I could find other potentially viable choices. However, after looking at every GOP governor, senator, and congressperson, I found that Palin had only become more appealing.
She was certainly energetic and young, having become governor at only 42 years of age. Watching her speches and campaign ads, I discovered that she was definitely a new kid of leader, coming off more as a spunky soccer-mom than a stuffy career politician. As for abortion, she was staunchly pro-life; and as a lifetime NRA member she was the most pro-gun candidate in the country. Furthermore, her experiences in rural Alaska provided a perfect complement to the big-city credentials of candidates like Giuliani. Her moderately libertarian positions on most other issues also match up perfectly to Giuliani.
There was thing about Palin that initially worried me – “lack of experience”. She had only been elected governor in 2006, and her only previous experience was as a two terms as a city councilwoman and two more as mayor in Wasilla, AK (population 8,471 in 2005) followed up by a failed campaign for lieutenant governor and a brief stint on Alaska’s Oil and Natural Gas Conservation Commission. This didn’t seem very appealing at first, but then I took the time to look closer at Palin’s history. What I had failed to realize was that she had habitually knocked of powerful incumbent opponents and was a quick learner on the job. In the 2006 gubernatorial election, she rolled over scandal-prone incumbent Frank Murkowski in the GOP primary, then went on to defeat former governor Tony Knowles in the general election – pretty impressive. Further back, she had knocked off an entrenched incumbent to become mayor of Wasilla, then developed a reputation as a hard-nosed, effective mayor. Her performance in Wasilla got her elected president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors and earned her the nickname “Sarah Barracuda”.
In the end, I decided that Sarah Palin had actually compiled a rather astounding record of achievements in her 42 years, and was more than capable of making the jump to the national level. So now I ask you who you would rather have as your Vice-President. You could accept conventional wisdom and choose from the lineup of old men currently being bantered about, or you could choose an inspiring leader like Sarah Palin. As for me, I’m going with “Sarah Barracuda”, a candidate who will help us win the election and then deliver solid results.

5 Comments so far

  1. Jez August 30th, 2008 10:32 am

    I’ve seen a lot of fundamentalist Christian women calling Palin a “child hating feminist”, and when I read their arguments it’s one of the most depressing things I’ve ever seen. Women that think that other women are only good for keeping a home, raising children, and doing whatever it is that their more worthy husbands tell them to do.

    I can’t imagine living your life that way.

  2. Sara August 30th, 2008 5:04 pm

    Tell them to check this out:
    July 7, 2008:
    Tough Questions at McCain’s First Town Hall Meeting

    A wheel-chair bound woman asked McCain about the Community Choice Act, a piece of legislation for disabled Americans that would give individuals greater freedom on where to live. “What that would do is it would end the institutional bias,” the questioner said, then asked him if he would consider supporting it.
    “I will not,” McCain responded, “because I don’t think it’s the right kind of legislation.” A trio of people in wheelchairs left the room shortly after his response.

  3. Andrew Yates August 30th, 2008 9:18 pm

    Blah blah blah. I have a sister and a mother, but that doesn’t make me a feminist. Besides, what politician is against “people with disabilities?” None. A claim to be “pro the disabled” is like a claim to be “pro puppies and babies.”

    If you want to actually contribute to something meaningful with real potential to solve anything rather than lie there while politicians vie to score layup points off your back, participate in the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative.

    Basically, the government is funding a study to show how medicine can be improved using new genomics technology by funding Coriell to offer free SNP set genomic tests. (as opposed to for-profit, $2500/test If you’re within a 5 hour drive radius of NYC, I’ll do the legwork for you. I’ll even bring you back an Affy gene chip for a necklace or whatever.

    If you’re seriously interested, email me and I’ll get you in contact with Coriell. I’ll there in Camden this Tuesday afternoon.


  4. THEO August 30th, 2008 10:10 pm

    Anyone who thinks the Republican Party should be rewarded with another 4 years after the last 8 probably shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    And my mother, a Fox News-watching conservative Catholic, think Palin is nuts for running on a presidential ticket after having 4 kids and a fifth with Down’s Syndrome this past April.

  5. Svettie September 1st, 2008 6:15 pm

    To the people who would throw their support behind Palin:
    It is important to remember that Palin would not be president. Instead, McCain, who has opposed the Community Choice Act because it is “too expensive” to let those with disabilities become productive members of their communities, would be in charge. To see McCain state this position to a woman with a disability at a town hall meeting in July, click below.