By Ian Jones @IDJONESPHOTOG
I’m so glad it’s almost over. I cannot wait any more. In a couple of weeks, given any luck, we soon won’t be hearing any more bickering between the shattered remains of the Republican party (which seems to have transformed into a new party headed by Donald Trump,) and the similarly divided Democrats.
Whether you are Latino, Black or have a vagina and a pair of ovaries, it seems that all he’s done is try to alienate as many people as possible – including, yes, the disabled.
Trump notoriously mocked disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski. That was definitely eye opening, but many thought it was an aberration – surely even he couldn’t sink so low. Flash forward to October 14, coincidentally my birthday, when reports surfaced that he’d allegedly called Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin “retarded.”
Someone like him having access to a willing, widespread audience, let alone the country’s nukes, sends shivers down my spine.
God forbid Trump gets elected. I worry about the security of laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If Trump supporters want to repeal the 19th amendment (as many allegedly do,) I’m sure they see the ADA as nothing more than a huge inconvenience for businesses, and prime “repeal” material.
Disabled people in America have it pretty good these days. Not great, by any means, but better than it was before 1990, and definitely better than a lot of other places in the world.
According to an article in the March 24, 2016 Calgary Herald, even our neighbor to the north doesn’t have a law protecting the freedoms of disabled citizens – yet. With the 2016 budget, the Canadian government has committed to enacting a Canadians with Disabilities Act.
Even still, disabled Canadians are certainly better off than disabled citizens of other countries. I’m reminded of a yearly clinic I used to go to. One of my doctors asked if I’d be willing to meet with someone from Japan. The language barrier was tough, naturally, but I managed to communicate that I was fairly successful in life, and that with some effort, he could be too.
I will never forget the reaction from him and his family. Tears streamed down his mother’s face when she saw how confident I was. I learned that in Japanese society, the disabled are still hidden away, much like we were in American society from 1776 to roughly two hundred years later. We’re just now getting a foothold (if you’ll pardon the expression.) In fact, October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, so it’s a really timely subject.
Trump will no doubt turn the clock back for the Latinos, Blacks, women and the disabled: According to the Daily Beast, he’s faced “a number of lawsuits.” In one such case, “the Department of Justice had to intervene because the Trump Taj Mahal was nearly inaccessible for people with disabilities.”
I’m not going to vote for Trump. As long as you vote and it’s not for him, we’re good.
But I need to remind his supporters: no matter how good you feel Trump will be for America’s economy or whatever your reason, add up the different demographics Trump has alienated and that’s a huge swath of the American population. Imagine what that would mean for your countrymen.
Take a deep breath when you step into the voting booth: this action will have consequences.