Another Election Activities Update

Red white and blue Election 2016 sign

About all I can think of right now is the election, so here’s an update …

#CripTheVote

Sep 19, 7 pm EST: Twitter chat
Political participation and first-time voters
Guest hosts Rock The Vote and the American Association of People with Disabilities.

This will be the ninth scheduled #CripTheVote chat, this time focused on new voters with disabilities and how people new to political involvement can go beyond voting and fully participate in the political progress. One of the subtexts of #CripTheVote is the idea that it would be a good thing for more disabled people to vote and get involved in elections. I don’t think this is a particularly controversial idea, but there certainly are people who disparage political action and don’t think voting is important. Some people go further and say or imply that it’s a bad thing to participate in what they consider a fundamentally corrupt, exclusionary, inaccessible system. I’m not sure we can answer those objections, but I do think we can help people get over the more practical, informational, and motivational barriers to involvement.

Sep 26, 9 pm EST: Live-tweet
First Presidential Debate
Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York
Moderator: Lester Holt, Anchor, NBC News

We are close to the final stage of the campaign, the Fall debates. I have dreaded every new stage of this campaign. That's not because I hate politics; I love politics. I think it’s partly because of how flawed the candidates are this year, combined with having been kind of spoiled over the last 8 years by having at least one candidate to support who’s fundamentally an amazing and enjoyable candidate to have in your mental space. I am working on a theory that we all get one politician in our lives who we can really relate to, and the rest we can merely support in the “leader of my particular team” sort of way. I’ve had my political hero, so I don’t mind too much supporting a candidate I feel lukewarm about. But the lack of spontaneous enthusiasm I feel makes the worst aspects of political discourse and news a lot harder to take.

Sep 27, 5 pm EST: Twitter chat
Media Representation of Disability in 2016 Election
Guest host Rooted in Rights.

By far the most fascinating part of the 2016 General Election campaign has been the way disability has come to prominence, and the trickiness of how to interpret that and use it productively, without falling into the many rhetorical traps that open up whenever disability is discussed in the wider public. How do we highlight our struggles while avoiding looking like helpless victims? Is more attention always a good thing? Is being offended the worst thing in the world? How do we thread the needle between gaining a voice in politics and being exploited for partisan political purposes? These are the kinds of things we will discuss as we look back at the campaign so far, and think ahead to where we want to go in the future.

Blogging

I am still writing blog posts on disability in the election for the Center for Disability Rights. It’s among the most fun and challenging things I have ever done. I’m looking forward to reading all of them over again in chronological order after Election Day. Here are the newest posts:

Asking Donald Trump
August 11, 2016

Asking Hillary Clinton
August 24, 2016

The Disability Integration Act
September 14, 2016

Republican Support for DIA
(Paired with Emily Munson)
September 14, 2016