“Berned” by Bernie Sanders

Last fall, a fellow disability activist and close friend of mine introduced me to Bernie Sanders.  From the moment I first heard his platform, I was hooked.  After living abroad several years in a country with socialized medicine and heavily subsidized education, I was thrilled an American politician was proposing these policies here.  Due to my own disabilities, the cost of healthcare has become exorbitant and becoming chronically ill forced me to leave my career in public service litigation to collect meager social security benefits.  So, Bernie’s message resonated strongly with my own personal experience of being in the 99%.

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I was so moved by his message that I began volunteering for the campaign, be it through phonebanking, texting or simply bringing his message to everyone I knew.  I believed so strongly in the change he could effect that I even donated more money than I could otherwise afford to help his campaign succeed.  And I quickly became part of the Bernie or Bust movement, believing his campaign’s message that Clinton didn’t care about anyone other than her special interest donors.

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But I often struggled with his rhetoric on and lack of inclusion for people with disabilities in his stump speeches, acceptance speeches, debate performances, advertisements and campaign literature.  Despite discussing issues that affect our daily lives like healthcare, income inequality, social security and criminal justice, he almost never mentioned the disabled population, which makes up 20% of the American electorate.  He harped daily on how the Donald Trumps of the world try to divide us up based on our minority status but never even included disability as one of those dividing factors.

Meanwhile, I became more frustrated because Hillary Clinton was including us in every speech, ad campaign, debate performance and even intersectionality graphics of disabled people of color in her literature.  She issued press releases supporting the Disability Integration Act, which requires Obamacare plans to cover long-term care for people with disabilities, and talked about sub-minimum wage, a construct by which employers can legally pay the disabled less than minimum wage. Bernie either never did this or lagged behind, as if he was only doing it because Hillary was.  I sincerely felt as though Hillary was just paying lip service to us and that Bernie was simply uninformed.

So I began contacting the campaign as early as the fall to advise them on their disability outreach failures, as well as to communicate grave concerns the community was having with some on his policies. I tried every possible method of communication from emailing the campaign through the website and contacting them through social media, to direct emails and text messages to top political directors, including Jeff Weaver, BEGGING them to respond.  I also discovered that I was not the only disability activist experiencing this very frustration with the campaign.

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After weeks of being ignored, the day after the New York elections, I sent one final message to the campaign saying that I was going to withdraw my support and advise the community to do the same if they didn’t care enough to even respond to our pleas for representation. Finally, his political director, Billy Gendell, a non-disabled male, responded by scheduling a phone call with me. I was finally hopeful once again, but what came next was personally devastating.  I began the conversation about the issues the community is having with his lack of rhetoric and lack of inclusion for people with disabilities, as I delineated in my emails.  I sincerely wanted to help the campaign improve.

However, he quickly interrupted me from giving them advice, despite knowing my credentials and insisted that I get to my policy questions.  But he asked that the answers remain “off-the-record” so that I could not share them with the community that was asking them.  His answers provided no new information or specific methods by which to initiate these broad ideas.  The only policy answer that wasn’t “off the record” was Bernie’s official statement on the opioid issue, sent to me via email. It said that chronic pain sufferers should seek yoga or guided meditation to ease our suffering.

I was shocked.  These recommendations are ones given to chronic pain sufferers by uneducated individuals with zero medical understanding of pain and the neurological system.  I immediately responded back to his email that he cannot expect an amputee with phantom pain to do yoga when in such dire pain that it causes his heart rate to soar and his blood pressure to plummet. I told him that it’s insulting to even insinuate such a thing. But, as, unfortunately, I expected, he never even replied, and I simply gave up trying to reach out.

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Meanwhile, none of his policies for people with disabilities changed, and he made little to no effort to include us in his speeches, other than to  occasionally discuss all disabled people in the context of social security, rather than his typical inclusion of only disabled veterans, as if only they matter because they became disabled at war.  (And I gave him credit on facebook for doing this once at the Washington square speech and emailed the campaign to thank them for it, which went unanswered) But he continued to fail to mention or depict us in any of his speeches or ads.

The feeling of devastating disappointment and betrayal sank in.  The thought of considering Clinton felt hypocritical of me.  I told myself, “How can I support someone who probably cares more about Wall Street than me?”  But I certainly couldn’t consider Donald Trump, who mocks disabled people and assumes we’re stupid enough to think that’s not what he was doing.  So, begrudgingly, I told a Hillary supporter with a disability that I was now considering supporting Hillary. He immediately introduced me via email to a blind Clinton staffer. Within literally minutes, she emailed me at 9 p.m. saying she would like to speak to me about the campaign. I was so encouraged by how quickly they responded, after the months I was ignored by Bernie.

She didn’t treat me like a nuisance like the Bernie campaign did but rather an asset.  She wanted to know my legal and advocacy opinion on disability policy.  She explained in detail how Hillary planned to initiate change for us with sophisticated, legal political strategy.  And, then she asked me to come on board and help the campaign best meet the needs of the disability community through, inter alia, writing for the campaign after they were able to officially vet my credentials.  (Which has not yet occurred, and I, in no way, am writing this on behalf of the campaign) I soon realized that the Clinton campaign didn’t just care about the disability community; they hired us and treated us like the intelligent people we are.

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My conversation with the Clinton campaign regained my hopefulness but also made me incensed that Bernie is maliciously lying to democrats about Clinton’s uncaring regard for the 99%, while destroying the party from within.  Bernie is adamant that Hillary only cares about corporate interests and not the typical marginalized American.  But, in fact, the opposite is true.  If he cared about his supporters’ interests, his campaign would respond to these communities, listen to their issues and modify his platform accordingly.

His speeches never change for a reason. It isn’t because, as his supporters allege, he’s authentic and always on the right side of things. It’s because he doesn’t care to adapt, to research issues other than income inequality and the environment, follow up on his lofty ideas with solid policy initiatives or to make any compromises to achieve his goals. Rather, he just plays the blame game, pointing out everything that’s wrong with this country and proposing no specific plans to achieve his goals.  He prides himself on being so honest and trustworthy while lying to the electorate about his concern for our well being and Hillary’s lack thereof.  In reality, I see now that he doesn’t care about anyone’s well being but his own ability to rise to power.

What’s worse is that he is riling up his base to believe that the system is rigged, corrupt and rife with election fraud, based on theories grounded in conspiracy rather than fact. He’s excusing their violence and death threats on constituents’ frustration, rather than explicitly denouncing such vile behavior.  The superdelegates are voting for Hillary, and some are starting to shift support from Bernie to Hillary, which I suspect will continue to occur, because they are experienced policy makers who recognize that Bernie has proposed no actual comprehensive policies to achieve his goals.  They realize that, in the year he’s been running for President, he hasn’t created one single concrete plan. Superdelegates are in place to prevent dangerous politicians, like Trump, from achieving power when they don’t have the capabilities to effectively use that power and, thus, make things much worse in the end.

Coming to terms with these realizations was very difficult for me.  I literally grieved and cried when I discovered that I had been so maliciously misled by someone I believed to possess such a high moral compass.  I recognize that his supporters are frustrated and angry over income inequality, because I am too.  But I plea with his supporters to wake up to HIS fraud and ask yourselves why he answers every question on every topic, from ISIL to our broken public school systems, with concepts of income inequality.  It’s not because that issue is the root of all things wrong with our country but because he doesn’t care to research and be advised on any other issues, despite having the time and resources to do so.

Those of you who are Bernie or Bust, like I was, please, I beg of you, consider my personal experience.  Google me.  Find me on Facebook and Twitter.  See for yourselves that I was Bernie or Bust, that I’m not some Wall Street attorney rolling in money.  I am a disabled woman, struggling to make ends meet and to pay my medical bills.  But I now recognize that Clinton is the only candidate willing to make the effort to effect the change we need.  We cannot afford Trump or Bernie in the White House. They will only be given enough power to destroy what fragment of the American Dream we have left.

(For those who seem hell-bent on believing that my having lived in Israel somehow makes me biased: Bernie also lived there, I dislike the right-wing government there, and I continued my support for him after he criticized Israel in NY)

@barker_ariella

Ariella Barker, Esq.

Ariella has a BBA and JD from Emory University. For many years, she represented the City of NY and Mayor Michael Bloomberg in employment discrimination and labor law claims. She currently sits on the Council for Disability Rights for the Mayor’s Office of the City of Mooresville, NC and works as a disability advocate since being crowned Ms. Wheelchair NC 2014. 

19Kamibarker6.28.14

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735 thoughts on ““Berned” by Bernie Sanders

  1. I hate to have to resort to asking you this but the people here in Charleston WV are not really responding to me in a Hillary way.

    I am a HRC supporter and couldn’t wait to volunteer. But when I got there and asked the usual access questions, I was told the only bathroom they had was not accessible but I could use the on on the 3rd floor until 5 mob through fri. Since most of the time 5 and weekends was about the time I was asked to be there it really wasnt a option. So when I needed to use the bathroom I had to leave the building and go 6 blocks to mall to seek a bathroom I knew I could use. I did this for 3 days then it was just too much.

    So my question is who can I talk to to remedy this. I still want to help but I am feeling very left out.

    Again, I am sorry to use you this way but am getting nothing but smiles and shoulder shrugs from her representitive here.

      1. Sounds like it’s about a campaign office. And yes, definitely contact someone in the campaign about this (outside the office in question.) An organizer has to make due with what office space they can get (it is notoriously difficult to get office space because campaigns typically only want the space for a few months’ time). But the campaign should try and make arrangements with a nearby facility/business to allow its volunteers use of a restroom if need be.

      2. I just about read your entire article, with interest, until you say, “Finally, his political director, Billy Gendell, a non-disabled white male, responded by scheduling a phone call with me.” With that one sentence, you did precisely what you accuse others of doing, you have prejudged a “non-disabled white male.” If you want others to not judge by physical ability, gender or color, don’t do it. Nobody likes to be prejudged.

      3. I mentioned that because he was meant to answer my questions on disability. And that all of his other top advisors were in the same demographic. He isn’t reaching minorities because he doesn’t employ enough of them. It speaks volumes.

      4. I’m a columnist, alas not political. Please send this to Eugene Robinson or one of the other aWashington Post political columnists or bloggers or to a Huffington blogger. It’s impt.! Perfectly written.
        Contact me for help if you need it. Markpsf@mac.com.

        Mark Phillips

      5. It sounds like it’s a field office. Unfortunately those don’t always come up to ADA code depending on how old the building is 😦 What state are you in Terra?

      1. Truly!
        It couldn’t be more obvious that this his a clinton scam.
        We can easily see through this shameful ploy paid for by HRC’s million dollar astro turfing budget.
        Shame on you for assassinating the charactet of the most honorable public servant to grace the political stage in decades.
        I hope the big bucks you were paid for this scam helps you sleep at night.
        Just so you know it is quite clear that this is a fraud.

      2. Yes, of course. Anyone who implies that Sanders is less than perfect in any way, or that Clinton is not the Devil incarnate, must be a paid shill. There is NO OTHER POSSIBLE EXPLANATION.

      3. Typical response when a Bernie Bot doesn’t like your comment or answer. They instantly yell “paid liar.” Apparently they’re feeling a bern alright. A butt bern.

      4. It’s crazy the level of paranoia these people have. It must be very difficult going through life convinced people are out to get you. I feel sort for them.

      5. You write in your essay that you were “asked…to come on board” and, among other things, to write for the Clinton campaign (“after they were able to officially vet [your] credentials”) and you add that they “didn’t just care about the disability community; they hired us and treated us like the intelligent people we are.” I think that most intelligent people would read that as indicating that you are doing paid work forth the Clinton campaign and that that work includes writing.

        Then when this is referenced in the comments you respond with: “I am not nor have I ever been paid by hrc or anyone else to write this or anything else. Nor have they ever offered to pay me.”

        If the latter claim is true, why did you write the former? And given what you have written in the essay, what is your basis for accusing people who comment on this aspect of having “some real paranoia issues”?

      6. 1) I am currently being vetted to work for them. So at the moment I do not. 2) they never offered any pay, so I don’t even know, nor do I care, if I will be paid. 3) I wrote this of my own volition with no pay and no request.

      7. What’s pathetic is that the rabid, Sanders supporters can’t possibly see him as anything but the Second Coming! If people aren’t willing to see him as you do, then they are “paid liars” by the Clinton campaign. Amazing that people can be that blind and totally void of intelligence.

