Saturday, September 15, 2007

Why Conservatives Are So Cruel, Mean, And Heartless

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an example of a law which was advocated mostly by left-wingers as a way to help those who were disadvantaged through no fault of their own, and was opposed mostly by right-wingers. The left-wingers *claimed* this was because right-wingers were selfish and/or cruel, i.e. they didn't want to help poor (unfortunate, not necessarily in poverty) people. The right wingers *claimed* that wasn't true, it was because the ADA was going to be an "undue burden" on businesses which were going to be forced to wait hand and foot -- perhaps literally -- on people with imaginary disabilities. The left-wingers *claimed* that wasn't true, it was only going to help people who really needed and deserved help.

Here's a quote from Hacklawyer's blog:
complaints by the traditionally disabled - the deaf, the blind, the paraplegic - have accounted for only a tiny share of these kind of ”accomodation requests.” The overwhelming majority of them comprise those who claim such dubious disabilities as ADD, visual and oral processing diabilities, dysgraphia (really bad handwriting), ”phonological processing,” dyscalculia (math disability).
Personally, if I had been hired by either side, I would have advised them to MAKE LOUD ANNOUNCEMENTS AT THE TOP OF THEIR VOICES IN ALL THE NEWS MEDIA THEY COULD REACH that *they* were willing to compromise and it was all the other side's fault for being stubborn, fanatic extremists who were demanding something really unreasonable. And to actually make an offer that looks reasonable to the general public, with something in it that's toxic to the other side.

Of course, I usually advocate that tactic on *any* issue. For example, Matt Miller suggests that advocates of school vouchers offer huge increases in school funding, and huge increases in teacher salaries, in return for the "minor concession" of vouchers; the educationalist lobby (such as the National Education Association) has promised to oppose *any* legislation which includes vouchers, so this makes *them* look like the Bad Guys (which they are) because it puts *them* in the position of opposing school funding and raises for those poor, poor teachers.