Throwback Thursday

Mr. Peabody and Sherman, classic cartoon characters, in front of an elaborate wall of machinery, the "Wayback Machine" time machine. Mr. Peabody is a white dog with glasses, Sherman is a red haired boy with glasses

One year ago in Disability Thinking: Should We Help “Reform” Social Security Disability?

It is almost objectively Not A Good Thing that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for President. However, it is certainly a Very Good Thing that Rand Paul won’t be. He didn’t make much headway in the Primaries, but he did make a brief splash taking on Social Security Disability in a particularly ugly way that combined his signature pious libertarian tone and his somewhat tangential connection to health care … he’s an ophthalmologist. One of the few bright spots in this election year is that his attempt to demonize some disabled people in order to get on the good side of others mostly failed. His distinction between "truly" disabled people and malingerers didn't do much good for him, and that's encouraging. So far, Trump hasn’t scapegoated people with disabilities, and my instinct tells me he won’t. I have the feeling that there are too many disabled people, including SSDI recipients, that he views as part of his natural constituency … white, male, older, under-educated, unemployed, resentful, and not used to dealing with politics. I don’t think that disabled people are “other” enough in Trump’s particular worldview to warrant more than a little superficial taunting. But, it’s going to be a long campaign and I could easily be wrong. And either way, not being singled out by Trump, (yet), should be absolutely no comfort to disabled voters.

Two years ago in Disability Thinking: About Our Bodies

It’s easy to dismiss “body positivity” as a kind of narcissism, but when you start out feeling terrible about your body, a little self-examination and overt celebration is probably a good thing. For example, disabled people posting lots of selfies means a lot more than random teenagers posing with duck lips. For that matter, silly teen selfies probably mean more than we give them credit for. I think one of the key breakthroughs for physically disabled people is realizing that we can’t hide, so we might as well flaunt a little. If nothing else, it’s fun.