Something I’m puzzling over…or an aspect of disability and voting.

November 10, 2012 at 10:33 AM (Uncategorized)

There is a subset of voters within the disability community that vote for Democrats or progressives.  There is a subset of voters within the disability community that vote for Republicans.

I’m one of the Democrats.  But…I have  a strong feeling that had I been born able bodied…my community, my faith experience, my dear family…all of those would have pulled me toward the probability of voting Republican.

This next line could sound racist to some readers so I want to preface this by stating strongly this is not my intent.

But in the subset of Dems with disabilities…for those of us that are white…is a sliver of the reason we vote Democratic that we feel some resentment?  Not just for dealing with disabilities….Do we feel “kicked out?” of the space of white privilege?  (or, if born with our impairments, never in it in the first place)… Do we think, “Hey, but for this chair, I would have been sitting in the catbird seat?”

Anecdotal among my friends with disabilities who are white…we *are* denied that space, but many do not express themselves politically in ways that indicate that, or for those who vote Republican, they believe the reason they are not occupying a white privilege space is the fault of Democratic politicians and policies.

I also wonder, particularly for white men with acquired disabilities…if they led a life of perceived success before their impairments, are they able to hold onto that place, or do they lose it….and depending on that turn, does that impact their vote?

I hope not.  I hope that whichever side we vote on, it’s because of issues, of who we believe is going to lead to fuller integration in the community, education and the holy grail of employment for persons with disabilities.

I don’t see myself as having this particular stripe of resentment…and my illustration is my family.  Some of them have been insanely successful, as the world determines success….I’m proud of them, I don’t resent it.  In one case I’m a bit stunned by it, but not resentful of it.  I have some competitive flashes, but it never stays…it doesn’t sit in my head.

You can wish more worldly integration and success for yourself (that I do often) without resenting those things in others.

In a broader sense it means I don’t resent wealth and success in making wealth in general.

Resenting it as is  is silly because it *can* be the engine behind employment, depending on how it is used.

So, for the small amount of people interested in how the “disability vote” breaks down, some things to puzzle over.

 

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