This is about the time, every other year, when the various campaigns to get cripples registered to vote start cranking it up big time. I’m always hesitant to get too involved in these efforts. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for turning cripples out at their polling places by the truckloads, as long as I know they are going to vote for the people I want them to vote for. But if not, then I just as soon they stay home. I don’t care if they are my crippled brothers and sisters. I’ll not enable their anti-social behavior.
There’s a group that started in 2011 called She Should Run. Its mission is “to expand the talent pool of women running for office in the United States by providing community, resources, and growth opportunities for aspiring political leaders.” She Should Run has a goal of getting 250,000 women to run for elected office by the year 2030. This sounds like a smashing idea, as long as these candidates don’t include any Margaret Thatchers or Sarah Palins.
What if there was a similar initiative designed to recruit and groom crippled candidates? I know I’d get 100 percent behind any effort to support 250,000 crippled candidates who agree with me. Otherwise, forget it.
Hey, whenever a cripple tries to break new ground, I try my best to cheer them on. I really do. But I can only go so far. I have a hard time getting on their side if they’re not on my side.
Who out there remembers Jim Abbott, the crippled major league baseball pitcher? He was born without a right hand, but he was always hell-bent on being a pitcher so he pitched lefty. He fielded lefty, too. He balanced the glove on his right stub, and after he threw a pitch, quickly stuck his hand into the glove and was ready to field. He had a respectable career in the 1990s and even threw a no-hitter. I always wished Jim Abbott well, except when he pitched against my favorite team. When he pitched against my favorite team, I rooted for him to get his butt kicked as hard as I would for any two-handed pitcher to get their butt kicked. I don’t discriminate.
And now there’s another famous crippled Abbott. He’s Greg Abbott, the wheelchair-riding governor of Texas. He became a paraplegic in 1984, when he was jogging through a park in Houston and a tree fell on him. I suppose that means I should hope he rises to the political pinnacle and beyond. But in case you didn’t know it already, Greg Abbott ain’t no FDR. He pretty much stands for the same fascist crap that Trump stands for. As attorney general of Texas, he vigorously argued in court that Texas had “sovereign immunity” and should thus be exempt from complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Thank God he lost that case.
Cripples like Greg Abbott baffle me. You would think that if someone becomes crippled for life because a tree falls on their head, it couldn’t help but knock some empathy and wisdom into them and thus knock all the Abbott-like meanness out of them. There’s not room in the same value system for both. Abbott must’ve built up an impenetrable immunity to such things. It’s a tragic waste of a perfectly good disability.
So, there’s no way I would want to provide any sort of “community, resources, and growth opportunities for aspiring political leaders” who might someday be another Greg Abbott, just because they’re crippled. If it turned out that I was in any way responsible for one of them actually getting elected, I couldn’t live with the guilt. I hope candidates like Greg Abbott crash and burn spectacularly on Election Day, crippled or not. I don’t discriminate.
If anybody asks me if they can use my wheelchair-accessible van to drive a crippled voter to their polling place, I’ll be more than happy to oblige. But first that cripple will have to answer a few questions.