      8. It’s shocking. Everything is a conspiracy to crucify the messiah. I saw a profile pic today of the cross with a cloth draped over it saying “Feel the Bern.” I mean really?!

      9. Yes. I’m very much aware of his website. As I said in the piece I volunteered hours every day for that campaign. However, it’s one thing to say you care about a group of people. It’s another to show it. If you look in my comments above, I delineate all the ways in which he failed to include us in his rhetoric. And his campaign ignored every activist out there crying out for him to mention us. This is standard fare for minorities with Bernie sanders and why they don’t vote for him. He might, if you’re lucky, talk about your issues, but he totally dismisses the community once elected. He makes no effort to establish last relationships with members of minority groups and their advocacy groups. He exploits their issues and then ignores them once in office. Now I realize why hardly any advocacy groups, like HRA or Planned Parenthood, if any, endorse him. He doesn’t have any real relationships with these people and takes a back seat to our issues. He just likes to yell at the wealthy.

        If you’re interested in what experience in helping PwDs should look like in a candidate and comprehensive proposals should look like that actually stand a chance at being passed, I recommend going here: http://therespectabilityreport.org/2016/01/30/hillary-clinton-completes-pwdsvote-2016-campaign-scorecard/

      1. I love how people assume I’m unfamiliar with his website and his respectabikity response. I’m a disability advocate who worked for his campaign. I’m well aware of what lip service he makes to us through these general statements but makes no effort to make relationships with activists in the community or to provide us with detailed initiatives to accomplish those ideas, much less to show us in ads. He had one ad with someone who looked maybe disabled. And he never mentions us at any speeches except occasionally about SSI. vast difference between him and Clinton here. He’s not following through with any minority group, which is why he isn’t doing well with minorities.

      2. This is a completely bogus blog! Shiksappeal was never a Bernie supporter – probably not disabled even – but maybe. Regardless, this is an obvious attempt to infiltrate by an HC sycophant.

      3. I was Bernie or bust. I volunteered constantly for them. I haven’t walked since age 11. And I am not paid anything by hrc. Your paranoia has overtaken your sensibilities.

      4. I am sure you are not paid by the Clinton campaign in any way, that is an irrelevant comment, since you obviously are talking your mind.
        But are you paid by somebody else? Pharmaceutical corporate organisations, for instance? I am aware that you maintained a critical stance against “Big Pharma” until recently; but now? You could seem to share interests.

      5. There is something really wrong with you. I’m not being snarky, I’m legitimately concerned for your wellbeing. I know it must be difficult for you, but it is a fact that many people who previously supported him have pulled back the curtain and realized that Bernie is not the wizard they thought he was. It’s really crazy that you think that anyone who speaks out about such a thing must be bought by someone. It’s astounding and insulting, and I think you’d be better served to speak with a counselor rather than commenting on someone’s blog.

      6. I am not sure, if I got a full-toned “no” to my question, which was pointed at the blog-owner.
        People are not shying away from him, on the contrary, there is now the danger that Trump will trump her in November, which was never a prospect with Sanders.
        I think YOU were seeing him as some wizard to magically turn bad to good with a wave of his wand; but it is clear in everything he says that change comes from everybody participating in a rather colossal endeavour. He is inspiring a movement, not a passive mass of aye-sayers.

      7. So when someone who disagrees with him you aren’t being at all cultish in your mentality to assume I have some paid ulterior motive? How does this exclude you from the aye-sayers?

      8. It’s a very strange mentality that BS supporters have: that if you say bunk about him, you must be paid because he’s so otherwise impervious to criticism.

    1. I too am a disabled former 20-year lawyer living with chronic pain disorder from a failed neck fusion. I’ve had the same feelings and concerns you’ve had re Bernie’s limited message and stubbornness to add or discuss other critical issues. I just think HRC has a much broader platform to include all the domestic and foreign policy issues we face. I agree that campaign finance reform is needed, but I don’t like the way he invades the Democratic Party, uses all its resources and benefits, but doesn’t spread his wealth to support other Dems AND trashes the party mid-stream! Like one of those ungrateful party guests who asks to be invited and yet complains about the food, music, etc. He’d better get onboard the Clinton train or he will be a bummed out Senator in Trump’s administration. I agree on the disability points you make. I too have found that Clinton addresses our issues in detail. We are a huge voting block and the candidates cannot afford to ignore us. We need money for research into neuropathic pain, and pain generally. We were productive contributors to society and now live essentially at home trying to get through each second of pain. Medications are costly. A lot of scam “Pain Management Clinics.” Thank you for this article.

      1. Thanks so much for you, the original writer, understanding my CNS pain issues. Friends of mine are even desperately having nerve endings amputated! But other neuropathways take over within 9 months. At least w/Opiods, & hopefully decriminalization of MMJ CBD oil & edibles, I can go outside more than 2X week. Bernie would take even that 20-30% life left, to where I’d end it all.

      2. I would likely end my life if I couldn’t get pain meds. Just yesterday my pain was so intense that I was rushed to the hospital via ambulance due to pulse of 136, Bp of 160/110 and the trauma caused my white count to be elevated in my blood. Pain literally shuts your body down. I’ve had brain surgery, brain radiation, bimonthly nerve blocks, accupuncture, cupping, Chinese medicine diets, hypnotism, psychotherapy, medical massage, medical marijuana, meditation and some yoga. Opioids are the only thing that help take the edge off on top of these therapies. No one chooses to become dependent on these meds.

      3. omg Shiksa, you are so brave. Add one more, not sure if it will help but won’t hurt, strong LED red lights. There is no such thing as too long or too strong. But I don’t where, cause it isn’t localized. Or if.

        I am counting on you, working on the inside, paid or otherwise. It is so hard. Finding a doctor who will keep trying and not evolve into abuse is hard. We need some real changes, this isn’t new, there is a real problem in medicine, I blame the DSM cookbook and the medical school entrance examination. I think not all doctors believe in the disease model, they’ve taken the ignorant notion of continuums to dark places, and used the notion of personal responsibility to defend sadism.

        Maybe disabled disability advocates, to smooth transitions from one doctor to the next one, to complain to, who will compile data but not average it.

        You don’t give up but not everyone is you. Don’t ever give up. I think we need you

      1. Honestly I just love how BS supporters assume despite volunteering for the campaign and recruiting PwDs to vote for him that I didn’t know about this or his statement about PwDs on his website. I’m a well-educated well-informed attorney and disability advocate. Respectability asked me to go on the campaign trail with them in NH to interview the candidates. I’m well-aware of his barebones response to their questionnaire relating everything to income inequality. Compare it to this, which is something like 14 pages: http://therespectabilityreport.org/2016/01/30/hillary-clinton-completes-pwdsvote-2016-campaign-scorecard/

        Additionally, it’s one thing to say something and make lofty proposals. It’s quite another to act on them, follow through, be inclusive of that demographic and establish relationships with that community. He can write all day about how he cares about us, but if he did he would’ve tried to reach out to ONE disability advocate and not ignore us and then have a staffer dismiss my and the community’s concerns by telling me to just get to the questions and then not even be able to actually answer them.

      2. Absolutely. Isn’t this funny? We have to “correct the record”. We pay Bernie $27.00 to work for him by presenting the truth. This blog is obviously biased. Thank you for setting the record straight 😆

      3. Oh please. Clearly you didn’t read my reply to his comment. How can I be biased when I volunteered hours every day for Bernie?! Always paranoid about bias. Accept that some people have different experiences than you have had, namely more than listening to his same tired speech week in and week out. I would be willing to bet that you don’t have an established relationship with any upper level staffer for the Bernie campaign. I’m willing to bet this because NONE of my disability activist friends have been able to make contact and when they do its negative. Like this from the director of a disability organization with 5,000 members: https://www.facebook.com/kris.guin/posts/10153430529360855

        Putting a bunch of hot air on your website or responding to a disability questionnaire with broad overreaching ideas all related to income inequality does not mean you care at all for those people. If he did he would’ve listened to one of us about how uninclusive his campaign is.

        I paid Bernie a lot more than $27 and he outspent Clinton at least two months, raising hundreds of millions of dollars and he squandered it on big college parties and the Vatican trip rather than policy advisors. So don’t give me the nonsense that Hillary is paying me to give her good press. I haven’t accepted a dime. In order to set the record straight you need more than conspiracy and paranoia.

      4. This is the most important election in my life. Whatever happens will change the course of our country. To not vote for the best candidate because I’m disabled is absolutely absurd. If I had a checklist for Hillary & Bernie on who best represents me, my beliefs & the best for our country, guess who would have the most checkmarks? Hillary would have zero & Bernie’s would be almost full.
        When I hear things like your blog it makes me sad you don’t see the big picture. I’d like peace, not war. That is the top of my list. Hillary has a proven record for violence. I don’t trust her with our country. A word of advice, step back, look at the big picture, can Bernie address disabled Americans? He can. Make a checklist & see who will best represent our country.
        Hillary will not win against Trump.

      5. I have come to the conviction that this is all about medicine: fear to upset the almighty industry, so that people with HIV, pain conditions etc. will become hostages, when the power of the corporate pharmaceuticals will meet resistance to their straw in the public purse.

      6. I did that. I found hillarys resume to be full of checks and bernies to be of no accomplishments and just ideas. He can’t even change his speeches for fourteen months, and I’m supposed to think he’s more qualified? There’s no reason even discussing it. He lost.

    2. I think sometimes the people in the field who find campaign offices don’t think about handicapped access unless they have experience. A roadblock includes cost of renting a proper place.

  2. I have read your work before, thank you for sharing your experiences.

    From a public prospective, I have felt like people with disabilities have been talked about in very, very unlimited terms or rarely mentioned on both sides of the political spectrum.

      1. As a Sanders supporter, I’m sorry you had that experience, but the Sanders campaign started up only a year ago and certainly lacks the depth of the Clinton campaign, which is very well networked and has years of experience. It appears that the standard you have set may not be fair to an insurgent campaign like Sanders’. Try as they might, there are major gaps in their efforts and in their resources.

        To be sure, people with disabilities are more likely to be accommodated in the political establishment which has a better organizational and personnel infrastructure. There are trade-offs when volunteering for a political revolution. I hope you will feel less disappointment with Sanders and come to see that he has NOT indicated that Hillary Clinton is ONLY concerned with Wall Street. You may have believed that, but the large majority of Sanders supporters never went there. To be sure, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has resources, infrastructure and personnel to relate more fully to the diverse nature of the Democratic Party. You may find them more sensitive to your needs, at least in large urban areas. However, that does not negate the message of Bernie Sanders, in my opinion.

      2. First, I want to thank you for being so civil and kind. The level of anger and vitriol sent my way has been dreadful, to say the least.

        Second, I understand your thinking this about the sanders campaign. But they have raised hundreds of millions of dollars and a couple of months even outspent Hillary. He also has campaigned for over thirty years. So to assume that he’s just woefully understaffed or uninformed is inaccurate. He has had plenty of resources to hire the best of staffers, who have a long history of campaigning. He has been informed of his lack of inclusion for PwDs for months, not just by me, but by many disability activists and RespectAbility, a nonpartisan organization that educates politicians on the needs of PwDs. He could have hired someone, anyone, to advise his campaign on disability issues and how best to include us. He could’ve gotten the advice for FREE from me. But, instead, he hired no one with a disability or without a disability who has any experience in these matters. To say that he is the only candidate who fights for the 99% and to willfully ignore 20% of that 99% is tantamount to lying in my opinion or, at the least, misleading. It has nothing to do with his campaign being a grassroots campaign. His campaign is no different than Clinton’s in terms of organization.

  3. I was put off by his “crazies with guns” rhetoric, but gave him the benefit of the doubt regarding his intentions. Now, I’m going to have to research more and think critically about my support for Sanders. This is not an easy decision to make.

    1. It was a very difficult one for me to make. I felt awful about the realities I’ve come to. Just try to think about the warning signs. I think with an objective view of the facts, you’ll come to the same realization. My experience with Bernie is everything his campaign claims not to be.

      1. See, this does not ring true. You’ve swung all the way to the other side of the pendulum. Per your accounting of what happened with you and this campaign, you appear to have legitimate concerns and grievances. When those specific grievances then get translated into now he and his campaign are completely bad and wrong, you lose me. That is not nuanced, critical thinking.

