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A Plea to Potential Trump Voters, From a Person With a Disability

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This story reflects an individual’s opinion and is not an endorsement from The Mighty. We believe in sharing a variety of perspectives from our community.

I cried when Trump was elected in 2016. I was pregnant with my daughter and I could not believe the world I would be bringing her into. I had been so sure Donald Trump could not beat Hillary Clinton. He was hateful, openly racist and ableist, and clearly had no idea how our government works. How could anyone vote for him? I was naive.

I cried again when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died (as I know so many of us did). It felt like she was the only thing holding up our country’s democracy. Then, merely an hour after her death was announced, Mitch McConnell announced that he would replace her before the election. I was livid. We hadn’t even had time to mourn her passing, yet this man decided he had the right to push her aside so he could further his own agenda.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a powerhouse who fought for justice as long as she possibly could, and I intend to follow her example. I refuse to let go of my last sliver of hope and lie down while our country descends into fascism. The world is watching to see what decision we make, and I am praying we make the right one. So I am looking to you, Trump voters. We need your vote to help uphold the values you claim to defend. Before you turn away, I humbly ask you to listen. I will not take up much of your time. There will be no name-calling or anger. I just ask you to step away from yourself for a moment and try to see this election from someone else’s point of view.

I am a chronically ill woman who is struggling to reckon with her ever-growing disability. If Donald Trump wins the election and Republicans get their SCOTUS pick, there is a very good chance I will lose my health insurance. If I lose my health insurance, I will have an extremely difficult time affording my life-saving medications and taking care of my family. Even with health insurance, I often need copay cards to help offset the cost of my medications. I know how easy it is to look at my situation and say that I’m just one person trying to leech money from the government, but I am not. I don’t even have government health insurance because my husband is lucky enough to have a job that provides it for us. However, if pre-existing conditions are no longer required to be accepted by health insurance companies, I will lose it all the same.

You know me. I’m the mom you see walking down the street with her dog and toddler. I’m the woman who gives your child piano lessons on the weekends. I’m the teacher who works hard to help your child with a learning disability succeed, because I believe all children have the capacity to learn if you can find a way in. You know me. You would never guess that I sometimes need a cane to walk or occasionally need to spend a few days at the hospital to get back on my feet. You don’t see the myriad of pills or shots I give myself, but I promise, you know me. I am your neighbor, your cousin, your friend. So I ask you, do you really want to condemn me to die? Do you think my children deserve to have their mother taken from them?

This is my reality. It is far from the only reason to vote for Joe Biden, but it is my experience. I wanted to give you a glimpse into the life of a real person who will suffer if Trump has another term, and I am not the only one. Did you know that it’s estimated 1 out of 4 Americans lives with some form of illness or disability, or that having COVID-19 may be considered a pre-existing condition in the future? Many Republicans claim to be pro-life, but are you truly pro-life if you believe someone is worth less than you based on their ability, gender, or color of their skin?

I know you have your reasons to vote for Trump, but I want you to dig deeper. What has he done for you in his four years in office? Do you pay less in taxes as you were promised? Has putting refugees into internment camps improved our country? I know you must feel that something is wrong. Undying support of the president is not what America is about. That is a form of nationalism, which has a tendency to lead to full-on fascism. Patriotism is different. Patriots fight for their country and the rights of the people who live in it.

Ask yourself why you feel the need to vote for him. What do you honestly believe you will gain if he is re-elected? Don’t simply tell me what you have been told he will do. What do you believe is right? You are a human with your own free will and opinions, and you are better than this. You are better than Donald Trump. I urge you to please take my words into consideration when you fill out your ballot. Our democracy depends on it.

Originally published: September 28, 2020
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