Author:Ervin, Mike
Position::SMART ASS CRIPPLE - The Affordable Care Act and disabled persons in the time of president Donald Trump - Column

Yeah, OK, so it's true that the squatter currently occupying the White House doesn't go around saying the same ugly stuff about disabled folks that he says about other people who aren't white, male, hetero, Christian citizens of the almighty U.S. of A., like him. He hasn't publicly called disabled people rapists or murderers or anything like that. Even he's not that stupid.

But it doesn't matter. On that cold and dark November night when I watched a red infection spread gradually and ominously across the electoral map, I knew disabled folks were among those who would soon be in deep doo-doo. It wasn't because Donald Trump mocked disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski by breaking out his best over-the-top spaz routine, a la vintage Jerry Lewis. Hell, I wish the squatter's contempt for us was always that obvious.

Nor did it have anything to do with the multiple accessibility complaints lodged against the squatter's many properties, and the hostility with which he responded. In one case in 2001, two wheelchair users alleged that the wheelchair lift at the Trump International Hotel was always locked and the employee who was dispatched to unlock it didn't know how to operate the lift. After years of legal maneuvering by Trump, the case was finally settled in 2009. Trump also had to reach a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2011 after an inspection of Trump's Taj Mahal found numerous Americans with Disabilities Act architectural violations.

Even without all this, plain old logic told me that disabled folks would also be targets of the oncoming assault. The squatter fires indiscriminately at everyone who doesn't blend into his Utopian vision of America of glorious yore, when guys like him were in charge of everything and everyone else knew their subservient place. That puts us squarely in his line of fire.

If Trump ever took two minutes out of his life to ponder the situation of disabled Americans, which is highly unlikely, he would no doubt conclude that we are sad charity cases. When he defended himself against criticism for mocking Kovaleski, he said, "I don't mock people that have problems."

That's how Trump sees us. As people with problems.

With Trump in power, then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were free to pursue the agendas of their wildest dreams. There was no one standing in their way. Any scheme relegating disabled people to the underclass of charity cases that they...

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