        I have a brother with disabilities and making sure people with disabilities are get every bit of help and consideration they are entitled to is important to me. I find your story disconcerting and would actually like to address Bernie and my guess is that directly from him, you’d get a satisfactory response but that’s my guess.

        This is a people’s movement too as all politics should be, frankly. Why don’t you volunteer to help the campaign with this. Do you not see how much this guy has on his plate right now? I not dismissing your important points. I do find it disingenuous (and I’m sure not purposely) that dye to these specific issues very near and dear to you that you now want to warn people about Bernie in general about how bad he and his campaign are generally.

        Step back and try to get an objective view and if you cannot do that, at least take responsibility for understanding that your response is an emotional and subjective one but rightfully so.

      2. I did work with the campaign volunteering and asked them many times to let me help him be more inclusive of PwDs. I was either ignored or then treated like a nuisance by one of his right-hand political directors. There’s a reason why every major advocacy group for minorities isn’t endorsing him. He does not care to establish relationships and to adapt his platform to their needs or come up with specific policy. It’s not because of some broad conspiracy as he would like you to believe. In congress he is a follower; not a leader. He just votes and very rarely legislates. If he wanted to take the initiative to come up with real plans, he would’ve over the last year.

      3. Thank you so much for your article. I look forward to reading more from you. You are indeed an inspiration to the disabled everywhere. I am so sorry for the way you have been treated. I am not disabled, but I have friends and loved ones who are. If Hillary has all of these plans in the works, then maybe, just maybe, if we can get a Democratic Congress, change will be coming that will benefit you and others. I am sorry about the way you have been attacked by people who refuse to believe anything unflattering about their chosen candidate. I liked bernie in the beginning, but the more I read and learn, the more concerned I am. God bless you.

    2. I (a middle-age woman, not a Bernie Bro) obviously cannot speak to your personal experience, and if your were treated that way by Sanders’ campaign that is horrible and I equally condemn that. But here are a number of examples of how Bernie is supporting the disability community that may not have been covered: 1. Bernie’s campaign was the FIRST to respond to a disability questionnaire put out by RespectAbility: http://therespectabilityreport.org/…/sanders-campaign…/; 2. Bernie has a clear policy statement on his website that includes three points WITH further explanations: Protect and expand the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI); Increase employment and educational opportunities for persons with disabilities; Fight for the U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. If you go to Hillary’s website you get three points WITHOUT explanations: Hillary will: Realize the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act; Improve access to meaningful and gainful employment for people with disabilities; Provide tax relief to help the millions of families caring for aging relatives or family members with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Maybe the two policies are equal, I don’t know, but Bernie’s inclusion of Fight for the ratification on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities seems to show a deeper knowledge of the larger disability issue than does Hilary’s policy statement and he goes into greater detail about what he will actually do. While Bernie may not always say the word disability explicitly (I can’t verify that), his BIG message is that people who are being asked to pay for healthcare through the health policy we have now vs. universal care or who are living on less than minimum wage, which often includes ppl with disabilities, are being unfairly treated by our society. This is the centerpiece of his message. Is he unrelenting in that message? Yes. Because most Americans continue to blame people who are poor for their lot in life. He has also worked tirelessly for veteran’s improved access to healthcare, of which the MAJORITY are disabled. I’m sorry for this long response, but while I cannot address this woman’s personal experience, I think it is a red herring to say Bernie has ignored the disability community. http://www.businessinsider.com/bernie-sanders-woman

      1. Here’s another disability advocate who supported Bernie until they experienced his campaign first-hand. https://www.facebook.com/kris.guin/posts/10153430529360855. I am not a red herring.

        Bernie was the first to release his respectability response which was bare bones and broad sweeping ideas as is what’s on his website. But compare it to this: http://therespectabilityreport.org/2016/01/30/hillary-clinton-completes-pwdsvote-2016-campaign-scorecard/

        He’s not coming up with specific plans or making an attempt to include us in his campaign in any real way even after being asked for months by activists like myself and Kris. I suspect this is why other minority advocacy groups like the HRA and PP are endorsing Hillary and why the superdelegates are too. He doesn’t follow through past getting the vote and make no attempt to amend his platform in a way that best serves the communities he purports to fight for.

      2. Oh but robin didn’t you know MSM is corrupt and out to get him thereby violating defamation law to do so?? I’m sure paid Hillary trolls wrote all of those pieces.

      3. yes robin, he chaired the vet committee, but didn’t believe those long wait list stories, and we know he doesn’t get off his butt and check things out on the ground, so he wrote a crazy vet bill that added lots of fancy stuff that added more to the wait list, and there wasn’t even money budgeted for it, so it didn’t get out of his own committee, and then he gave up and blamed the rich. Only when it hit the papers did he agree to support a bill someone else wrote, and then he claimed credit for it.

        Today he’s on George and on the CNN one, and he says he doesn’t want his voters to vote for the lesser of two evils, and George asks him, are you really saying Hillary is the lesser of two evils, and he backs off, oh no, no me, I didn’t say that, it’s my voters who think that, not me. His hands are clean. And then he defends what happened in Nevada, it wasn’t violence, no chairs were thrown, he says, although he admits he wasn’t there.

        And he claims the supers should pick him over the will of the voters because he polls better than Hillary against Trump. The the CNN guy is all, do you really think you’ve faced the kinds of negative attacks Hillary has (doesn’t add Bernie’s been enthusiastically behind the recent ones) and Bernie is all, in 2006 he faced lying attacks, lots of ’em. Don’t tell him he’s never faced what she’s faced!

        He think the GE polls against Trump are reliable, but he thinks he can win in New Jersey (least he’s down is 14 points) and California, where he’s down 10 points and no polling since he clearly drove off the rails.

        He claims he wins with higher turn out. He won the Nebraska caucus, but when Nebraska voted, so there were higher numbers, she won.

        It’s now reported that he started the month with 6K and I hope that means he’s paid back some illegal donations, but if he hasn’t, he owes a lot. Maybe north of 20M. If he suspends, he’ll have to stop asking for donations. He gets donations based on his victim messaging, the ‘single issue’ strategy that he’s paid more than 30M to Progressive Revolution for, and that’s where he really goes negative on Hillary, ‘lies again, cheated again, here’s a photo of her with Trump, donate fast click here.” He can’t get donations from positive messages, they don’t work. And if he admits he has no path, he’d have to suspend, and he can’t afford to suspend. He’s in too deep. He claims anyone who accepts money becomes a slave to the donors; he’s proving it applies to him.

        i bet he’s making it worse thinking he can better trade his campaign debt and dropping his bogus suits for stopping the attacks, so making them more vicious makes them worth more. but I don’t think he’d stop, although he might pause until the check cleared, he isn’t a man who can admit to making mistakes.

      4. Annibannani, I don’t think you meant to address that to me, my comment was all links that show his absolute failure to address the needs of disabled veterans. 🙂

        I also watched that this morning, and was amazed that he had the nerve to say that some cherry picked May polls – that actually show BOTH of them beating Trump – should “trump” the actual votes cast by actual voters. I even yelled at the tv, “do you not know how elections work after all your decades as a politician?!?”

      5. Yeah at first he was saying supers should vote based on the will of the electorate. Now he’s saying that they should ignore the will of the people and vote for him anyway. Whatever method best suits him

      6. Bernie’s ideas on disease aren’t conventional. I think ignoring the reality of what disabled people face is part of a bigger pattern.

  4. I was at a fundraiser last night with Chelsea and she spoke at length about Hillary’s plan to cap childcare costs at 10% of income and to include caring for disabled or elderly adults in that program. There will be multipliers for people who are caring for children and elderly or disabled adults at the same time. I think this will go a long way towards making life easier for caregivers and people who need them.

    1. Absolutely diabolical. The stench of intelligence, or “ex-intelligence” operatives with years of experience in the clandestine black arts is pungent throughout this professional psy-war dis-information campaign. The kind used to de-stabilize foreign governments fallen out of favor by you-know-which-two Ametican political dynasties.

      1. Some times people laugh not because what is said is funny, but it can be in reaction to an uncomfortable situation….

      2. bernie never apologizes, he has never admitted he’s made a mistake. Not even one. When he seemed to change on gun legislation, saying now he’d now consider voting for victims to have the same rights as others injured by unsafe products, it wasn’t an admission, or even a true change. After that when she called him on the five votes against the Brady bill, he defended his vote and his vote for indemnity, all the while red faced and pointy. (Chris Matthews says he looks like he’s trying to get a waitress’s attention.) She gave him a chance to change, but he can’t admit he’s ever been wrong, so he has to double down. He’s easy to play because of that. he also never loses fairly, if thing were fair he would always win. That’s why he calls close one ties, and big loses he explains in offensive ways. He’s his shortcoming, one of them. And that’s why he’s now aiming his revolution at the Democratic Party, he’s doing his ‘double down,’ he can’t help it.

        By the way, he actually does have a plan to nationalize health care, he’s just playing it close to the vest, His health care advisor is Enrique Diaz-Alvarez (hiding in plain sight): http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/10/bernie-sander-bankers-wall-street-213295

        and here is the plan: https://www.jacobinmag.com/author/enrique-diaz-alvarez/

        the cost savings is also hidden in plain sight, he advocates the Swedish model, under bernie the doctors and all health care professionals would be working for the government, so they’d earn less. President Trade Union wants to drive down wages in the health care industry.

        He’s against income inequality, not for high incomes, equal low wages.

    1. I am not disabled but I am diabetic and had a life-threatening medical issue that went on for 9 months and affects me still. I was denied healthcare in 2012 before Obamacare protected pre-existing conditions, so again, while I would never claim to have the same medical issues you do, many of the things you said resonated with me. I have been pro HRC from the start but liked Sanders, and appreciated his ideas, especially in the areas of health care. But as the campaign has gone on, I haven’t heard HOW any of this would be accomplished and stories like your show me WHY… Because he hasn’t been listening.

      1. Oh lord. Like I haven’t. I volunteered for his campaign. I know his website by heart. It’s one thing to talk. It’s another to act.

    2. So sorry for your loss, Justin, and I share your outrage.

      Just for the record, though, “manic depression” is the old term for bipolar disorder; they are one and the same 😉

  5. Disabled person here. I have long loathed Bernard Sanders.

    You might want to reevaluate Sanders’ rhetoric, not only about sick people but all downtrodden people. Almost invariably he uses them solely as a rhetorical foil to express his violent hatred of wealthy or powerful people. It is truly disgusting exploitation that helps explain my hatred for the man. IMO he is callous and cruel and would cause immense misery if elected.

    1. Terrific piece, shiksappeal.
      It seems a bit ironic, though not surprisingly hypocritical, that BS would hate the wealthy and powerful, because though he may not be in the 1%, he is not exactly lacking in those 2 areas. I never found him to be authentic any more than Drumpf is; both are phonies ginning up people’s emotions for their own massive ego trips. At this point, though, I think BS and Jane aren’t a lot more than grifters.

      1. it looks like that, when you look into how he fundraises it’s not surprising so many of his repeat donors think the revolution is against progressive Democrats and they would never vote for Hillary. And my theory, which I hope is wrong but doesn’t look like it, is he’s staying in and shifting his goals because if he suspends, he can’t keep fund-raising, and he’s banked so much in illegal contributions he’ll be deep in debt whenever he suspends. Unless he goes third party and so can run in the general, he’ll have to give it back. So he’s hoping for a terrible miracle, and he’ll stay in until the convention, and he’ll run her down in his fund-raising emails and claim to be a victim, because those are the only pleas that bring in donations. Grifters indeed.

      2. well, b melinda, we don’t really know how much they are worth, he hasn’t exactly been forthcoming. He’s been on the public dime since he was thirty, when he was first elected mayor. His wife has also worked. He’s employed his wife and his step-daughter on his staff. Grifters have various degrees of success, but his wife is his paid senior advisor, and he didn’t release the 2015 taxes he said he would, which would show how much she was paid by his small donors in 2015. If he’s as poor as he claims, that may be why he had a beef with Wall Street.

      3. I found it very shady that he only released the short form of his taxes for 2014 without the exemptions and it didn’t show Jane’s income either, did it? Meanwhile he calls Hillary corrupt for taking special interest money when until last year he’s taken from special interests, gone on Wall Street retreats and raised money for super pacs. And he benefits from a super pac right now. So by his own definition he’s also corrupt and part of the oligarchy. We should end citizens United. No doubt! But now is not the time.

