Today is Election Day 2016. It has been an epic Trump -vs- Clinton battle during this campaign. The country seems divided, media bias has fueled anger and hostility toward each candidate. People with disabilities have been highlighted multiple times throughout the campaign on both sides. How have those stories affected your vote?
I may get some negative feedback from this post, but I believe this is something that needs to be said. First and foremost I need to say that I do not particularly endorse either candidate. I feel that both candidates have some positive and MANY negative qualities, but neither is necessarily suited to be the next president of the United States. That being said, media coverage of this campaign has been extremely biased, and I feel it has been overly biased when it comes to discussing disability issues.
Most recently, there was a story of a 12 year old boy with cerebral palsy who was asked to leave a Trump rally. News stories headlined that “Donald Trump ejects 12 year old boy with cerebral palsy from rally”. This headline makes Mr. Trump look like he went up to a small child in a wheelchair and threw him out of his rally for no reason. It is unfair to paint that picture when in reality the boy and his family were there to protest the rally, and were disrupting the event. Mr. Trump had them removed by security just as he would any other protester who was disrupting the event.
Now you can’t tell me that if the same thing happened at Mrs. Clinton’s rally she wouldn’t have done the same thing. In reality, Mr. Trump acted in a way I want a leader to act. He didn’t parade a poor little kid in a wheelchair across a stage with a sad little story about his life to get sympathy votes. (Can we say the same about Hillary?) He treated the kid in the wheelchair like he would any other citizen. He treated him like an equal, and that is what we have been asking for. This is just one example of how people with disabilities have been used in the media to sway the people’s votes this year.
With regard to the allegations of how the Trump supporters reacted to this individual, I am ashamed. Our society should be better than that. We all have the right to express our opinions, but we don’t have the right to resort to violence or personal attacks. Kicking someone’s wheelchair is the same as kicking the person. The wheelchair is an extension of the person, and any attack like that is uncalled for. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I am happy that this young man is getting involved in current events, and my hope is that this event does not deter him from continuing his involvement.
When you vote today make sure you vote for the right reason. There has been so much hate, racism, lies, and bias swimming around in our media. Don’t allow your heart to absorb all that negativity and change who you are. Whether you vote for Trump or Clinton or someone else, do it because you believe it is the best choice for our country, not because the media or anyone else told you to.
No matter the outcome, we will still be Americans come tomorrow, and we will still be facing the same issues we face today. We need to come together and make the changes we wish to see ourselves. We cannot rely on one person in a big White House to fix everything. It is up to us to make the changes. Vote for change in America regardless of who you vote for president.