I try to avoid talking about religion and politics on my blog because I don’t want to spark arguments, get people’s blood pressure up, or make this into a blog about issues. Normally, I write about mental health, relationships, and life in general.
I have to say something about this presidential election, though. And what I have to say has to do with all of you. Those of you living in the United States have a voice. You have a say in this election and for those of us with a mental illness, it is a critical time.
Think before you vote. That is all I am asking from anyone. Please think about what matters most to you before you cast a ballot in this election.
I will not keep it a secret from you that I am frightened by Donald Trump. He has called women names, he has threatened to put restrictions on Muslims, and he has threatened to deport millions of people. He has the support of people who are organizers and supporters of hate groups.
If none of what I have written so far bothers you, what do you think Donald Trump thinks about people who are mentally ill? I can tell you that he publicly made fun of a reporter with a disability. You can watch the video here.
If Donald Trump has no empathy for people who suffer from a chronic illness, if he went so far as to imitate in a derogatory way someone with a disability what do you think he would say about someone with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder?
Many people are claiming that there are similarities between Donald Trump and Hitler. I don’t know if that is true, but I can tell you that the first people to die in Hitler’s Germany were the mentally ill and people with other disabilities. All the tests to “perfect” his killing machine were conducted on those with a disability.
I can also tell you that all the issues that impact people of color also impact the mentally ill – the majority of police killings involve a mentally ill person, people with a mental illness are being treated more often in prison than in hospitals, and there are stereotypes and stigma involved with being mentally ill. The list goes on. It is in our best interest to care about the civil rights of all people because historically when other group’s civil rights are limited ours are limited as well.
I am frightened by the racism that the Trump campaign has brought out in this country. I am frightened for the people I love that are people of color. I am also frightened for all of us who suffer, and have been public about our mental illnesses.
I don’t know how a Trump presidency would turn out because I am not a psychic. I do know that if he believes the things he says that he lacks empathy for vast numbers of people. I will cast my vote for someone who wants to decriminalize mental illness, and get those who are suffering out of prisons and off of the streets.
I want to go forward with mental health treatment and the rights of those who are mentally ill. You can read all about our dark history. I want the lights to stay on and the sun to shine. Think about your vote. It matters. It not only matters to others, but it also matters to you, personally.
Let’s think about it.