      1. Saying you want it to get votes and not actually following through on a real concrete plan. His bare bones single payer healthcare came TRILLIONS of dollars shot and was formulated on an expected 5% growth of the economy, when that has happened in over sixty year. And then never even mentioning the disabled when discussing healthcare or anything except now occasionally social security. He’s selling an idea and a message with no intention of winning, or else he would be following up with members of minority communities and superdelegates to prove he has what it takes to bring about his proposal.

      2. I never understand why he keeps calling for this when Obama tried it and was lucky to get what we have through Congress (and the Supreme court). It seems disingenuous at this point in time to assert that he could make that happen. It feels like a lie to me that is really intended to whip up anger rather than really solve problems.

      3. In the rhetorical stump world that dreams obtusely of a harmonious congress, supreme ct, etc.

      4. This is a very good point Jane.
        Thank you for asking a very good question like this one. It goes directly to the center of the misleading and questionable main argument within this blog, and it helps encourage or inspire clearer thinking on the main topic under discussion. Thank you.

      5. “Misleading and questionable” – that perfectly describes Sanders and his incredibly unrealistic proposal for single-payer healthcare. I’m all for socialized medicine. I’m not for lying to constituents about how much they’d actually have to pay in taxes or telling them he has a concrete plan to roll out anything. He doesn’t. He has pie in the sky everything is free ideas. Who doesn’t like free everything?? But nothing is free, and it was a bloody miracle we got Obamacare and it hasn’t been repealed yet. And somehow you think some rabble rouser independent senator who has zero coalitions in congress can make that happen. We aren’t electing the messiah. We’re electing a president, and that requires realism.

    2. What a hyperbolic load of fake ugliness.
      Obviously you and this entire fake scandal have been paid well to make this hatefulness up.
      Shillery is getting her million dollar Astro turffing monies worth.
      Your character assassination of a nobel civil servant; with decades of true service speaks more about you than him.
      What an unholy faked crock of shit.
      Shame on all of you paid off shills.

      1. I’m not paid one cent by anyone for this or any other piece. Not ever negative piece on him is written my some paid troll in a conspiracy to sabotage him. I tried helping his campaign for months. Your paranoia has really gotten to you.

      2. Why do Sanders supporters resort to conspiracy theories so often when faced with opinions and experiences that don’t meet their own version of reality? It’s almost comical, to think that no one could possibly have a different opinion who is not receiving money for it.

      3. I know right?! I’ve never been accused of such things in my life. How is it that EVERYONE who calls him out on his BS is somehow a paid operative? It must be very hard going through life always so paranoid.

      4. I wish like hell someone would pay me to voice my support for HRC online, but that’s just another Bernie-fervor-inspired fantasy that people cling to in order to help them through the pain of knowing that their savior has lost and that you are not, in fact, in a majority in this country or even the party. I hope and pray that the day comes that you look back on comments like this and realize how totally ridiculous you sound and how thoroughly you’ve been conned. OR, you’re an expert level troll, in which case you pretty much NAILED the brainwashed Berniebro character, well done!

      5. I look back at some of my posts on Facebook trashing Hillary and feel so regretful and manipulated. He talks a good game and he speaks to real issues that marginalized people endure and he exploits it for his own advantage.

      6. one woman’s nobel civil servant beyond reproach is another woman’s selfish grifter-fake progressive spoiler, go figure.

        why not ask yourself which one is transparent?

        (hint: Bernie hasn’t even turned in his candidate financial discloser form, he says after California, even Trump did that. Trumps comes in ahead of Bernie in financial disclosure)

        that’s a sign of something to hide

        what could it be?

      7. Hi Connie. I understand your concern. But there is no evidence that the author and admin of this blog is being paid. What concerns me more, whether anyone is paid or not, is the overall weak critical thinking expressed here.

        This particular blog is replete with dramatic exaggerations, unfair overgeneralization, and other examples of none to weak critical thinking, that include writing questionable statements like, “How is it that EVERYONE who calls [Bernie] out on his BS is somehow a paid operative?” and more examples of weak critical thinking.

        This blog could be used inside a school course on Critical Thinking as an exercise in seeing how many fallacies they can find.

      8. Oh please. It’s called an opinion piece. It’s my personal experience with his high level staffers, and it’s not unique. Practically every minority or advocacy group has endorsed Hillary because Bernie is dismissive of us. If you actually used some critical thinking you might consider that Bernie is not perfect and can be criticized. Do you have an established relationship with anyone in his office or high level staffer in his campaign? Which demographic do you advocate for day and night? Or do you just listen to his tired old speeches and just accept it as gospel? What critical thinking have you done of Bernie sanders? Or are you another one who thinks he’s perfect and without faults, as he claims?

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  8. I am a 63 year old women with Spina Bifida , Mylomeningacele , in constant pain form the moment my feel hit the floor … I worked all my life because I didn’t want to collect disability and because I loved my work. I am an Event Producer working mostly for Non Profits … So I suffered through most days pushing through as we all do work and than on the couch , day after day … not looking for sympathy just telling what my life was like … I am supporting Hillary because of her committment to the disabled … thanks for sharing your story .

    1. I know your pain dear. I have SMA and EDS with terrible pain. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It’s a nightmare living in pain especially in a world where we’re told by politicians to just do yoga for it. It’s so insulting.

      1. I have MS, so my pain issues are intermittent and weirdly varied. I work in the field of mental health, and I’ve had some major issues with how even my preferred candidate (Hillary) has approached issues of mental health in conversations around gun control, as well as the topic of narcotic drugs for pain management. This is especially problematic given that so many are in fact under-medicated for chronic pain. That said, the fact that Hillary has created space in the dialogue for disabled workers at all is incredible. I also volunteered extensively for the campaign and found them overwhelmingly willing to make accommodations for me and other disabled volunteers and staffers. I have hope that they will continue to reach out to the community and hear our issues. Thank you so much for becoming involved.

      2. Once I’m vetted I’ll be able to better answer your issues. I’m going to be working with her on the opioid topic for sure. I didn’t realize Hillary blames gun violence on the mentally ill. I will definitely get her to stop saying this if she still is. I hate that gun violence is blamed on a scapegoat.

      3. Please, please, PLEASE let me help. I run the Trauma Dolls blog, and have been dealing with chronic pain for 17 years now, the last 12 of them with the aid of tramadol (which, no lie or exaggeration, saved my life). I’ve heard sooo many horror stories, and recently even began experiencing a few myself (I’d been incredibly fortunate before then, I realize now). I’m working on a few articles for Medium on the topic and I have many facts, much data, etc. And questions. SO MANY QUESTIONS. Feel free to drop me a line at this email address.

      4. I have EDS also! (“Happy” Ehlers-Danlos Awareness Month!) I do not work any more, but getting disability for something that even doctor’s don’t know about is really hard. I’m grateful to still be able to manage the house and my teens while my husband works.

        I am so happy to come across your blog. I’ve been a Hillary supporter since I was a young, overwhelmed working mom in the ’90s. I’m afraid the professional political career of Bernie’s never spoke to me in my times of need. And during his candidacy, it’s been very weird to feel like I couldn’t say Hillary’s name without people blasting me. I started to feel like someone who shopped for health food in the grocery store instead of paying elitist prices at Whole Foods instead!

        I had been holding out hope for Hillary but feeling good about Bernie as a great second choice! But he’s really shown a different side of himself now that the challenge is on. Some say, that’s when you show your truest colors. I keep thinking about Hillary during a whole day of antagonist proceedings and how articulate, cool, and full of facts she was. Now that’s grace under pressure.

        She’s not perfect either. But when you push boundaries in the public eye, do as much public service in all her years and in all the ways she’s done it, you’re going to make mistakes, and piss people off. I hear what Bernie is concerned with and agree with much of it. But it’s starting to sound as ingeniousness as Trump.

        Inclusion is how you show that you’re concerned with “the little people.” Talk ain’t worth a cent until actions back it up. And Bernie is falling short on inclusion.

        Thank you for shedding some different light on “The Bern!”

        And by the way, I’m not being paid by Wall Street or HRC or anyone. So if you don’t agree, that’s fine. But don’t crap all over people who have a different opinion or have drawn different conclusions using their research. It’s a free country and we should all get to express ourselves respectfully.

      5. Don’t you just love all the accusations of being a paid troll? So strange. Yes it’s so hard being an EDSer. Doctors have no clue and don’t ever diagnose properly. It is a merciless condition, and the pain is unbearable. It’s so good to be in support groups of those who understand though. I can’t wait for this election to be over. It’s been the biggest anger fest I’ve ever seen.

      1. I’m a disabled, retired legal aid attorney who struggles with severe chronic pain. Bernie’s ignorance about this is very frightening. Without opioids I would have no quality of life; I’d simply give up. In my state, we’ve had a cap placed on daily opiate dosage. I’d been stable on the same protocol for more than 10 years but that didn’t matter. Everyone here has had their pain medication cut in half. My physician wanted to try other medications but the insurance won’t pay for them. There is no apparently no longer a right to pain relief. I’m also receive little from SS Disability, so I can’t afford medication out of pocket. As it is, I’m having trouble buying enough food since they keep cutting SNAP benefits. I don’t even have a car anymore – I can’t afford it.

        I started the primary supporting Sanders, but when he was acted as if he was entitled to PP’s endorsement, I’d had enough. I’m very turned off by the violence and bullying I’ve seen from many of his supporters. I’m afraid I defected to Hillary a while before you did.

      2. Our situations sound so similar. I also had to stop working from chronic pain and nausea. Getting the necessary meds and for insurance to pay for them is a nightmare. I’m constantly fighting with my insurance company. It’s very difficult being sick and having to deal with this BS on top of it all. The opioid epidemic is a hoax. The CDC has already said it’s very rare for people to use opioids from a dr for non medical issues. Just something to politicize and throw us under the bus for it. So sick of the addicts out there that screw us.

      3. I just caught your message. It’s only going to get worse with the current Congress and White House. I’m very worried that Medicaid will be abolished. While I’m primarily covered by Medicare (thankfully) when I hit that darned “donut hole” Medicaid picks up my Rx. If I don’t have my meds, I literally can’t walk. (I don’t use a go cart in the supermarket anymore, either.) If I can’t get my meds, my only option is giving up. (I am guessing that’s the point. The underlying message to the poor and elderly? Hurry up and die, will you!

      4. Nice to see a new comment. We need to work on the state level for Single Payer. And now we all know that Russia was trying to pit bernie’s people against hil and it was one-sided. Those of us who had some things to say about the bern were offering positive points he might have used. We offered some to her too. The stuff said about her was bogus and nothing she could learn from.

      5. Shiksappeal,

        Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences with Bernie’s campaign and the how and why you came to support Hillary. I was a Hillary supporter in ’08 and was naturally disappointed when she lost to then Senator Obama but I came around to support him completely and proudly voted for him twice. I thought I’d feel the same way this election but there was something about Bernie Sanders that just didn’t ring true for me from early on. He really was a “one issue” candidate in my mind and reading about his past was disheartening, to say the least. To know that he wanted to run for President and start a revolution, first mentioning it thirty years ago, had me questioning why he didn’t run in ’12 because I clearly remember him wanting President Obama primaried, which certainly did not endear him to me in any manner. During the debates he tried to deny initially that he wanted President Obama primaried but once cornered with the truth, he turned to Hillary and said, “Well, at least I didn’t run against him, you did.” However, that disingenuous remark left out the fact that it was Senator vs. Senator when Hillary ran against Barack, not Senator vs. sitting President of the party you caucus with on a regular basis! This set me off into more research on him, finding he lied about his net worth being only $300k, which is absolutely impossible since his home in VT is owned free and clear on several dozen acres and is worth more than $500k. He also has a condo in DC valued at approx. $500k with a mortgage of $70k. No mention of retirement accounts and his stock portfolio. Then there’s the fact that his wife has been making a six figure salary for many of the last 25 years he’s been in the Senate, drawing the same. Either he’s outright lying and hiding his $$$ or he’s a damn poor money manager and has no business handling any of our country’s economic challenges.

