October 19th, 2016
POST WRITTEN BY AAAWIWHTEUOYML
The Make America Great Again Committee mailed a letter to an Autistic adult’s home. The recipient responded with this open letter:
In reply to your recent form letter, this is to inform you that I do not intend to contribute to the current Republican presidential candidate and do not intend to vote for him.
As a person fully capable of making up their own mind about this election, I share much of the electorate’s disgust with his insulting and incendiary comments about women, Mexicans, Muslims, and so on; I don’t need to repeat them here yet again. As an autistic person, I watched in dismay as the candidate stated the long discredited notion during a debate that vaccinations have anything at all to do with a person’s chances of being autistic. This single event will certainly push parents who are already badly misinformed about autism to refuse vaccinations for their children. Will the Republican party be willing to take its share of the blame the next time a disease previously thought to have been nearly eradicated suddenly breaks out? Giving dangerous pseudoscience a stage is not an action that a party worthy of influence in our government would take.
The Republican party of 2016 seems to have completely abandoned any idea that disabled people are worthy of respect. In addition to the above example, you are surely familiar with your candidate’s mocking the appearance of Serge Kovaleski, a disabled newspaper reporter, while giving a speech on a completely unrelated subject.
The candidate does not seem to be as inclined to stigmatize and spread misinformation about disabled people as much as some other groups. However, that raises the question why he would do it at all. Does he think that the above incidents raised his stature among disabled voters? Does the Republican party think it has? Does the party think that making disability a controversial partisan issue will serve somebody? What exactly is in it for the party? Why alienate such vast swaths of the country?
Hopefully, you now understand why I am denying your request for a campaign contribution. If you have any desire to be a reasonable choice for a disabled American, your first step is to wash your hands of the current candidate on November 9. Next, listen to those who live with disabilities and build policies that help them. Or at least don’t actively undermine them. Employment, healthcare, and mental health are all good starting points for this. Don’t even bother with trying to prevent or cure autism; at best you’ll only make yourself look more ridiculous.
I wish you the best in rebuilding your credibility among disabled Americans in the coming years.
(An Autistic American Who Is Wondering How They Ended Up On Your Mailing List)
P.S. Even if I was still inclined to give you money, I most definitely would not give you permission to perpetually send me text spam.
The person writing under the name AAAWIWHTEUOYML is an Atlanta-based Autistic adult and an ardent advocate for reasonable public health measures such as vaccines.