Monday, April 25, 2022

How Far is Too Far?

Special needs families have a very delicate balance that we try to maintain.  Unfortunately, we also deal with more variables than the typical family does, which makes that balance even more difficult to maintain.  Shifts in any form, be it politics, social values, or even weather, can have serious consequences to our way of life.  You will find that many special needs parents become nervous when changes happen, because typically they are for the worse and not the better.  That's not pessimism, that's fact.  I've been Tyler's Dad for 30 years and never have I said "WOW!  I can't believe how much funding is being put into our special needs kids!  Now we have plenty!".  

As Tyler's Dad, I try not to need anyone more than what is necessary to fulfill his needs.  But that alone requires A LOT of people.  We have to hope that those people are kind, empathetic, and interested in the common good.  Unfortunately, I will give you a sad truth: empathy is becoming more uncommon.  Empathy is endangered and that scares me.  

Believe me if you like, or choose not to....but there is proof all around us.  All you have to do is drive for 5 miles on any occupied road.  At the first stoplight there will be someone in front of you that won't be paying attention when the light goes green because they will be on their cell phone.  They believe that whatever conversation they are holding is more important than your safety and wherever you are trying to go.

Governor DeSantis is in a pissing match with Disney over his new education law.  Personally, I'm not upset about the law itself, but his reaction to Disney's reaction.  Instead of turning the other cheek or encouraging Disney to use the channels available to challenge a law, he used his political power to change a 50-year-old zoning decision that has the potential to have severe economic impact on lots of people that could care less about this feud.  This is dangerous.  And frankly, I'm more disappointed with the people who openly support this type of ramrodding for purely political one-ups-menship.   What happens if the next Governor decides that we spend too much money on special needs adults and we should group them by 10's in large group homes to save the tax payers money?   How far is too far?

On the radio I heard an ad for a political primary that promised to fight "idiot socialists".  First of all, most of the people listening to that ad are not educated enough to understand what a socialist REALLY is.  It's a scary term that gets thrown around to rile up the uneducated.  But again, I don't have a problem with someone wanting to speak against socialist ideas, its the use of the word "idiot" to enflame one groups hate for another.  We have already seen a riot on our how far is too far?

Representative Greene stood up in the middle of a speech by the President of the United States and shouted at him.  In our country we have a zillion forums in which to speak such as Facebook, Twitter, news outlets, newspapers, and the list goes on.  She has the freedom of speech she needs to state her opinion one hundred times over.  Flouting the level of disrespect in those actions is dangerous.  What if we devolve into every speech becoming a chaos of shouting and disgusting displays of ignorance?  How far is too far?

If you are over the age of 40, you grew up during times when none of these actions, by any faction, would have been tolerated.  There were always lines that we didn't cross because we knew they were WRONG.  Now we are accepting abusive behavior when it suits our overall agenda.  That is frightening.

What's worse, in my opinion, is that we don't call things for what they are.  Instead of weakly defending what we know is wrong, why not tell the truth?  Just say..."I understand that we have a problem with bigotry in this country, but as a white middle-class person I prefer my leaders to be white males." Or...I understand that we have people that go to bed hungry every night, but I don't care because I was able to get mine."  Or....I know a lot of innocent people die due to gun violence, but I find my freedom to be more important than innocent lives."  At least if we are going to ignore the problems we should admit the real reasons we have them in the first place.  This latest social deterioration is due to middle-class white Americans being threatened by anyone different wanting an equal seat at the table.  They are threated by homosexuality, threatened by Muslims, threatened by Black Americans, threated by Hispanics, and threatened by science.  Someday, they may become threatened by those with mental disorders.  

And maybe someday we will far is too far.