        Like you, I’m also a chronic pain sufferer and the final straw for me when it came to whether or not I would vote for Sanders if he was the nominee was the nonsense about the yoga…let him try yoga when his pain is at an 8 or 9 in the morning every day of your life and you have to take medication immediately after you wake up, waiting for it to take effect before you can get the strength to get out of bed! Congress does not belong in the middle of this debate and neither does the DEA. Chronic pain sufferers are the ones who will truly suffer if they change medication guidelines again, making things stricter than before. I recently had to change physicians after using the same doctor for 13 years. When he retired, it took me six months and many, many painful days to find another doctor. I live in fear that something will happen again. Those who abuse medication have made it difficult for those who truly need their pain medication to get the help they need. I sincerely hope you will find ways to improve your pain, whether through medication or therapy or a combination of both. I believe that if our concerns are made known to Hillary and she was better informed about CPS, we would not be ignored. She truly listens to the people who speak to her and has been working for the people for forty years. Her strength through all the attacks she has been through for the last 25 years amazes me. I guess it’s easy to hold your head high when you know people are lying but it certainly doesn’t make things any easier. It’s now time for Bernie to gracefully concede at the end of the primaries as Hillary did in ’08. I’m under no illusions that he will stand by her side and cheer her on as she and Bill did for Barack Obama but he should. She could have gone after him much harder than she did but she kept focused on the end game, winning the nomination. I look forward to voting for her in November!

        Kate

      6. “So sick of the addicts out there that screw us.” Um… addicts got problems. Real problems. They are trying to numb their own pain. They’re certainly not trying to hurt you. They are sick and need help too.

    1. Oh yes. That’s right up there with the “just think positive!” statements as the most unhelpful and frustrating advice ever…

      1. Yes or it’s all psychosomatic due to trauma or stress. Why is it okay to expect people to live in pain and then call them addicts when they take pain medication? It just shows a total lack of compassion and ignorance.

      2. Totally. They don’t seem to have a clue as to what people with chronic pain are actually going through, and the war on opioids is harming so many right now. They are pushing all these meds with side effects that are about ten times worse that don’t work well at all instead of looking at the fact that opioid pain meds that are actually helping people.

        I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not even nice when I get unsolicited advice on my health issues, because I have heard so much of it.

    2. First, I just want to thank you for sharing your experiences in this. I have been struggling for awhile, unable to come to a final decision on Bernie or HRC. I have thought various times about Bernie’s lack of acknowledging PwDs, but basically convinced myself I was just being overly sensitive because of my personal situation. I had no idea that 20% of the American electorate is right there with me. I’m 29 years old, and because of multiple health problems, and a surgery that went very wrong when I was 24, I haven’t worked in 2 years. I’ve tried and tried to find something, anything I could do, but it just doesn’t seem to exist. Applying for SSI is the epitome of an uphill battle, one which I’ve been fighting for more than the last two years. Not only is it infuriating and frustrating to hear, “do yoga, meditate, and mind over matter,” but there’s also the matter that those who haven’t experienced health problems genuinely believe that PwDs are mostly lazy freeloaders. I would do just about anything to be able to work a 2 hour shift, doing anything, for any pay. There’s such a direct correlation that exists between chronic pain and mental health issues, and a big reason for that, IMO, is that when you aren’t physically capable of doing much of anything, it’s very hard not to believe that you’re worthless. I honestly can say that being unable to work for health reasons is extraordinarily detrimental to the psyche. It’s hard to feel worthwhile when you are limited on ways to contribute to society.
      Sorry, I know I’m kind of rambling, I just want to be sure you know how grateful I am for your thoughts, and for sharing your experience.
      One more thing: for months, we have watched Trump be shut out by his peers, and seen such a huge divide between him and everyone else in the GOP. I constantly wonder how the general voting population can possibly stand behind someone who receives virtually no support from his own side. Unfortunately, the last few weeks, I’ve seen the exact same thing going on with the DNC candidates. In fact, I think it’s even worse on this side, because there are still two key players splitting the party, whereas Trump is now last man standing. It simultaneously devastates me and makes me angry to see. The reality that several people have jumped straight to accusing you of being paid off only emphasizes the issue. This shouldn’t be an us vs them situation. At some point, some level of unification needs to occur, otherwise we’re going to see a Trump presidency.

      1. You said it perfectly. Bernies message is so great but as a pwd you wonder why he never includes you in his speeches or ads. It’s not because he doesn’t know. He’s been aware for months. Hillary has made great strides to include us in everything. People can call it pandering but at least she cares to pander to us. Bernie doesn’t even care to acknowledge us. We need to unify. The hatred from the BS crowd to Hillary is just awful and unwarranted. If we don’t unify trump could win and that could be devastating for PwDs. My hope is that with pieces like this his supporters will realize that she’s not as evil as he makes her out to be and come together. I’m very sorry you’ve been going through a similar situation. I know how difficult it is not to be able to work. It’s very hard on the psyche to not be able to use your brain. That’s why I write. You should too. It might make you feel more purposeful. Much love. Xx

      2. I don’t think there will be a reconciliation. Bernie supporters believe that politicians in general, and Hillary specifically, are beholden to those interests that finance their campaigns and the research done in Princeton verified that to be the case. I have watched the average American’s purchasing power go down the last twenty years and Bernie has made that cause a priority because it affects everything else we might possibly do.

        My Uncle didn’t notice the Great Depression because had had nothing when it began and nothing when it ended. So yes, the poorest among us might not have noticed the decline in income the last 20 years. The top income earners have had their incomes go up, so they didn’t “notice” either. The middle class has noticed the decline and it weighs on them daily. Today, 49% of Americans do not have $400 on hand in case of an emergency. Even those who earn above $120,000 annually, many would have trouble getting together $2000 within 30 days.

        After the 2008 crash, it became abundantly clear where both parties’ priorities were and it was not with the needs of the average American. While I voted for Hillary in the primary back then, I had no problem supporting Obama because he was more “progressive” than she was. Since then, I have seen too many contradictions in her points of view, from Travelgate, to DOMA versus Gay marriage, to sniper fire, “bringing them to heel”, to a Honduras coup, to Haitian minimum wages. I fully expect her to pass the TPP if she becomes president because that is what the business interests demand. That is going to negatively impact workers in the US, and lower worker’s incomes that are necessary to help pay for benefits required to support the disabled.

        It is certainly unfortunate that Bernie’s campaign does not address issues regarding the disabled more directly. Bernie follows a similar path regarding African Americans.

        What runs in my mind these days is how long does a speech need to be before a payment for said speech (more than 4x the median annual income of Americans) is no longer a bribe?

        In this election, what it comes down to for me is that I refuse to vote against my economic interests (and those of the middle class) because if we continue to lose economically, we will have no resources left to fight for social justice.

        No, that does not mean I would vote for Trump even though I like that he supports universal healthcare. However, I am certainly not going to vote for Hillary either.

      3. Trump says one of the first things he would do is repeal Obamacare. How is that supporting universal healthcare. Somehow your moral convictions are to vote in a way that will hand the White House over to a narcissist demagogue billionaire who has admitted to giving politicians money for favors, the very thing you so vehemently disagree with, and who has hinted he would default on our debt, because you want to help the economy. You’re a saint. Really. Trump would DEVASTATE this country. Our economy would go down the toilet, and he would govern in a way that benefits himself, as any narcissist would, which is to say cut taxes on the wealthy and screw the poor. You’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      4. Apparently, you are being misread as a “Trumpist”. I find this blog rather odd, and it seems more and more to me very indicative about the Clinton campaign and its candidate – I am sure the gender of the candidate has much to do about it.
        The sad truth is that most progress in the world comes about with candidates, who are boringly mainstream, while ‘firsts’ of anything has to pay the price for personal progress that they can get nowhere in terms of common progress. It is indeed fantastic, what Obama has been able to do within his last years, but only recently has he achieved as an American presidency is supposed to achieve: in Iran, and in Cuba. We can hope he will also have a positive impact on the Syria negotiations, but at the moment it sadly seems his only answer is bombing.

      5. You’ve said a lot of idiotic things, but to now accuse me of choosing to support Clinton because she’s a woman has crossed the line. I don’t vote for anyone based on his or her anatomy. Clinton is the most experienced and qualified candidate in the race who actually cares about helping people with disabilities. I’m sorry you’re so bitter that she happens to be a woman, but believe it or not her gender is entirely irrelevant to my decision to support her. Take your offensive ignorant comments to someone else’s page. From here on out every comment you make will be summarily deleted.

      6. I am happy to hear it, that you do not. You know, a lot of people do. I still cannot believe, how you cannot look through her appearances for lack of authenticity; that said, though, she might simply have a problem talking to crowds and doing so in a manner too superfluous as to what she is wont. She really seems very much putting on masks, which is the opposite of Sanders, who never makes out to be anymore than he actually is.
        I feel sorry for you, it must be horrible to suffer what you do; but I would never be able to trust Hillary Clinton to make circumstances better – and then again: perhaps she will, she will just not make America better for the majority of its people, and when I read you other comments, you really yourself seems rather judgmental and harsh on others, who endure hardship.
        As for lack of doctors, there is no place in the world, which educates all those, who wants to take on the medical profession. Here in Denmark, I can tell you, that a little more than 20% of the applicants at the University of Copenhagen were let in.

  9. I appreciate your perspective and you raised some important issues. I would like to point out the fact that Sanders signed on as a co-sponsor of the DIA on the same day that Clinton published her support. I’m sure that doesn’t make a difference considering the rest of your story, but thought it should be clarified.

  10. Reblogged this on Jumping In With Both Feet and commented:
    Snippet: “Those of you who are Bernie or Bust, like I was, please, I beg of you, consider my personal experience. Google me. Find me on Facebook and Twitter. See for yourselves that I was Bernie or Bust, that I’m not some Wall Street attorney rolling in money. I am a disabled woman, struggling to make ends meet and to pay my medical bills. But I now recognize that Clinton is the only candidate willing to make the effort to effect the change we need.”

  11. I broke both my ankles in November. One is so bad the doctor told me it is a life changing injury. I stood for hours on NH snowbanks in 2008 holding signs for Hillary. I was co-chair of her campaign in our small town. Now I can’t stand for more than an hour period! I walk with a cane. I’m lucky to walk at all. I admire Hillary so much I can’t even say it without getting teary. She is phenomenal. She really is. I’ve met her several times. She looks you in the eye when you talk to her as if she has all day and there is no one else in the room but you. She knows how to listen. We are so close to smashing that glass ceiling. I can hear the crash. Get everyone you know to vote for her. She is the real deal

      1. Unfortunately, they are ready-made arguments that the GOP has been pushing since 1992. Lies repeated so often that people already believe them before Sanders even has to say a word.

        Thank you for sharing your experience, by the way. I have been on the fence between them for many reasons.

      2. My apologies but I’m not sure what thing you’re referring to. Idk if it’s in response to another comment bc I can’t find you through these comments on my app. Can you specify? I’d love to answer your question.

      3. Malicious is exactly the word. And to what end?
        I loved your article, I think it’s so very important, and I’ll be sharing it widely.
        Thank you for your courage and commitment.
        Amy

  12. Hi! I’ve been reading your web site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go
    ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic job!

  13. Thank you very much for your story. While I really wish things had turned out differently, I can understand why your support changed. I truly hope that you take your passion for single payer healthcare and pressure the Hillary campaign to change. Ultimately its not the candidates but the ideas and policies that we need.

    1. Thank you. That is my hope. To fight for truly affordable healthcare. It’s very important to the community. Just because I’ve switched my support to Hillary doesn’t mean I think she’s right on everything. Not by far. We’re unable to bring about change if we’re unwilling to compromise or encourage our politicians to say “yes we can!”

      1. Does she have a policy to help the newly disabled of Libya or Honduras? Maybe you can get her to rethink her policy of poorly conceived regime change throughout the world? Or perhaps, as a Clinton supporter you don’t care about people who have needlessly suffered due to her foreign policy decisions? As long as you get yours, right?

      2. Does Bernie have a policy for all those who’ve become disabled from the Afghanistan war, the Bosnian invasion or the war on terror? Cause he voted for all those and for regime change in Iraq.

  14. I don’t know why you are surprised. Did you pay attention in history class about what the socialists do to the disabled. Try looking up Stalin, Hitler, Mao, …

    1. Yes and call it “mercy killings.” Socialism is meant to help the vulnerable among us. Odd that it hasn’t played out like that. Maybe because we’re considered leeches to the economy. But most disabled people can work. Employers just won’t hire us. It’s very sad that we are viewed so negatively.

      1. I used to work as a reservations agent for an airport transportation company. I mention that because one of our best and most efficient agents was disabled. He was better than any of the other agents; quick, efficient, polite. I also worked with disabled people at other jobs, including the credit department for a major bank and a major retailer. They were as able to do the job as anyone. And why wouldn’t they as able?

