Thursday, November 10, 2016

Fear and Loathing after the USA Election

So we are not a happy family. We did not vote for Trump. We felt that he was not only terribly ill equipped for the position of President, but that his disdain for the disabled, for women, for minorities, his teams blind-eye to the mainstreaming of antisemitism lead us to favor Clinton. And no, we did not think that she was some kind of angel. As hubby would ask," after she is elected and then put in jail, did we think Tim Kaine would be a good president?"

But there is being unhappy, which is a  rather typical feeling, and the true feeling of despondency that Mr. GS2 feels right now. His older brother is also upset, but my 23 year old is completely besides himself. He is depressed. He is angry. He has so many emotions right now that he can't even keep track of them, never mind how to process his feelings at the moment. To paraphrase a well worn bon mot: "Little child with aspergers, little issues. Big child (adult child) with aspergers, bigger issues."

I know many people in our community feel the same way. Heck, half the country feels the same way. But of course, when you are dealing with someone who has aspergers, OCD and anxiety you need to approach situations differently and with care. So what have we decided to do in order to help Mr. GS2?

We are trying to make him feel secure. We want him to understand that he is still loved and cared for. That we will not let anything happen to him. But his biggest concern is not even himself, but for everyone else in the country who doesn't have his support system.

Moreover, my son asked me yesterday if he had to carry some kind of protection now since the antisemites' candidate had won the presidency. Was it even safe for him to walk down the street? I explained to him that where we live he is perfectly fine. That our area went for Clinton, and besides there are as many Jews who live here as live in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem combined. That did help him for awhile. Then a new issue arose.

What really started to bother him was the fact that the GOP was going to gut Obamacare. Now I don't think that everything in the ACA is terrific. In fact, much of it stinks. But the fact that the boys can stay on our insurance until they are 26, plus that they can't be denied, or I can't be denied, health insurance because of preexisting causes is wonderful. Furthermore, that there are people who need health care and that they can get subsidies I think is also a good thing. (I never have problems with the taxes I pay going to help my fellow Americans. And I am proud actually that I can help others. It's when Congress throws my money away on crap that I get annoyed.) But the cost of the ACA is horrible. It is anything but affordable. The deductibles are ridiculous. Healthcare needs to be affordable. Really affordable, not as a ploy, but as a means for people to live their lives well.

The truth is that there is a lot of fear right now in the disability community about what a Trump presidency and a GOP controlled Congress will mean for them as far as their healthcare, their medicare, and above all disability rights. When you have a President-elect that buys into the debunked conspiracy theory that vaccines cause autism, the idea that disability advocacy and autism support will be pushed back decades is a real concern.

What we try to tell our sons is that this is why our Constitution is important. The first amendment of the Bill of Rights talks about the right to petition your government, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press. Simply because one party wins an election  doesn't mean you shut up about what is important to you. You join together and lobby. You protest. You write letters. You let those in power know that you will not go gently into that good night.

But most of all you try to stop feeling sorry for yourself. Your side lost. It happens. But it doesn't mean you give up. It simply means you work harder so that next time, the issues that are important to you can win the day.

But at the end of the day when your very sensitive youngman is sitting and crying, you hand them a glass of chocolate milk and make their favorite dinner as you strategize a way forward. They may be resistant. They may continue to cry and be frightened. But you do as you have always done as their parent. Talk to them. Be there for them. Let them know that one election does not a country make, and that the greatness of the US of A, is that no, you never have to be quiet....ever. No matter who wins.

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By the way The Wall Street Journal has written an incisive article trying to calm everyone down about Obamacare. Their take is that it will not be a gutting, but a slow fix. That no politician is going to want to be the one who takes away someone's healthcare and then that person gets sick or dies because of what they did.  Hubby said the same thing this morning. I only hope that they are both right. HERE.

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