I cannot remain silent.

I just finished watching the Debate.

I’m going to try and overlook the fact that McCain stated in his health care plan that people with “gold plated health care plans” are getting “Cosmetic surgery…and transplants and the like”. I’m going to focus on issues here. I’m going to try very very hard not to judge McCain on his foibles and mistakes.

I’m going to try and forget that McCain doesn’t even know his own running mate well enough to know that her child has DOWN SYNDROME not AUTISM (unless they are diagnosing 6 month old children now). No, wait, I can’t. I just can’t. Consider this: Autism. Down syndrome. Are we really lumping everyone who is mentally or physically challenged together and using interchangeable terms? Really? That’s not okay with me. It’s just not. It’s a symptom of a larger problem to me, not just a simple word mistake.

On the Today show this morning there was a piece on parents of children with Down syndrome who are voting for McCain/Palin because “she understands their struggle” and “understands where they are”. I do not dispute this. I cannot deny that when I see that baby onstage a small part of me says “YEAH” to see the weight of Down syndrome awareness on the shoulders of that tiny baby.

But I believe with every fiber of my being that if you have a child with special needs, and you vote for candidate because they also have a child with special needs, you are doing a terrible disservice to the entire community and the political struggle for education and societal equality that is still going on! If I were Black, I would not vote for Obama because he is “Black like me”. I would not vote for Hillary or Sara Palin because they are women. To do so is offensive and sets back everything that has been gained both groups. It discounts struggles that still exist.

In this country, the “N” word is, rightfully so, disgraceful and unacceptable. Calling a woman a “dame”, a “chick”, a “dumb bitch” is equally disgraceful and unacceptable. (Let’s please not go into the debate about how these terms are used in circles of equals and accepted there…it’s a valid point of conversation but not pertinent here). Yet in High schools across America, in work places, in colleges, on work crews, in homes people still think that it is okay to say “retard”.
I’m a retard.
That’s retarted.
I just had a retard moment.
You are a retard.

Really? Is this okay? Is it okay to be demeaning to a segment of our population that cannot defend themselves?

In all fairness, this is not my original argument. You can see the original here:

This is only one part of the struggle that special needs families deal with on a daily basis. Health care, working because they have to when they should be or want to be staying at home, worrying about how they will get time off for surgeries, or to take a child to therapy or doctor’s appointments….these are REAL issues. Worrying about sending your child to school, how will they be accepted? What kind of education will they get? Will they get left behind? Are they getting what they need? Do the teachers care or are they doing the minimum to get by? These issues are Real. Please do not tell me that instead of considering these REAL issues that affect your family you are going to vote for someone who is “like you”. That is shocking.

I don’t want to have coffee with Sara Palin. Even though, yes, I think she might be fun.
I don’t want to have her over for conversation.
I don’t want to vote for her because Trig has DS.

I want to vote based on issues. And I want you to vote that way too. I want you to vote your BRAIN, even though your heart tells you otherwise. Consider the issues. Educate yourself. Vote for the candidate that you believe will do the best job to put this nation on course, to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves, and make sure we are treated fairly…all of us…

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