      2. So true! As a Deaf individual, who is also a mental health therapist, I can tell you that most Deaf people WANT to work, but employers won’t hire them. They don’t want to have to deal with communication difficulties or hiring an interpreter. Unemployed Deaf individuals either have no insurance or receive SSI and Medicaid benefits. They would much rather work! This has a huge emotional impact on their well being. I would love for Clinton to be more aware of the needs of the Deaf population.

    2. But Stephen, those 3 were military dictators who used revolution to take control. They were the antithesis of what democratic socialism stands for. Try asking the same question about the disabled in Denmark and Norway, and you might also include Canada.

      1. Exactly. But I admit that we have the problem now, that too much is demanded of many disabled and ill people, because we have for a little too long had right-wing governments. So what shiksappeal admire in the Clinton approach is what some of our own disabled people are forced to, because “work” has somehow because of capitalism become not only a necessity to make a living, but somehow a magic drug to better your self-esteem and ultimately cure you, or at least make you forget for a while your dire conditions. – I am all for making room at the work marked for people with all kinds of physical and psychical conditions, but I am not in any way for doing the opposite of helping more than squeezing work out of them. We used to put people before corporate interests, but the decisions by the Clinton administration, which changed the economic conditions rather brutally, also takes its toll on the Scandinavian welfare states. We still hope to keep the boat from sinking, but a Clinton win this time around will certainly not make it easier.

      2. Can you please give me examples of how Hillary made legislative decisions that favored Wall Street and corporate america? Because Bernie couldn’t. Bernie wooed Wall Street for money too, and yet he claims to have been impervious to their influence. How is it that he could then but Hillary can’t now?

      3. No, YOU provide examples of him having trying to get Wall St. to sponsor him. It is your claim. As for Clinton, we know that has happened, we know that she has received ridiculous fees for speeches, which is what we see here, when people sell their appartments with money under the table: a cupboard for $12.000.
        And she is not president yet – payback for favours will not happen before that. As it happens with all presidents, including Obama, who, for instance, send his top one fundraiser Rufus Gifford as an ambassador to Denmark. Not that we do not appreciate him, but he is, after all, an firm believer in liberalism the New Democratic Party way.
        Wall St., the Pharmaceutical Industries, the Fossil Fuel sector will not be satisfied with such a post. They support her, because of what you say yourself – you endorse her politics on these issues, and, of course, you do not belong in the Sanders camp for that reason.

      4. “no,” steffen? Just no to Shiska, you just… won’t?

        Didn’t you think it was stand-up of Hillary to challenge the bern to his face, and he couldn’t provide one stick of ‘evidence,’ he went right back to blah blah blah. He snipes behind her back easily enough, when his BS gets cheers from his mob of haters, but he’s fact free. He benefits from the Koch’s ads on his behalf too, and Wall Street has spent millions, many many millions, on oppositional research on Hillary yet not one dime on Bernie.

        And Bernie’s uses their stuff, says he’s ‘not saying that,’ and then he says what he isn’t saying. Just like him saying he doesn’t want the voters to have to choose the lesser of two evils, but when asked if he’s saying Hillary is the lesser of two evils he’s all, not me, it’s the voters who think so, heh heh heh. He thinks that’s cute, cagey, thinks he’s getting away with it, no one noticed. Like a demented four-year-old.

        not the first time he’s tried to destroy a female progressive Democrat though, so you can’t pretend it’s a matter of tiny strokes:

        http://electwomen.com/2016/02/when-bernie-sanders-ran-against-me-in-vermont/

        “Hillary Clinton is not the first progressive Democratic woman to be challenged by Bernie Sanders. He ran against me in 1986 when I was running for my second term as governor of Vermont. At that time he had little affinity for the Democratic Party. When advised that his third-party candidacy might result in a Republican victory, he saw no difference between Democrats and Republicans, saying: “It is absolutely fair to say you are dealing with Tweedledum and Tweedledee.”

        By any measure I (Madeleine Kunin) was regarded as a progressive governor. If I was vulnerable, it was for being too liberal. As a legislator, my maiden speech on the floor of the Vermont House was in favor of ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. My first priority as governor was universal access to kindergarten. I set a record for a Vermont governor’s appointees; women filled half of my cabinet. I sought out talented women, many of whom were the first women to head their agencies.”

        face it Steffen, your guy is just an opportunistic fraud/creep, Hillary is vulnerable, ergo Bernie

      5. one more thing steffen, this “ridiculous fees for speeches.” Lots of money but not as high as der Donald gets for a speech, or as much as previous male SOS’s get, It’s like hollywood, men get paid more, lots more.

        but what is important is you provide the smoking gun that Bernie uses arousing sexism to drive down Hillary’s positives, like he did with Madeline Kunin, proven because you didn’t think to look it up and compare, you just knew it’s a ‘ridiculous fees for speeches’ leaving out the rest of the sentence, ‘for a girl,’ which leads to ‘corporate whore.’ That’s what he’s implying each time he says ‘must have been some speeches’ and what you think too, how dare her presence be worth more than … your presence?

        He claimed Madeleine Kunin was taking advantage of being a woman, and that he was the better feminist (as his rape fantasy satire and his scholarly contribution to female cancers caused by frigidity clearly show? Like wow?)

    3. You are confusing Socialism for other “isms”. Communism and Fascism. Hitler was never a Socialist, he was a Fascist, he looked around to see which was the popular party, and noticed the German Socialist party was very popular. So he joined up. then he proceeded to get rid of all the good guy, and used his Fascist ideas to run the problems and the Holocaust in Germany. He was never a Socialist. And Stalin and Mao, Pol Pot, etc. were Communists. Big difference.

  15. Thank you for this. Thank you. This is something that has not been addressed directly or thoroughly, and I really appreciate that you are talking about it.

    Is there any way for disabled individuals to connect with Hillary’s campaign directly? I am disabled/chronically ill and in danger of homelessness (no paid sick leave + waiting a very long time for SSDI to make a decision + no affordable housing for non-elderly disabled + no source of income) , and I’d wanted to talk to her campaign about some of the issues surrounding that but the contact form on her website doesn’t allow long comments/personal stories.

    1. Please send me your email address so that I can put you in touch with them. In the meantime I recommend you check out her answers to disability policy questions that RespectAbility gave to all the candidates.

      1. Thank you very much – is there a way for me to get my email address to you without making it public here?

    2. I would love to hear any response you might receive to those questions. I’ve been working on qualifying for SSI for two years, with no results (despite three different specialists not only stating that I’m unable to work due to my chronic issue, but also guaranteeing that if I were to be employed doing just about anything, I would damage myself even more). I’m 29 years old, and it takes everything out of me just to go to doctor’s appointments. I do not have any income, at all (besides less than $200 a month of food stamps), and I’ve spent the last year sleeping on my parents couch. Without them, I would be homeless. We need change.

      1. I’m so sorry you’re going through that. I’ve heard it can be very hard to get Ssi. Do you have a lawyer to help you with your claims? I know if you don’t have for example a mobility impairment like I do, then they make it so hard. I’d like to help you if you would let me. I’m a lawyer. I could look over your paperwork and see if I can figure out a way for them to approve. I also have been forced to live with my family due to meager ssdi and high medical bills. Please PM me on facebook at Ariella Barker and let’s figure out how to get you help. Stay strong! Much love. Xx

  16. As a Clinton supporter, I loved your essay about Bernie Sanders and how clearly you laid out the holes in his campaign. My only quibble is about your screen name, shiksappeal. If it’s a play on the pejorative Yiddish word shiksa, I wish you’d consider a change. You may mean it only to be fun and perhaps self-deprecating, but shiksa comes from the Hebrew root for “abomination” (literally, a slimy, crawly thing), and part of my mission as a Jewish professional is to get Jews and non-Jews alike to quit using it. If you wouldn’t want to call someone in a wheelchair a crip, you don’t want to call someone, including yourself, a shiksa.
    Sent with love,
    Ellen

    1. I know its origins are negative but the term shiksappeal was invented by Jerry Seinfeld regarding the appeal of a nonjewish girl to Jewish boys. So the conglomeration of the two terms is meant as a funny compliment. But I appreciate your desire to do away with the use of the word shikseh. I’ve been called that in a nasty sense too, but I just respond to them in Hebrew. They usually drop their mouths at that one.

    2. I feel like shiksa has been reclaimed, like gay or dyke. I myself am a shiksa dyke married to a Jewish duke. All my life many (most?) Of my friends have been Jewish, and I have experienced shiksa only as a term of affection.

      And some militant disabled people have claimed the word crip and refer to themselves as such. No accounting for tastes!

  17. I too was trying to contact HRC campaign but it is so difficult. As an American and Canadian citizen, I live 6 months in each country. I enjoy the Ontario Health Care program in Canada, which is paid for through our taxes and taxes on goods. No one ever goes without health care, and no one ever need fear of losing their home over bills, because there are none!
    I was trying to inform her campaign that in Canada we have “sin” taxes on alcohol, tobacco and junk foods because they cause most of the health problems. A bottle of Vodka that is 20. in the US is 55. in Canada, a huge difference, but goes a long way to pay for health care. I think the US will have to do the same, think of all the money they would raise that way, and more people would quit smoking if a carton of smokes was as expensive as it is in Canada! We also have a cap on what doctors can charge and make, over $300K a year, why do they need to charge almost that much for one heart operation in the US? These are things Hillary needs to consider and propose. I am a Hillary supporter and will vote for her in November in Florida, To me she is very sincere, and I don’t believe any of the GOP propaganda the last 25 years. Thanks for listening, please pass this on to her campaign.

  18. As a Bernie supporter I’m really disappointed to learn you were treated in such a dismissive fashion. I don’t have any solutions or excuses to offer, but I don’t think you’re correct in your assessment of him based on your experience with his campaign. I’m sure if the man himself knew of your story he’d be appropriately horrified.

    This system IS rigged, corrupt and rife with election fraud, and honestly he’s barely scratched the surface of that. In my opinion he’s choosing to stick to issues of climate change and economic inequality, for which he’s offered plenty of solutions, because those affect everybody.

    I’ve not seen ADA issues addressed by either candidate, and clearly this should change.

    1. Bernie knew about my contacting them. I literally stalked five high level staffers including weaver for a very long time, as were many other disability activists. I know you don’t want to believe that he doesn’t care. I didn’t either. But he had MANY activists begging him to be more inclusive. We were all ignored. A president cannot be a one or two trick pony. He or she must prepare himself for the breadth of all the issues. He’s running to be the commander-in-chief and still won’t talk about foreign policy, other than to blame past administrations for their mistakes. He doesn’t say how he’ll conduct his foreign policy other than to say he’s against war. That is simply not an option in the war on terror.

      1. Even though you got to his inner circle, I’m still not convinced the information reached the man himself. I know many people have asked them to address clear evidence of election fraud which has severely impacted the race, and can’t get a response on that, either.

        I guess you’re right, I don’t want to believe he doesn’t care, especially when he says as president the one thing he’d want to be known for his compassion. I hope whichever candidate wins your needs get addressed, for your sake and for all my friends with the same issues.

        Both candidates have their positions on the issues listed on their web sites, and he talks about foreign policy there and has debated with Sec. Clinton about it. He’s won all those debates by around an 80-20 margin on average.

        The “war on terror” is a red herring. But that’s another issue.

      2. Dean, he voted for the authorization to wage war on terror, it’s sweet you think he won debates on foreign policy 80/20, it’s charming, but he only advocated for the general policy of what Obama has been doing and then moved it back to Wall Street. Look it up. Waking up is hard to do, but worth the effort.

      1. I contacted Jeff weaver multiple times, and Billy Gendell, Blair Lawton, Bruce Koeppl. All top political advisors for him. Not low level at all.

    2. I’m not entirely certain I see your point. He hasn’t done anything for people with disabilities in all his years of public service that are noteworthy. This is what I researched on him and was able to find out about his work there:

      Sanders positions related to disability rights are spelled out on Fighting for Disability Rights – Bernie Sanders and say,

      PROTECT AND EXPAND THE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY INSURANCE PROGRAM (SSDI). SSDI is vitally important to more than 11 million Americans, including more than one million veterans and nearly two million children. The average disability benefit is about $1,200 a month. For many people, that is their entire income.
      INCREASE EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. In the year 2016, it is unacceptable that over 80 percent of adults with disabilities are unemployed. We need to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and vocational education programs. We also need to expand funding for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), which aim to provide “one-stop shopping” for information on long-term services and support.
      FIGHT FOR THE U.S. RATIFICATION OF THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.Bernie will continue to fight for equal access and equal rights for people with disabilities. That’s why Bernie strongly supports the ratification of this important treaty.
      End quote.

