Perspectives on Political Candidates and Disability Efforts
Published : 2016-02-16
Author : Thomas C. Weiss - Contact: Disabled World
Synopsis: Thomas C. Weiss writes on the U.S. presidential election campaigns from a disability perspective.
Another election time has come to America, one that is post-Obama. Who will be elected President once President Obama is gone? For many People with Disabilities, the next President is a very important matter. I tend to agree; the next President will either succeed in helping us to gain rights, or the next President will turn their back on us.
The United States presidential election of 2016 will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election, and will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. During this presidential election year, the President of the United States and Vice President will be elected. Provided Barack Obama serves out his full term, the winner of this election will become the 45th President of the United States.
While there are enough Republicans running for the Office of the Presidency, I personally do not find any reason whatsoever to support any of them. The article before you takes a look at three people who are running for the Presidency; Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, as well as Mr. Donald Trump. The reason Mr. Trump made this article at all is to provide some kind of, 'other,' opinion related to the Presidential race. From my perspective as a person who experiences more than one form of disability, Mr. Donald Trump is the laughing stock of our population.
What Bernie Sanders Says
"The Americans with Disabilities Act established a clear national mandate that we as a nation have a moral responsibility to ensure that all Americans have access to the programs and the support needed to contribute to society, live with dignity, and achieve a high quality of life." - Senator Bernie Sanders
According to the Bernie Sanders campaign website, almost one-in-five people in America have a form of disability. Disability may happen at any stage of a person's life - to anyone. The way our government and elected leadership respond to issues facing people who experience disabilities and our family members, from:
- Access to services
Shapes the very fabric of American society. At a time when millions of Americans with Disabilities are struggling to keep their economic heads above water, Bernie believes America must expand the social safety net in this nation so that everyone can live in dignity. Mr. Sanders has stated that as the President he will:
- Increase employment and educational opportunities for people with disabilities.
- Fight for U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Bernie will continue to fight for equal access and rights for people with disabilities. That is why Bernie strongly supports the ratification of this important treaty.
- Protect and expand the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI). SSDI is vitally important to more than eleven million people in America, including greater than one million veterans and almost two million children. The average disability benefit is around $1,200 a month. For many people, that is their entire income.
In 2016, it is not acceptable that more than eighty percent of adults with disabilities remain unemployed. We need to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as well as vocational education programs. We also need to expand funding for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC's), which aim to provide, 'one-stop shopping,' for information on long-term services and support.
As the lead Democrat on the Budget Committee, Bernie fought against the Republican budget that would make lives far more difficult for people with disabilities by throwing twenty-seven million Americans off of health insurance, cutting Medicaid by $500 billion, turning Medicare into a voucher program, as well as making savage cuts in education, vocational assistance, affordable housing and nutrition programs.
Instead of cutting Medicaid, instead of privatizing Medicare, Bernie believes what the United States must do is join every other major nation on the planet and recognize that health care is a right of citizenship for every American, despite age or ability.
What Hillary Clinton Says
"We should acknowledge how the disabilities community has played such an important role in changing things for the better in our country." - Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton has stated, through her campaign website, that she will do a number of things for People with Disabilities. As President, Hillary has stated she will:
- Realize the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Improve access to meaningful and gainful employment for people with disabilities.
- Provide tax relief to help the millions of families caring for aging relatives or family members with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
According to Hillary's campaign website, she has spent her life fighting for the rights of people with disabilities. Her first job out of law school was with the Children's Defense Fund and one of her first tasks was going door to door to figure out why so many children were missing school. Hillary discovered that many parents were not sending their children to school because schools did not accommodate children with disabilities. The evidence she helped to gather was presented to Congress and built the case for passage of the law that ensures all children with disabilities have access to school.
As Secretary of State, Hillary worked to build strong support for the United States to join the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Yet despite a broad and bipartisan coalition, the Republican controlled Senate blocked its passage.
Twenty-five years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Hillary recognizes there is still a lot of work to be done, to include improving access to meaningful, gainful employment for people with disabilities. Too many Americans with disabilities continue to be left out of the workforce - and for those who are employed, too many are in under-stimulating jobs that do not fully allow them to use their talents.
What Donald Trump Says
Sadly, Donald Trump fails to even recognize People with Disabilities as the sizable population we truly are. There are millions of us in America alone. Donald Trump appears to be far more interested in immigration reform, US-China trade, tax reform and second amendment rights. From a disability perspective there is absolutely no way I could ever vote for Mr. Trump. If this is how Mr. Trump desires to somehow reform America, I can have nothing but pity for the guy. He is not even worth pursuing as a candidate and appears to enjoy publicity far more than serious action concerning People with Disabilities or, 'Making America Great Again.'
As a person with disabilities, I find Donald Trump to be nothing but annoying and irritating. The guy is like a Las Vegas show, always seeking to place himself in front of any camera possible in order to gain personal recognition. Mr. Trump is completely unworthy of the Office of the Presidency, in my opinion.
So Who Would I Support?
Needless to say perhaps, but there is no way Mr. Trump will ever obtain my vote. As for Hillary and Bernie, it is my opinion that Bernie is the person to vote for. Hillary is tied up in an FBI investigation into her use of a private server with security information, something she may never live down. Until the investigation is complete and America can see yet again that elite individuals skate on crimes committed while average Americans would be imprisoned, Hillary should remove herself from the race.
America has already had two members of the Bush family in office, there is absolutely no way I would ever, ever vote for a member of the Bush family. We have also had a Clinton in office and personally, I have no desire to see another Clinton in office. Choose who you will, it is one of the things that Americans have a choice in. Bear in mind; however, the fact that there are very wealthy and powerful people who support Hillary. Not Bernie - he has chosen to pursue a very grassroots campaign.
About the Author
Thomas C. Weiss attended college and university courses earning a Masters, Bachelors and two Associate degrees, as well as pursing Disability Studies. As a Nursing Assistant Thomas has assisted people from a variety of racial, religious, gender, class, and age groups by providing care for people with all forms of disabilities from Multiple Sclerosis to Parkinson's; para and quadriplegia to Spina Bifida.
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Cite Page: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Thomas C. Weiss. Electronic Publication Date: 2016-02-16. Title: Perspectives on Political Candidates and Disability Efforts, Source: <a href=https://www.disabled-world.com/editorials/political/us-elections.php>Perspectives on Political Candidates and Disability Efforts</a>. Retrieved 2021-06-18, from https://www.disabled-world.com/editorials/political/us-elections.php - Reference: DW#309-11927.