Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Is the GOP ignoring people with disabilities?

Access Ability does not usually tend to wade into political waters, but sometimes the worlds of disability rights and politics must inevitably cross. Most recently, they have seemed to do so on the front of the ADA Restoration Act of 2007.

However, some politicians, namely Republicans, would do well to offer an explanation for the events highlighted in a recent article titled,
Why the GOP is ignoring the disabled.

The article, from the online political magazine
spells out several recent occasions where the GOP is ceding the disability rights vote to the Democratic party.

Perhaps there is some greater agenda which the Republican party is pursuing. It does not make any sense for them to let this huge voting block of more than 50 million Americans with disabilities feel alienated.

The article highlights a shift to hardline fiscal conservatism as a possible reason for the GOP’s ignoring the disabled population. If this is because fiscal conservatism is a hallmark of being a Republican, then I would question the past seven years of heightened, Republican-led spending. To this argument, I say, “Damn your shifting definition of fundamentals and do the right thing.”

Then again, the fiscal conservatism argument might explain
Ted Poe’s sidestep
Reply when I asked him to support the ADA Restoration Act of 2007. (Ted Poe is my Republican U.S. Representative.) If this is what Congressman Poe believes, I wish he would have said so instead of dodging the question.

I identify myself as a Republican and have tended to vote conservative, but This may need to be adjusted. I’m but one voice in a sea of millions. More than just me, the Republican party may need to examine what Americans with disabilities are thinking as a whole. If they feel as I do, they are thinking, “If the party platform ignores my basic needs, why should I support the party or its candidates?”

If you haven’t read the article linked above, I encourage you to go back and do so. It presents some serious food for thought.

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