      On paper, I think he looks the strongest. I’m just disappointed at his record. I looked and looked for things done that he can be credited with related to people with disabilities dating back to his time as mayor:

      Serving on the Budget Committee in Congress, fought efforts to define Medicaid by $500 billion, and efforts to turn Medicare into a voucher program. [17]
      While in the Senate, he cosponsored ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
      While in the Senate, he supported the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act.
      While in the Senate, he cosponsored Safe Schools Improvement Act.
      While in the Senate, he cosponsored of Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act.
      While working on the Budget committee, managed to reduce the intelligence budget for fiscal year 1999 by 5% while managing to get an exemption for the CIA Retirement and Disability Fund so people with disabilities would not lose services.
      In 2008, he was involved with Senate efforts to increase specially adapted housing benefits for disabled veterans.
      In 2013, he worked to get the Secretary of the VA to increase , the rates of veterans’ disability compensation while the Republican congress was trying to cut these benefits.

      This list of what Clinton has done in public life related to people with disabilities:
      Clinton has the following accomplishments:

      First job out of law school was working for Children’s Defense Fund, where she learned that lack of disability support was a contributing reason for why many students did not go to school. This evidence was presented to Congress, who changed laws to require more disability support services in public schools.
      As First Lady, she lobbied Congress to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provided healthcare to million of uninsured children to make certain their health needs were met.
      As a Senator, she worked to make sure 9/11 first responders, many of whom acquired disabilities as a result of their work, got access to medical care in the years after the attacks.
      As Secretary of State, she tried to lobby Congress to become a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Her efforts were unsuccessful, and the Republican Congress blocked this.
      She cosponsored ADA Amendments Act of 2008 as a Senator.
      As a Senator, she cosponsored Individuals with Disabilities Education Reauthorization Act.
      As a Senator, she cosponsored IDEA Full-Funding Act of 2003.
      While in the Senate, she voted to increase funding and discretionary funding for IDEA.
      While in the Senate, she cosponsored Mental Health Parity Act and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.
      While in the Senate, she voted to increase mental health care for veterans by $500 million.
      While in the Senate, she “helped develop and co-sponsored Autism legislation that authorized over $1 billion in funding for research, early detection, and early intervention.”
      She co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.
      As First Lady, she advocated for nationwide immunization against childhood illnesses.
      As First Lady, she supported an investigation of what is now called “Gulf War Syndrome” and getting treatment for veterans who have it.
      In the Senate, she served 8 years on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions .

      Clinton spells out her own policies on Hillary Clinton on disability rights , and these say,

      Realize the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
      Improve access to meaningful and gainful employment for people with disabilities.
      Provide tax relief to help the millions of families caring for aging relatives or family members with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

      End quote.

      He can stick to those issues that impact “everyone.” That’s fine. The thing is they impact everyone in different ways. It just isn’t true to suggest that not everyone is impacted by this because, yes, they all are impacted by these issues in a variety of different ways. Also, everyone is impacted by protections for people with disabilities. Why? Because every single person is one horrifying day away from a temporary or permanent disability, often through the actions of others. It’s nice that he is worried about income inequality for able-bodied people though. Real nice.

  19. So what did Hillary say? This is really interesting to me because I’m disabled. I listen to all of Hillary speeches and I don’t recall her mentioning disabilities at all. Perhaps I missed it? What exactly is her plan? You mentioned how they communicated with you so quickly, and how you were impressed with all of the information they gave you, why didn’t you share that with us? I would have loved to have known what Hillary will do for the disabled instead of how much you don’t like Bernie. Could you possibly add some more information?

      1. Yes he did. And I recognized him for it on my Facebook page, but his responses were bare bones in comparison to Hilary’s. I thought in the time between when he released this response and now he would’ve had more concrete answers.

  20. Just Wow! Sanders srrounds himself with white men as clueless as he is
    Thank you for sharing and all goid wishes to you

  21. I am not disabled, but I have an adult son with cerebral palsy. I also have two elderly parents living in my home, whom I fully support without any assistance. I leaned Clinton at the beginning, but was willing to be persuaded about Sanders.

    Imagine how I felt , when Clinton came to a rally in Colorado, and her speech was about helping the disabled, and helping caregivers! It was all I could do not to jump in the air and shout, because that is the first time I remember ANY politician ever in my life talking bout the need to make our disabled population economically secure and integrated into our society better. And then when she addressed the special issues that caregivers have, and proposed her tax credit for caregiving, that solidified it for me.

    Still, I listened and waited for Sanders. But Sanders is a one trick pony. His speeches are identical. He cant answer any question that is off script. He has no real plans for anything, and the few plans he has suggested do not hold up when they are examined. So, my vote goes to Clinton.

    1. I sure do want to clarify this. The wording in the article indicates it was Billy Gendell who wrote the email, not Bernie.

      1. That’s the first time I saw that report. Thanks for sharing the link. Hillary just continues to impress me with her thoroughness and capability. We’d be fortunate to have someone who looks at the big picture as President.

  22. Thank you for this piece. As a breast cancer “survivor”, a term I use reluctantly, I am familiar with the “blame the victim” mentality; as if those who die from breast cancer somehow weren’t brave enough or didn’t “fight” hard enough. Fact is it’s luck of the draw. And as someone who went from perfectly healthy in 2009 to working through cancer, followed by a chronic, debilitating and progressive illness that now requires me to use a wheelchair when walking more than a short distance (and believe me, I’m grateful for what I have!), I was particularly outraged by the comment on opioids. I’ve just gotten out of bed after two weeks of taking pain pills for pain caused not by my illness, but by the only medication in the world that slows the progression of my extremely rare disease. My doctor asked me if I could try and give it time for my body to adjust because we are simply out of other options.

    My life has been turned upside down the past six years; but I am in the enviable position of having excellent health care and financial security. I wish with all my heart that everyone did. I know that’s what HRC believes, truly in her heart, and so glad to welcome you and others to her growing group of supporters. I respect and admire her so much, and this simply reinforces why she does such a better job of representing a broad spectrum of society. Compassion. Empathy. Few politicians have it in the abundance that she does.

    1. I hate to hear other people are suffering out there like I am. I know how heart breaking it is to lose everything including your health. We need more compassion from our politicians not judgment for the treatment we receive.

  23. Thank you for sharing such a strong and amazing story. I have been sharing it in the hopes others will read it as well–and I’m someone who caucused for Bernie but has been routinely dismayed by much of the rhetoric (or lack thereof) coming from his camp.

      1. anyone who feels tricked can actually ask for a refund, that’s the FEC law, his campaign also has to return a lot of over-the-limit and foreign donations. I know my donations to Hillary take a bite from my budget, but she’s never tricked me, I always know what she’ll do because she says so.

      2. Really? How do I request my money back? I’m totally asking for a refund. Then I’ll give it to Hillary or charity. Not to pay for his trip to the Vatican.

      3. Write to his campaign and ask for a refund, and cc it to the FEC, just in case. I think he has 60 days to return your money. Better tell him the amounts and the dates, they aren’t really cutting it with the FEC. For a guy who wants campaign finance reform, you’d think he’s obey the laws on the books. But, seems not. The FEC is dysfunctional, like the Supreme Court is now, only more, it’s half Republicans, and they only obstruct. So, it’s a bernie-opening, and he moved in.

        http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/2016/4/5/third-strike-sanders-campaign-10-million-mystery-contributio

        “For the third time this year, the Federal Election Commission has served notice to the campaign of Sen. Sanders for making a mess of their [campaign] financial house. In the last two notices, the FEC noted over-limit and potentially illegal foreign contributions to the campaign, both with warnings of an audit.

        But those egregious violation seem like typographical errors compared to the newest FEC notice to the Sanders campaign. The regulators have spotted more than $10 million that snuck into Sanders’ campaign coffers from with no apparent accounting as to what it came from. Ten. Million. Dollars.

        FEC’s notice addresses Sanders’ July 2015 campaign report, in which the campaign accounted for $3 million in individual, itemized contributions, but his full filing shows total itemized contributions of well over $13 million.”

        send your refund request to:

        BERNIE 2016
        PO BOX 905
        BURLINGTON, VT 05402

        cc: FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
        999 E Street, NW
        Washington, DC 20463

        (by the by, should have been ‘sneaked in’)

  24. Do you have a link to or the text of his official statement on opioids that includes the sentence on yoga? I find this an egregious stance, but I am having a hard time finding the source material.

    1. “Addiction to opioids – prescription pain medications like OxyContin and illegal drugs like heroin – is a serious problem we must address in this country. It is, simply put, a public health emergency.

      I have seen the devastation of opioid addiction in New Hampshire, in my home state of Vermont, and around this country. Between 2000 and 2014, we saw an increase in opioid abuse in Vermont of 800 percent. In New Hampshire, there were 300 drug-related deaths last year. Tragically, opiate use too often leads to death or incarceration. This has to change.

      I’ve talked to students, I’ve talked to veterans, I’ve talked to members of law enforcement, and I’ve talked to professionals who help people living with addiction. And two things are abundantly clear – we need to focus on prevention and we need to focus on treatment.

      Focusing on prevention means asking: Why are people turning to opioids, turning to heroin, in the first place? What should we be doing differently to keep that from happening? One big thing we can do, we must do, is to address income inequality in this country. We have to make sure hard working people can find a job, that the job they find pays a livable wage, and a fair wage. Today, unemployment and underemployment remains far too high, particularly among our country’s young people.

      A focus on both prevention and treatment means that health care professionals across this country not only need to take steps to reduce unnecessary prescribing of opiates and work with public health officials to address this crisis, but also to provide access to treatment for those individuals who seek help for their addiction. If someone is addicted to opiates and they go to get help and they are told there is a six month or 1 year waiting list for treatment, that is not an acceptable situation.

      We also need to give people options for treatment for both mental health diagnoses and to manage chronic pain. As the former Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the Senate, I have met with veterans all over this country who need mental health and substance use disorder services. I have introduced legislation in the Senate to improve access to complementary and alternative therapies for veterans, so they aren’t left with the false option of either being in excruciating pain or at risk for opioid addiction. Therapies like yoga and guided meditation can help manage pain and reduce stress with zero risk of addiction.

      I support expanding programs like the one in Manchester, New Hampshire that offers peer-to-peer counseling because I have seen how effective it can be for someone in treatment to get help from someone who has walked in their shoes and come out the other side of addiction.
      Progress is possible. In my home state of Vermont, we have seen the devastation of opioid abuse but we’ve also seen success. The people of Vermont have benefited from $3.8 million in funding from the federal government to deliver substance abuse prevention and addiction treatment for at-risk youth. And, between 2010 and 2014, we have quadrupled the number of people getting help through programs that use medication to assist in treatment. And for many, many people, those treatments are helping.

      But the medications that help with treatment are expensive, and many cities and states are experiencing sticker shock. I’ve contacted mayors, county officials, governors and attorney’s general to encourage them to stand up to these drug companies to combat these high prices. We are facing a public health emergency and the drug companies are profiting. But we can stand up to them. With a supported and well-trained health care workforce, expanded access to prevention and treatment services, and a united message to pharmaceutical company CEOs, we can address our opiate epidemic and ensure access to life-saving treatments in New Hampshire and around the world.”

  25. I googled you and I don’t see anything whatsoever to suggest you were ever a Sanders supporter. Also you are wrong about Sanders and disabilities. Unlike Clinton who just slapped up a disabilities platform at the last minute to imitate Sanders, Sanders has advocated in the past for people with disabilities. For example, Sanders supports education programs for students with disabilities. He sponsored a 2008 budget amendment increase which called for $10 billion for special education. He said, “Over 30 years ago, the federal government made a promise to school districts around the country to fund 40 percent of the cost of special education. The federal government has not kept its commitment. Special Education is an expensive proposition and because of inadequate federal funding, property taxes in Vermont and around the country are increasing while kids with special ed needs are not getting the attention they deserve. My amendment this week is part of an ongoing effort to begin the process of strong federal funding for special education.” Clinton supporters are notorious for not doing any real research, just spewing platitudes they get spoonfed from Clinton propaganda. It’s a real pity.

