Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How important a factor is health in politics-Stigma of Dieases

Usually, I do not like posting two posts in a given day.  But today, I have excess time to do so. There is an article written in the NY Times about the VP pick of Thomas Eagleton back in July 1972 that was very fundamental in my own political aspirations.Here is the article:


Later, in my own life, a few years later I was given my own disability status.  Due to the Eagleton VP nomination, I just figured politically, any aspiration to me being a viable candidate was dead due to the Eagleton flap.  Framing this in a rhetorical question, how important a factor is one's physical and mental health when it comes to any job?

One effect of the Eagleton rejection was that in my own world, I went into the closet on my own cognitive disability.  For many years, I was ashamed and embarressed about a disease I did not caue.  Until after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 misled simpleton me to believing it was ok to come out of the closet around 1994. 

Furthermore, it led me a few years later in 1998 to finally go ahead and run for elected office when I was asked to do so by others. Plus, I no longer hid having a disability being very active with other disability advocacy groups in Kansas fighting against all the disability discrimination I had endured since the early seventies.

In fact, I can still get pissed off about the stigma still associated with cognitive diseases, but none with physical impairments like heart conditions and other diseases.  Take Dick Cheney and his heart condition-that was not much of a factor unlike Eagleton.

Or take Howard Dean running for President and his caffeine induce  yee-haw was enough that he dropped out.  With Dean, I just saw one excited politician that was happy and positive.  The media saw it otherwise and destroyed Dean's aspirations. Or even Obama who at least was transparent about drug usage and his niccotine addiction.  I bet Obama still smokes.

Now I remain one of the leading activists in America, not wanting to forget what other and myself have had to endure and do one's best to overcome stigma related to health most of our lives. Whether than be in politics, relations, education or profession.  Be glad if you are not one of us, yet.  Yet because sooner or late the probability is you or someone else you love, will join our "little club". 

For years in litigation clear to the United States Supreme Court several times, I was merely telling the judicial  and administrative branches at the federal and state level what our world was like-a long story around 18 years dealing with the many faces of disability discrimination that still occurs a lot even now.  I have heard all the arguments from the disability haters-how worthless we are and why we should be just like they are.

In evaluating my life, I am one of the fortunate people dealing with a cognitive disabillity.  I pay a price for being out of the closet.  On a positive note, when I write about it, a goal is to comfort those like me hoping they overcome their own disease processes and the stigma they have to endure.  So politically,  I took my own experiences and turned lemons ot lemonades. 

In turn, that is and was one of my strengths making me have empathy and compassion for anyone having to deal with health issues. I see very little between physical and congnitive diseases.  Now advance to today. This presidential election, Obama has emapthy and compassion, along with the high cost.

Romney on the other hand is one of those that has very little empathy or compassion and all he cares about our dollar bills.  So, that is how the country is divided as well.  Do you have focus on money;  or compassion and empathy.   Or fall somewhere in between.  And that is how I view politics-is a person transparent about their health as one of the factors of their qualifications.

 I hope we are not an uncivil society that judges one based on a disease process that one has no control over.  For example, I did not cause my disability-I just do my best in trying to overcome the stigma. That makes me a better person having learned empathy and compassion and yes, that plays out in my political aspirations.  My diseases shaped who I am now.  Whether I wanted that to happen or not. 

So in my own self-analysis, I have been quite successful and benefited as a human being due to my own labors and experiences including the stigma associated with my health.  And will remain so helping as many as I can make our nation and people's lives better by being a writer choosing to live my own life out of the closet.

If your concern is money, lean on compassion and empathy  resulting in an extreme dislike of us, that is your problem.  I hope you get better with your own mental state of mind as you or someone you care about join our club. Then you too will better develop compassion and empathy for others as a new member in or little club.

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Anyone that would like to post solutions to make America a better nation as a guest blog author; or has solutions to fix some of the problems in America, send me an essay to tscherer4@kc.rr.com. Also known as Thomas E. Scherer, your better candidate for United States Congress

Merely remember if I am elected to Congress, you the individual are my boss. PACS, Lobbyists and Special Interest Groups, sorry, but just go away. Americans are tired of the United PACS of America buying and corrupting our congressman and Senators. Our candidate is not for sale.

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