Don’t You DARE, Sarah Palin!

 

Okay, so I’m a liberal-conservative (in that order) independent voter.  I believe strongly in the value of not voting down party lines, in listening to every speaker, in listening to every debate and every speech.  I should say, I was an independent voter.  As the mother of two children with disabilities, I simply cannot forgive what Sarah Palin did tonight. 

 

I can forgive a lot of things.  In fact, I expect to have to where politicians are concerned.  Most politicians lie, cheat, steal their way into office, then lie, cheat, and steal some more.  In the process, some really good things happen and some really bad things happen.  I’m opposed to the war in Iraq (which we all know is NOT any closer to victory than it was six months ago), but I support the war in Afghanistan.  I’m opposed to abortion, but don’t believe that a 13-year old should be forced to have a child.  I believe in evolution—and I believe in creationism.  I believe that more government is bad.  I believe that less government is also bad.  I believe strongly in gay rights and equal pay for equal work (the latter being a problem that I also believe is over-exaggerated) and minority rights, but I also believe in tough immigration laws and enforcement.  I want—no, I need, access to health insurance.  I also want our country to be a safe place to live.  I’m the perfect independent voter.  Or I was.

 

The one thing that really gets me going is disability rights.  The disability rights movement is the slowest moving movement in America.  While the American people have rallied around women’s rights and minority rights and religious rights, they’ve left children and adults with disabilities far behind in their thoughts.  People with disabilities NEED an influential representative.  Sarah Palin IS NOT IT.

 

Sarah Palin has done NOTHING for people with disabilities—EVER.  Like a true politician, it wasn’t even an issue until she had a child with a disability—and even then it wasn’t an issue until she was nominated for the vice presidency.  2) She has yet to even understand the difficulty ahead of her.  Is a child with a disability “a gift from God?”  Yes, I can honestly say that I believe they are.  But ONLY if you take the time to live with them and learn from them and get to know them—not spend the first five years of their life working 80+ hours a week.  AND raising a child with a disability is hard work.  For those us without the benefit of a government job with perfect benefits or steady employment with above average pay, it’s also a tremendous financial challenge.  And it requires time and a willingness to sacrifice your own selfish wants (and even needs) in order to attend IFSP or IEP meetings, visits to various doctor’s and specialists, planning to obtain the very expensive tools your child needs to thrive in a world that does not believe they have the ability—or the right—to thrive.  These are things that Sarah Palin doesn’t know the first thing about, things that she CAN’T know anything about.  And if she thinks she’s going to win all the moms and all the caregivers and all the special education professionals simply by flouting the fact that she *has* a young child with a disability, she is absolutely, 100% wrong.  

 

For the time being, I’m only going to vote Democrat.  She keeps opening her mouth, and I might not be such an independent after all.

 

My children are not tools for you to use, Sarah Palin.  And if you look close enough, you’ll find that yours aren’t either.

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4 thoughts on “Don’t You DARE, Sarah Palin!

  1. Using children as tools? Guess you forgot Obama using his own children as tools…
    http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2008/07/access-hollywoo.html

    You also forget that Obama would have had your children aborted. Did you forget that he views them as mistakes,punishments?

    I want you to really think about what you said in this post, to look at what Palin REALLY said, to what Obama has been saying and really see who is using their children.

    If you can’t do that, then you are a hypocrite.

  2. Thank you for this astute and insightful assessment of the Republican Party’s nominee. She’s bringing contemporary politics to a new low by exploiting her son and all children with disabilities in this was.

  3. A Down Syndrome baby in the white house? I’ll take it!
    Can’t wait around forever for the ‘perfect ‘ advocate.
    and she shouldn’t have to do all the work herself. She has a big loving family to share it. Let Dad go to the IEP meetings. Haven’t you heard? Dad’s are the new moms!

  4. My husband was a stay-at-home dad with my kids when they were young because we couldn’t afford the cost of daycare for a child with cerebral palsy. I have no issue with dads staying at home or with moms having careers. I have a problem with this woman proclaiming she has the best interest of children with disabilities in mind simply because she *has* a newborn child with a disability.

    Sarah Palin has never done anything for people with disabilities, nor has she ever done anything to help special educators, paraprofessionals, or other disability-related professionals. She has not lived with this child long enough to have any perspective on what living with disability means and for her to claim that giving birth to a child with a disability is enough to have that perspective is akin to an absent father claiming he knows how to raise a child simply because he donated the sperm the create it.

    During the Bush administration, not one but two pieces of legislative catastrophes happened against people with disabilities–the reauthorization of IDEA that allows schools to suspend and expel students without taking disability into consideration, and No Child Left Behind that is the single worst piece of education legislation ever passed. Sarah Palin supports both of these, as well as supporting a broken health care system that leaves people with disabilities in limbo. That works fine for her because she has medical insurance and the money for all the specialists and will even have the option of special schools to give her child the very best.

    I don’t expect the perfect advocate, but I do expect people to be honest about who they are and what they intend. Don’t claim to be an advocate when you aren’t. Just as I railed against Hillary Clinton for claiming to speak for women when she did precious little for women’s rights, I’ll rail against Sarah Palin until election day for claiming to represent people with disabilities and their caregivers when she has done nothing for us.

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