So I’ve been very vocal through various social media – here, my Tweet feed, Facebook, and Google+ – about the fact that I think we need to hear more about what the candidates would do for parents of children with autism. And, as I’ve been more-than vocal about, this has to include more than just those in the lower income brackets.
On that note, I heard my first radio spot yesterday for the campaign that invoked Autism.
Ordinarily, I’d be thrilled that it’s even getting a mention.
Some parents that I follow on Twitter, during the first debate, were over the moon that President Obama mentioned autism (or, as was actually said, ‘autistic children’) at all. Governor Romney went as far as mentioning IDEA, the law that our children’s IEPs, but didn’t invoke the disorder itself by any more direct reference. At the time – and I still stand by this remark – I pointed out that a mention alone was worthless, a throw-away mention that was little more than trying to buy votes by getting those of us in the situation notice its mention. I could mention just about anything I want, and it doesn’t do an iota of good towards actually doing anything in the world. I want to hear what the candidates are going to do with regards to Autism.
I have also ben very upfront that I don’t exactly approve of the job that the President has done in the last four years – he made three distinct promises during the 2008 campaign with regards to Autism, none of which have been kept, according to the folks at Politifacts.com. Two are rated as ‘in the works’ (meaning there’s still no clear decision on kept, broken or compromised), and one is rated as ‘broken’. On the other hand, Governor Romney has not, to my belief and research, made a single promise about efforts surrounding Autism during this campaign. So as far as I’m concerned, neither one of them has been doing anything to earn the votes of those in the Autism community.
So, while riding home from work last night, the commercial comes on, and it’s talking about how Governor Romney’s plan is going to be cutting all kinds of domestic funding, including Medicaid. And that’s where the mention of Autism comes in – as one of the laundry list of coverages that will be axed if the governor is elected to the White House.
Now, this may just be me. I’ve never felt that scare tactics are the way to build support for anything in this world – it’s an attempt to scare folks away from supporting something else. It is used for ads on television right now to encourage folks to vote against equal-rights marriage laws, or to vote against expanded gambling in our state. And it’s wrong now for encouraging people to vote against someone for an office.
Frankly, I still want to hear what the candidates are going to do for our children with Autism. Give me a god-damned reason to vote for you, instead of telling me why I shouldn’t vote for the other guy.
In other words, candidates: PUT UP OR SHUT UP.