Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How the Midwest was Won

Friends, I am participating in an interesting online discussion about how a person is able to vote against their own best interest.  I wanted to share this with you, my IOI followers.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.  Please remember to keep comments respectful.  Thank you!

Okay, I need to preface this by saying I am about as rabidly Democrat as they come.  I am only addressing the mindset that COULD lead someone to vote against their own best interests.  I am an educated liberal.  But I believe I have a slightly different perspective because I am an educated liberal with a disability, Cerebral Palsy.  I feel invisible most of the time.  Whenever a list of minorities is presented, people with disabilities are frequently overlooked.  There are often discussions of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, but disability isn't there.  This is really frustrating.  Discrimination against people with disabilities (PWD) still happens.  What's more, it's not given the same importance as discrimination against other classes.  I find Mr. Trump's treatment of women abhorrent and disgusting.  I am so grateful that so many people refused to vote for him because of his stated views about women.  However, while people expressed outrage when he mocked Mr. Kovaleski as they should have, I didn't hear anyone say, honestly, that this was the straw that broke the camel's back.  

So let me circle this back around to my understanding how someone could vote for Donald Trump.  I don’t know how to explain how awful it feels to feel invisible day after day.  When I am left off of a list the message is that I have no value.  Here’s a list of people whom we acknowledge as being treated as if they have less value than hetero, white, cisgendered males.  I don’t even rank as less than.  My rank is naught.  I have lived this way for 39 years.  IF a candidate were to come along and tell us, “I’m here for the gimps!  The amputees, crutch users, the blue tags, the rollers? I’m going to help you.  See all those people who mean well but still ignore you?  How can they ignore you if they mean well?  I mean, sure, I don’t like chocolate and plan to make it illegal, but I’m here, and I am going to fix this.  We’ll build you the best hospitals money can buy without a single stair in any of them.  I’ll even make the ables pay for it!”  NO ONE has so much as acknowledged my existence in politics and now not only does he see me, but he’s TALKING TO ME.  This sounds really good.  I’m excited.  I latch onto the idea of a hospital I can get to!  Okay, the people around me are going to suffer but you know what? I’ve been suffering for 39 years.  So yes, I’m on board.  I can’t wait!  But as soon as the election is over, Hershey bars start disappearing from grocery stores.  People were already quietly buying up the Snickers bars since the last debate.  But…I didn’t want this part, I just wanted a hospital.  I wanted the ramps.  I wanted to see my oppressors have to do the work for once.  So this is how, even with muscle spasms that twist me up like a pretzel and freeze my muscles like Han Solo in carbonite, I have managed to royally screw myself.  This is how Trump exploited the very people who stand to be hurt the most by his policies.  He distracted them.  He told them what they wanted to hear and played right into their fears and vulnerabilities.  This is how someone votes for the very thing that will hurt them most.  


  1. As always, you seem to hit the nail exactly square on the head - and I'm really glad you posted openly how invisible it is to be disabled in this current political climate. You're completely correct - no one talks about discrimination against those with disabilities. It's literally like no one can see it. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named got a lot of flack during the campaign for mocking a disabled reporter, yet the real problem comes down to people voting based on emotion - fear and vulnerability, instead of logic. It's tragic and heartbreaking to see so many people vote for the person that is going to screw them over the most (how many ACA recipients are rabidly anti-Obamacare, not even realizing that their own health insurance IS Obamacare?!)

    While I want to be so angry at those who voted against their own best interests (and mine) I can understand, just like you are saying in this post, how and why they did it. I'm rambling - but as usual I love this post.

  2. In my rational brain, that makes perfect sense. In truth, I can't understand how anyone could vote for him, especially women. I don't really want to understand their point of view. I don't even care. I cannot in my heart believe that anyone who voted for him could possibly be a good person. Just don't get it.

  3. Wow! You have eloquently put into words what so many americans have been feeling. Thank you for sharing your point of view so that others can hopefully get a better understanding of issues facing our neighbors and friends and the work that needs to be done <3

  4. Great article on the now President and why he might have one. Gives a good perspective to it all.