Friday, January 26, 2018

Donald Trump and Perception of Disability

What I've seen of Donald Trump indicates to me (not a doctor) that his behavior is outside the range of normal in a few ways, mostly bad.  He's passed a first-line cognitive assessment (according to a doctor whose other assessments I don't trust), but all I take from that is that he doesn't need emergency care.

To be fair, I am not close to Donald Trump, so my impressions of his behavior are not trustworthy, but my concerns about his mental fitness are 100% in good faith. 

A lot of people say that it's wrong to speculate about whether or not he's got some dementia going on, and I take the point that we can't just explain away really bad motivations as disordered nonsense, but dementia would (and has) make it hard to be a good president.   The presumption that questioning his health is always questioning his validity as a human being pisses me off. 

If you don't know, I have significant brain damage that's kept me out of work for a decade.  I'm still smart and interesting, but I suuuuck at a few things.  My focus and stamina are dismal, but my memory is fine, for example.

It's been a mostly terrible experience to see how people change their attitude toward me when they find out.  Sometimes they just disappear and assume I'm a nut who will only bring problems, which I don't love, but at least it's over pretty quickly.  The worst is when they interpret totally normal behavior to mean that I'm not really a person anymore.  I've been described as barely-conscious at times when I am just fine.

I assume this reaction is an attempt to put me into a category of "idiot vegetable" so they can stop feeling uncomfortable about devaluing a person whose intellect and personhood are intact.  In fact, the ADA protects people against "perception of disability."