Contempt for the Handicapped ‒ Another “Liberal” Trait?

By | June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

We live in an “enlightened” age. We are “tolerant” and “inclusive.” We celebrate “diversity.” We have compassion for the “little guy.” Really?

In fact, we worship youth, beauty, and health. Look at your local newscasters. In the early days of TV, an ordinary-looking man − later a woman − would sit behind a desk and report the news. Edward R. Murrow, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, and Howard K. Smith were accomplished journalists, but no one would say they were young and handsome.

Today, the news is likely to be reported by men and women who look to be in their twenties and thirties. They are usually good looking, if not frankly beautiful. They dress fashionably, and in the case of women, revealingly. For unknown reasons, they often stand while speaking, so their full figures are visible. They are never fat or even significantly overweight. Both men and women are carefully made up, with stylish hairdos.

And most important, none − and I mean not one − has a visible handicap. No visible scars, no limp, no impaired arm or hand, and surely no cane or crutch. I believe the only exception was Charles Krauthammer, a conservative commentator who appeared on Fox News. He was quadriplegic as a result of a diving accident, but most viewers did not know this, because he and his fellow commentators sat behind a table. Despite his Pulitzer Prize, I believe the fact that he regularly appeared on TV was due to the fact that he was conservative. If he were liberal, would he have appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, or CNN? I think not.

For a generation, the media have taught all of us to worship youth, beauty, and health, but the lesson was learned best by “liberals.”

● Who made endless “jokes,” often in the worst possible taste, about how old John McCain was? Who called him “confused” and “joked” that he forgot where he lives when he went out for the paper? Who “joked” that he forgot to put on his pants when he went out? Who “joked” that he accused nurses of stealing his sox, and that he needed Viagra because of impotence, and diapers because of incontinence? Who criticized him for having difficulty using a computer, though the function of his arms and hands was impaired by war injuries?

● Who went so far in their contempt for the disabled as to tell Sarah and Todd Palin that their baby with Down syndrome should have been killed? This anger went so deep that “Abort Sarah Palin” bumper stickers appeared in “liberal” neighborhoods. To “abort” a born human being means to murder her. Do you think this drawing is part of normal political dialogue? Is hitting a woman in the face, knocking off her glasses, and knocking out a tooth, an example of “liberal” thought? Is it “pro-choice” to threaten to beat up a woman for making the “wrong” choice?

Since the late 1960s, liberals have redefined themselves. I was a liberal. I approved of John Kennedy’s staunch anti-communism and his vow to defend freedom around the world. I approved of the Democratic Party’s position on aiding the elderly and the handicapped.

I resonated with Kennedy’s support for our military, and with his own military service − including a combat-related injury requiring him to wear a back brace to the end of his life. In fact, his wartime injury probably killed him. Oswald’s first shot hit Kennedy’s neck and missed vital structures; it was probably survivable. But instead of slumping, Kennedy was held upright by the back brace, a perfect target for Oswald’s second shot to his head.

Having worn a back brace myself, I empathized with someone who had to wear one for his whole life. Having periodic back pain, I related to someone who had daily pain. And having been exposed to people who had no empathy and cut me no slack, I admired those Democrats who pushed Kennedy forward, despite his disability.

But things have changed. If John Kennedy were alive today, he would be called ultra-conservative, because he proposed aiding any friend and opposing any foe to assure the survival of freedom in the world. Watch his inaugural address. Today our media would call it the ranting of an extreme, far-right warmonger.

And if Kennedy were nominated today, it would be by the Republicans. His views would be anathema to today’s Democrats. If the story broke regarding his back brace, and his Addison’s disease requiring daily steroid therapy, what would happen? Democrats would question his ability to serve, calling him physically impaired. When the Democratic propaganda machine − excuse me, the mainstream media − got hold of the story, can you imagine how they would exploit it?

I can hear the leftist “comedians” now: Kennedy tries to have sex wearing his back brace and… Kennedy forgets to take his steroid tablets and… Kennedy is confronted by a crisis and… You fill in the punch lines. Come up with something tasteless, offensive, and obscene. Go for it!

But it’s not only the physically or mentally handicapped who are viewed with contempt. It’s anyone considered different. If Saturday Night Live can do a skit claiming that Todd Palin is “doing” his young daughters, clearly all standards of decency are out the window. Note that these programs were on network TV, not cable. Imagine what these “comedians” would say about Kennedy’s health problems, not to mention his liking for the ladies.

When you heard the repulsive “jokes” and abusive remarks about John McCain’s age and health, imagine John Kennedy resurrected and put in the same position. Imagine the intolerable insults that he and his wife Jackie would have to endure.

So why were we surprised when Bill Maher “joked” that Donald Trump was having sex with his daughter, as well as with Putin? Appalled and disgusted, yes, but surprised? When incest becomes a subject of political “humor,” nothing should surprise us. What do you expect from bottom-feeders?

But if that is not enough to turn your stomach, imagine that the liberals’ idol, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was resurrected. Imagine him with his paraplegia from polio. Imagine him in his wheelchair. The media of his day hid it from the public, but think of what today’s media would do. I can see an empty wheelchair on the covers of newspapers and magazines, with the caption, “Can he do the job?”

I can hear the “jokes” on late-night TV. Surely the 10 pounds of steel braces Roosevelt wore on his legs as he walked a few steps with assistance would provide plenty of material for “humor.” And then they could start on his wife Eleanor. Imagine the side-splitting, knee-slapping “jokes” that they could invent about how she and Franklin had sex. (Pass the oil can, dear…)

Try to imagine what these “humorists” would say about Kennedy, not to mention Roosevelt. Then you will gain some insight into how low we have sunk. Youth, beauty, and health are things to be desired, but they are not virtues to be admired. Those who lack youth, beauty, or health are to be empathized with, not held in contempt and subjected to ridicule – or worse.

Virtues include courage, loyalty, and steadfastness in adversity. These have nothing to do with youth or beauty. The only remaining question is this: Do we have the good judgment to know the difference?

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