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Commentary :: Politics
On A Roll To The Oval Office
23 Mar 2008
"The presidential race isn’t just Republicans vs Democrats. lndependent candidate Frank Moore wants to become the first disabled president since Roosevelt." This is a re-post from the UK magazine, "Disability Now".
On A Roll To The Oval Office

I’m running for US president.

I’ve been running – or rolling in my wheelchair – on the campaign trail now for over a year. I started because no other candidate was talking about the issues that the average person cares about in a direct, clear way. So I started to. And people have responded overwhelmingly.

My having cerebral palsy does not seem to matter to most people. In fact they seem to see it as an asset.

I’m a member of a suppressed group. But I’ve successfully fought discrimination all my life and had fun doing it! Most people get that and feel hope. Then they read my platform – and they’re hooked!

There’s been one exception to this. An aide to another candidate running for office thought that anybody who took me seriously as a candidate must be nuts – even though she couldn’t fault my platform.

It’s understandable. After all, I have no money, no “political experience”. But we pushed her to tell us what her problem was. This is what she said:
“You are disabled! You talk with a head pointer and a letter board! You can’t be President! Be realistic! I’m a disability advocate…but this crosses the line! You people can have advisory roles in the background. But you need to be verbal to be President!”

I’m sure that the candidate in question doesn’t share the aide’s opinion but she speaks on their behalf – and doesn’t help their cause. The good news is, she’s in the minority.

When I was born, doctors told my parents I had no intelligence and no future, and that I’d best be put into an institution and forgotten. I learned from an early age to ignore supposed limits.

The struggle for freedom, against the powers-that-be, has been my life. And it has been a continuous struggle – against schools not letting me in, for example.

I’ve always been a radical. I was in the first special class to be placed on a high-school campus so disabled students could enjoy mainstream teaching and be part of campus life.

I was also involved in the civil rights and anti-war movements. This was 1965, before it was popular to be against the Vietnam War. In the school paper I got into a debate with a GI in Vietnam. I was sat down and told that, because of my political philosophy and activities, I was hurting the chances of the disabled students who’d come after me. I replied that the goal was for rights for disabled people to be equal and complete – including the right to be political.

I would not surrender that or any other right.

I’m not a disabled candidate but a candidate who is “disabled”. I believe disability just makes everything more obvious and hence easier to handle. In my art I use “disability” as a tool to address larger issues of humanity, not just “disability” issues.

We “disabled” are really the adapters society needs because we operate outside the boxes of “normalcy”, coming up with solutions from left field.
I’m the candidate for everyone who doesn’t fit into “normalcy” – which is almost everyone.

The heart of my platform is equal and full access for everyone wanting to realize their potential. This full access will be created by a guaranteed minimum income, a free prenatal-to-the-grave health care system and a free lifetime education system. What I’m advocating is a society of caring.
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