Donald Trumps Can-Do does it for the Disability Vote



A reader asked me why people with disability appear vocal in their support of Trump?

Firstly we need to understand the difference in US and Australian disability policy development. And second, we need to see how Trump might end the rhetoric and actually make a difference.

In the USA, disability rights have traditionally been championed as a patriot movement about treating returned veterans with respect, that traces back to the Civil War and civil rights amendment to the constitution. Whereas in Australia, policy tends to rise from special interest groups and championed more by the left leaning parties.

Knowing this key difference enables an insight into how Trumps seemingly left wing policy agenda in the US has mass appeal there, and its potential flow on to Australia.

Trumping Disability

Donald Trumps is out there in supporting military Veterans groups, who together form the largest pressure group for disability rights in the western world. Veterans have been systematically alienated by the Obama administration through increasing health care red tape, and by playing to anti Iraq war sentiment where so many service personal made a lifetimes contribution.

The Trump 10 point plan for Veteran Affairs claims to humanize veteran affairs, enabling caregivers and Veterans to find personal health care solutions to their years of unmet needs.

But 10 point-plans are hot air if nothing comes to pass. The Trump difference is his developer mentality that drives progress. The press say he’s insane, but to people with disability; no one’s perfect. The ability to drive change is a big plus to disabled veterans tired of political promises. Show me the money?!! So to say.

Australian US Disability Policy

The difference between the US patriotic reform agenda and our Australian conservative ambivalence to disability rights is illustrated by the support for the Americans with Disability Act, accessibility amendments, which is equivalent to our DDA Access to Premises Standard.

The ADA was introduced by Republican George W. Bush some 10 years prior to our Premises standard. Initially drafted under the Howard Liberal government in the 1990’s, then delayed by the Attorney General Philip Ruddock, and eventually passed under the Rudd Labor government in 2010.

In the Australian Standard we see the strong influence of the USA Veterans policy development, as well as bipartisan support for action. Yet here in Aus, the bill sat idle for 10 years as the Australian Liberals lacked the patriotic passion of their conservative US Republican counterparts.

Trump promises policy reform and administration change that appeals to Veterans with disability, and if elected and history repeats, then we can anticipate that any change will impact Australian disability policy framework.

If Trumps not elected on November 8, then people with disability will most likely look back and ask themselves what did we just miss.

The Australian Media may not like it, but PWD’s like a robust discussion on issues that affect them and crave successful policy outcomes, and that’s the appeal of Trump.

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