So, as I often do, I went looking around for examples of other peoples’ writings. I do not know quite how I came across this article on Sad Bastard Bar, but I am glad I did. In it, The Bastard, as they call themselves, talks a lot about the buzz that has been going around about the “debate” that U.S. President Barack Obama supposedly lost. Let us leave aside for a moment the fact that a victory obtained by lying so hard that your opponent will have months’ worth of material to hit you over the head with is what the expression Pyrrhic Victory was invented for.
But that is not what I want to talk about today. Yes, Barack Obama has fought hard for the basic rights of people who are far less well-off than he is, and yes, he deserves their support in return for that. None of what The Bastard says will be disputed here. Instead, I want to talk about a few points that Americans rarely, if ever, consider when talking about their political affairs.
I do not know the exact policies concerning persons on the autistic spectrum that either candidate in this election has. I am taking the word of one person in my friends’ list for it that Barack Obama has met with and listened to autistic individuals. For that alone, he deserves credit. I do believe he could stand to meet with more militant examples who live in places other than America and get a more comprehensive picture, but compared to folks like his present opponent or even the missus of the man who lent a voice to his reelection campaign and stole the entire show for that event, he at least has a positive vision. His opponent, however, to hear it from my source, seems to have no vision other than the Draconian segregation and lock them away policy that disability services have been trying to ditch for decades.
But that is not the point I am moving towards here. Stated policies do not produce results. The actual policies put in place do. The real reason I dragged that little gem out is to illustrate something I wish that every American would take into account.
First of all, during the next few paragraphs, I am going to speak in generalities. This will make the point a little easier for me to get across. I do not believe that every American is of the stereotypical kind that lives in a trailer park and thinks that petrol will suffice as an anti-lice shampoo. However, as these people seem to be overrepresented in its media, and the majority of the American government seems to want to drag the entire populace that does not “earn” 350 grand a year down to that level, that is the easiest sector of the American people to address in order to make this point.
In years gone by, Americans have displayed an attitude or belief that what happens in America stays in America. Americans still have this attitude in spite of the fact that numerous incidents during the previous century should have put paid to that. Not only do events outside of America affect America, events inside America affect the rest of the world. To think otherwise displays a gross ignorance of international politics and economics that a large number of people from outside of America (especially Canada and Mexico) feel is endemic to American culture.
Now that the nasty part is out of the way, I wish to provide an example that educated Americans who understand that believing what they want will not change the shape of the Earth will understand. Prior to the election in 2008, the Democrat party was undecided concerning who should lead them and possibly become the next President. Eight years of living under George Dubya had made Americans eager to see a President cut from a different cloth compared to the ones that had been in power since 1981. The Democrat side of the choices came down to two individuals in the end, both of whom would present a bit of a first in American politics. Hillary Clinton, the wife of the President who made demonstrating how big his balls were into an art form, was one such candidate for nomination. Unfortunately, she did herself in very quickly among the neurodivergent when she was caught on video thanking the Wright family for their “work with autism spectrum disorders”. I even made an all-text video in which I proclaimed that I would very much like to see a woman given what people still believe to be the “top job” in America. Just not this woman.
Fortunately, the Democrats agreed with me, but likely not for the same reason. They instead went with a man named Barack Obama. What followed was one of the weirdest displays from the American media and people in some time. Republican media accused the Democrats of trying to play the race card. Less wealthy or educated black Americans were proclaiming that Obama was not “black enough”. Smart black men like Kruma Steward were asking them in the open Internet if these people ever stopped and wondered how that must look to outsiders.
I am one of those outsiders. During one time when I was stuck in a place I no longer wanted to be, George Dubya was passing a “foolish law” (to quote Sir Ian McKellen) called the Combating Autism Act. Just stop and think for a moment how that must sound to militant autistic adults who want the wholesale abuse of their kind to stop. Combating autism, huh? Where are our planes, tanks, depleted Uranium rounds, and so forth? Where are our divisions, AK-47s, and explosive devices? And if you think there are no other autistic adults or adolescents who think of it in these terms, you are dead wrong. So when I heard from my source that Barack Obama was meeting with autistic people and actually listening to them instead of just waiting for his turn to speak, whilst Mitt Romney proclaimed we should be removed from society, that made up my mind in an instant. You can proclaim to me until you are blue that Romney will do this or that better. For all I know, you could be right. But as long as he plans to put a hidden, already-persecuted minority group in chains and into nth-class citizenry, he is not fit to be a President. He is not even fit to be a citizen of an actual democracy (“best harmony of all groups’ rights”, not “do whatever the hell fifty percent plus one says is okay”).
Both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have shown proverbial balls so big that even a Kill All The Curebies And Let Odin Sort Them Out type of autistic adult like my good self is impressed with them. And that, friends and neighbours, is what leading a nation that views its place in the world like an alpha male at an unlicensed boxing match takes. The proverbial sense balls. Given that Obama has spoken with the autistic directly and listened to what they have had to say, I have no trouble believing that he would be telling Autism Speaks and its heads, who have a controlling interest in one of the monopolistic corporations that need to be trust-busted, what to go and do with themselves. Given that the general autistic community is a disparate group of badly-organised individuals who cannot offer money to anywhere near the extent that the curebie party can, this takes balls the like of which even Bon Scott would be amazed at. And I am being figurative, because if there is one message that Hillary Clinton sent to the autistic when she was caught on tape being so chummy with our persecutors, it is that she does not have the balls to fight for our rights. Not even the most neurotypical of women should back such a candidate, for they never known when they might discover they are the mother of a child who is on the proscribed list. My mother sure as hell did not know, and still does not really know properly.
Americans, you need to understand something here. If your next President, whether they be black, female, the proverbial WASP, or even pink with purple polka dots, decides that being autistic in America is illegal and punishable in ways that make us wish we were dead, it will have repercussions all over the world. Some nations, such as Germany and Austria, will gasp in horror. Some nations, like England or Australia, will require convincing in order to be not all about it. Some nations, like the majority of Africa, likely will not give a shit because they have far bigger problems. But the point here is that unlike what was the case when the oceans accounted for the majority of international transport, what happens in America (or just about anywhere in the world) happens everywhere.
Full disclosure here. I do not 100% like Barack Obama. His excuses for not trying to get the Fairness Doctrine back into law and the Constitution, for example, disappointed me bitterly. He cannot be unaware that such a law would claim back a lot of the political playing field for the people when they need it the most. But this is all a bit beside the point. What we need now, all of us who are on the side of a world where society is an actual society and not just a monarchy of those rich enough to buy productive wealth, is to get behind candidates who agree enough with that to get parts of the job done.
One of the candidates in this mess meets that description. I do not live in America, but I am behind him because the alternative presented makes me think of it in von Hindenberg versus Hitler terms.
And that, considering we are supposed to be talking about a country that is about freedom and democracy, is a very scary thought.