I am generally a politically active person. Of course, this makes me a PAP, which I think accounts for why everyone in politics seems to be complaining about “smear campaigns.” Anyway, most of my recent activism has been centered around getting this guy elected:
He’ll be baaaaahck… For another four years, after his first term! And, I seriously need that image on a black t-shirt. But the image I’m really looking forward to is more like this:
Anyway. Yeah. I have a whole collection of these Obama images, and I use them as backgrounds for my desktop at work, usually leading to some good natured bantering with more conservative coworkers, and compliments from anyone wandering by who either shares my opinion on Obama or just appreciates good Photoshop. Note: I didn’t make either of these. Both were found on Reddit. I’m rubbish at Photoshop.
Anyway, what I’m trying to get to is, I haven’t really done anything for local candidates in a while. So, I got an invite to my county Democratic party’s next central committee meeting. Actually, it was a summons– the words “Your attendance is mandatory,” were featured prominently. I attended.
It was great fun; I met lots of candidates I hadn’t previously met, and reconnected with some old friends, including a girl who I knew from my childhood. In fact, I think I may have made a friend. She told me she just moved back to Colorado and had no friends here yet, gave me her number, and said we should get together for coffee and catch up. Yay for new friends!
Another old friend was there: A prominent local Democrat with a disability. Probably the most recognizable wheelchair user in the Colorado Democratic party, and the main reason I’m so interested in disability activism. I used the opportunity to mention to some candidates that they ought to make disability civil rights a central part of their campaign, pointing out that my friend was available to answer any questions they might have. And, of course, I got “The Appraisal.”
The Appraisal is what happens when an apparently able-bodied person mentions disability rights to another apparently able-bodied person. There’s the quick, furtive look at my feet and legs, then a slower glance at my face, searching for cognitive disability, and often, they watch carefully as I walk away.
They’re speculating: Is it fibromyalgia? No, too young. Diabetes, maybe. Lots of young women have diabetes. Maybe a family member is disabled? Or, could it be, she WAS disabled, and now is cured? Or MS– MS is one of those “invisible disabilities,” right? Maybe she’s Autistic… I hear some of them are “indistinguishable from their peers.”
Then I get the, “Of course, we’ll reach out to voters with disabilities, because it’s the right thing to do, not for political gain.” That line. God, I hate that line! If a young, Liberal AB like me can recognize that nobody wants your outreach for charity purposes, why can’t a lifelong political professional get it? No! Reach out for political gain– because that means that you respect voters with disabilities and understand they can do something for you, not just you for them!
I promised you a stupid thing I did. No, I did not kick the candidate who said that in the shins. Sorry.
I bought a Dems 2008 magnet. A super strong magnet. I stuck it on my purse.
Then I stuck my cell phone in my purse.