Saturday, October 18, 2014

"Are You Serious" Awards - Volume XXXV: The Repugnant Politician Edition

I know my expectations are not realistic.  We live in a fallen world.  Our behavior is so far from the loveliness of heaven, some days it isn't even funny.

Nevertheless, there are some roads I wish we humans just wouldn't venture down.

Attacking a political candidate on the basis of their disability just ought to be one of those things, in my mind.  Yet, that is exactly what Texas gubernatorial candidate, Wendy Davis, did this week.  You can watch her controversial political ad on her YouTube channel

This commercial opens by focusing on her opponent's wheelchair, made necessary by an injury accident.

The ad, which frames his paralyzing injury with a dark voice, then goes on to attack Greg Abbott's voting record on a number of issues, including disability rights and tort reform.

What I find truly sad is the fact that these points all could have been powerfully made without casting Greg Abbott's paralysis in a negative light.

Are you SERIOUS?!

This particular ad is so beyond distasteful because it carries a dark, implied undertone.  It's as if the underlying message is, "Don't vote for this man because you feel sorry for him.  He's not really inspiring.  He's just using his wheelchair, his disability to trick you.  He's really evil.  He wants to hurt people who are injured like he is.  What a horrible man!"

I don't know about you, but I get tired of being caught in the cross hairs of ugly politics as I advocate for my loved ones with chronic illness or special needs.  I really don't like that the disabled are considered to be a voting block that is largely controlled by one political party.  No one side is right 100% of the time.  Reasonable people should be able to disagree without all of the venom and vitriol that have overrun this nation in ever-increasing measure over the past four decades.  

What sort of sad descent have we taken in embracing our utter depravity when we cannot disagree with a person's ideas or point of view without completely assaulting them personally?  Adding to that an attack shredding a candidate's character because they had a disabling accident should be considered beyond what any decent person of any political persuasion would think acceptable.

Frankly, this political ad goes too far.  And for that, the Wendy Davis campaign is the most unenviable winner of this week's award.

~ Barb Dittrich

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