    1. “Clinton supporters are notorious for not doing any real research”

      yes, that’s how you win hearts and minds and the correct way to respond to allegations of ignoring minorities. well done.

      1. Exactly. Typical Bernie supporter. Claim to be progressive while accusing someone who disagrees with you politically of bring uninformed and a troll. His supporters played a big part in me running away. They are all paranoid conspiracy theorists.

    2. Then you did no research because I have public postings on Facebook and Twitter supporting Bernie. I went to his rallies. I phonebanked, did text4bernie and donated often. The fact that you think Bernie knows about disability issues because he’s supported special education and IDEA schooling just shows how little you know about disability policy. Intellectual disability is a small fragment of the community. I went to a top ten university. Special education has zero to do with me or the majority of PwDs. Everything he says and doesn’t say shows his ignorance on this topic, and it’s willful ignorance because the community has been bombarding his campaign about these problems. But he doesn’t care to adapt anything or make real strategic plans to effect the change he seeks. Stop being so paranoid that anyway who says something bad about sanders that it must be a Hillary troll. And don’t insinuate that I’m uninformed or unintelligent. Just because I no longer support sanders doesn’t mean I have no brains. Quite the opposite. I actually researched a lot from both candidates and that research only further proved to me that he isn’t fit to be POTUS. The man can’t even write a new speech in a year! What’s he going to do in the White House? Probably the same as he does in the senate. Vote on bills but create a total of three. He’s just a rabble rouser.

    3. Doubting somebody’s painful personal story is really inappropriate. You need to rethink the idea that every Hillary supporter online is a paid Correct The Record shill.

      1. Thank you dean. I can’t get over how convinced these people are that everyone who criticizes Bernie is secretly a Hillary troll or operative. And that they are nasty to me. Like that’s gonna woo me back?!

    4. Like shiksappeal, I, too, have EDS. My docs ruled out SMA but I’m unsure since I’ve what remain still a bit of a mystery assortment of EDS related functional GI disorders that impair my ability to digest food normally. And, I’m still for Bernie. Oh, how I wish I could trust Clinton but I don’t. Why? Not because of anything Sanders or his campaign have done. Clinton’s past behavior and flip flopping pandering + obvious ties to Wall Street have led me to mistrust her. I also don’t trust the Democratic Party. Ditto the Republican Party. As former President Jimmy Carter observed, we no longer have a functioning democracy at this moment in time. If Clinton does get elected, I hope she will come through on that impressive platform for people with disabilities. I’d add that we need advocacy for people with rare disorders because the US health care system is data/metrics driven which means we who have rare disorders get neglected, undiagnosed, misdiagnosed and mistreated. There are so many reasons to not trust Clinton. I agree that Bernie’s always tended to stay on message, repeated himself over and over. But, over and over again, Bernie’s been right about big picture issues like the economy, those “bad trade deals,” universal health care, getting big money out of politics, defeating Citizens United. By the way, the executive director of the EDS Society, according to his Twitter feed, is also for Sanders and he’s a Maryland legislator. I think he’s likely very well informed. I’m sticking with Sanders and hoping for the best whatever the outcome ends up being. For starters, I don’t trust Trump, Ryan (if he were to become the GOP nominee via a brokered convention) or Clinton and the corporate influenced Congress to not privatize Social Security and further cut Medicare. Clinton’s been riding on Obama’s coattails. What she now says in her campaign doesn’t line up with what she’s done in the past. The same was true for a lot of Obama’s promises for “hope and change.” I learned from the 2008 election and what followed after Obama took office. Don’t buy into the branding and rhetoric. Instead, look at the past behavior. Trump’s an actor, not a politician, but his past behavior’s atrocious. Clinton’s resume looks good as does her platform but her past behavior doesn’t sync with what, to me, are the most important parts of a platform. The #1 most important issues to me are preserving and expanding Social Security and saving and strengthening Medicare with universal health care via Medicare for all being the best possible outcome. Is it likely to happen soon? No. But, would it contribute significantly to my health and financial security as some who lives with EDS. Yes, absolutely.

      1. I have gastroparesis too. I feel your pain…literally. Hang in there. I know how hard it is to suffer so terribly day in and day out. I totally understand why you support him bc I was a huge supporter and believed so strongly with much of his platform. But the failure to put forth any specifics for his policies and refusal to even work things in that his constituents need made me become suspicious. On top of it, he is leading people to believe the election is rigged and bc they believe it so much they are so angry and frustrated feeling so disenfranchised. Even if he won all of the alleged suppressed votes, he still wouldn’t beat Hillary. There’s zero chance he will get nominated and he keeps taking needy people’s money. Everything put together made me step back and evaluate why I was so invested to a campaign that wasn’t that invested in me.

      2. Two things:
        1) First, a clarification and correction to my comment: SMA stands for two different things. My docs ruled out Superior Mesenteric Artery syndrome. I didn’t want my comment to be misleading. Same acronym; different issue altogether.
        2) Re: the issue about the CDC’s new guidelines, did you know that PROP (Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing), funded in part by Phoenix House (a national chain of addiction treatment centers), was the lobbying force behind the new CDC guidelines? Zyp Czyk, author of the EDS Info blog (edsinfo.wordpress.com), has written several informative posts about that issue.

  26. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you had to go through so much to evolve to where you are today. All I can say is Welcome to our Group of Hillary supporters, She is the real deal and the only one who can save us from the Trumps and Bernies of the World. Hillary has been helping the disadvantaged and those in need for over 40 years, she has such a good and caring heart and she really knows how to get things done.
    You made the right turn in the road and look forward to you helping us help Hillary get elected President. She is there for All of Us and That’s why We are Here For Her.

    1. she isn’t there for me. I want free public college, no more wars and single payer healthcare – which would benefit disabled people in so many ways. And yes, his plans do pay for them if you read beyond the mass media.

      1. The media is held to defamation standards. It is illegal to print something untrue in a publication. Thus what’s written about him in MSM is true. The internet where you are recommending me to look is not held to that standard. So actually the information you so cling to as truth is in fact not required to be true by law. So I’ll stick to publications that publish the truth. Also, I’ve had direct personal contact with high level political directors with the Clinton and sanders campaign. Have you? Chances are you have not. Nonetheless you tell me that IM uninformed. Try getting a hold of a high level advisor with the sanders campaign and ask them about the graduated tax initiatives to accomplish those programs and at what percentage growth the economy must have over what period of time in order to fund these programs. With those answers see if the economy has ever grown that much in your lifetime. Moreover you want no more wars. Wouldn’t that be lovely and utopian? Too bad even sanders knows that’s unrealistic which is why he voted for the invasion of Bosnia, the war in Afghanistan, the war on terror, giving aid to Israel to buy American made weapons and voted for regime change in Iraq, despite all the nonsense he spouts otherwise. He has this air of superiority over Clinton when he has no right to. She’s accomplished far more in her career than he has became she makes alliances coalitions and established relationships with advocacy groups. Bernie just complains and chews people out and then follows the pack when it’s time to vote. He has no right to make Clinton out to be the uncaring monster he has.

      2. free public college for everyone however rich educates a fraction of the college bound, there isn’t enough room and if it’s free it’ll be harder to get in, and the rich already have an advantage there, there could be less room for disadvantaged students. She’s not only for debt-free education including trade schools, she’s addressing the current debt. Bernie is for war, he’s fine with war, he filed for CO but when war protestors occupied his office he had them arrested. ACA gives disabled employed people insurance without having to first get poor. And free tuition isn’t debt free, it doesn’t cover living expenses and books. Tuition is part of the expense, not all of it.

        anticipate consequences

  27. I really appreciate that you wrote this and I’m sorry for what you went through.

    I was wondering if you have a link to where Sanders said that about opiates? To me that is a gross comment… gross and ignorant.

    1. This was the direct quote from Bernie on the topic:

      “Addiction to opioids – prescription pain medications like OxyContin and illegal drugs like heroin – is a serious problem we must address in this country. It is, simply put, a public health emergency.

      I have seen the devastation of opioid addiction in New Hampshire, in my home state of Vermont, and around this country. Between 2000 and 2014, we saw an increase in opioid abuse in Vermont of 800 percent. In New Hampshire, there were 300 drug-related deaths last year. Tragically, opiate use too often leads to death or incarceration. This has to change.

      I’ve talked to students, I’ve talked to veterans, I’ve talked to members of law enforcement, and I’ve talked to professionals who help people living with addiction. And two things are abundantly clear – we need to focus on prevention and we need to focus on treatment.

      Focusing on prevention means asking: Why are people turning to opioids, turning to heroin, in the first place? What should we be doing differently to keep that from happening? One big thing we can do, we must do, is to address income inequality in this country. We have to make sure hard working people can find a job, that the job they find pays a livable wage, and a fair wage. Today, unemployment and underemployment remains far too high, particularly among our country’s young people.

      A focus on both prevention and treatment means that health care professionals across this country not only need to take steps to reduce unnecessary prescribing of opiates and work with public health officials to address this crisis, but also to provide access to treatment for those individuals who seek help for their addiction. If someone is addicted to opiates and they go to get help and they are told there is a six month or 1 year waiting list for treatment, that is not an acceptable situation.

      We also need to give people options for treatment for both mental health diagnoses and to manage chronic pain. As the former Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the Senate, I have met with veterans all over this country who need mental health and substance use disorder services. I have introduced legislation in the Senate to improve access to complementary and alternative therapies for veterans, so they aren’t left with the false option of either being in excruciating pain or at risk for opioid addiction. Therapies like yoga and guided meditation can help manage pain and reduce stress with zero risk of addiction.

      I support expanding programs like the one in Manchester, New Hampshire that offers peer-to-peer counseling because I have seen how effective it can be for someone in treatment to get help from someone who has walked in their shoes and come out the other side of addiction.
      Progress is possible. In my home state of Vermont, we have seen the devastation of opioid abuse but we’ve also seen success. The people of Vermont have benefited from $3.8 million in funding from the federal government to deliver substance abuse prevention and addiction treatment for at-risk youth. And, between 2010 and 2014, we have quadrupled the number of people getting help through programs that use medication to assist in treatment. And for many, many people, those treatments are helping.

      But the medications that help with treatment are expensive, and many cities and states are experiencing sticker shock. I’ve contacted mayors, county officials, governors and attorney’s general to encourage them to stand up to these drug companies to combat these high prices. We are facing a public health emergency and the drug companies are profiting. But we can stand up to them. With a supported and well-trained health care workforce, expanded access to prevention and treatment services, and a united message to pharmaceutical company CEOs, we can address our opiate epidemic and ensure access to life-saving treatments in New Hampshire and around the country.”

      1. Thank you, I’ve been trying to find a video or source for it to share it. But hasn’t been able to, though I think I should be able to with the additional help from the quote

        Oh hey on a side note and I hope I’m not over stepping, but this is clearly important to you and you are getting a ton of comments to deal with… Just make sure to take care of you? I get busy online and realize sometimes I’ve used a few more spoons reading and debating than one would think possible.

        Anyway thanks again!

      2. I don’t have the video unfortunately. I only have that quote that his advisor gave me. If you find it, please post here. I would love to share it too.

  28. I too am disabled with RSD in my right arm after an industrial accident where my hand was cycled in the dies of a Press Brake. It happened in 2001. I kept working because I had many credentials around fabrication facilities as my experience is hard to match. I’m a certified machinist and trained as an Aerospace prototype mechanic. So anything built out of metal, composites and modern polymers is where I had supreme ability and confidence.

    After 18 reconstructive surgeries and three other jobs I finally couldn’t do it anymore. The nerves just kept firing as I’d be up all night and having to take so many opiates I became addicted. I had an old house and was so proud and excited about what I could turn it into.
    Now it’s humiliating and the injury occurred after I’d demolished all the wall coverings to replace. So it’s still that way today. I stay in one room of it with my three dogs I love more than life.
    I’m embarrassed to have anyone see how ugly and poor the house and even I have become. I haven’t had anyone in my life for 9 years as everything fell apart. I thought of just ending all the misery but my dogs love & need me.

    At any rate I so enjoyed and can relate to much of your story. You’ll prove a great asset for Hillary. She us a champion of people like us and has always fought for the minorities and the little people.

    Welcome and thank you for the great article.

    Sincerely,
    Mark Coffey

    1. Your personal story resonates so strongly with me. I’ve also lost the ability to work as a litigator, which I very much loved. The cost of being ill both financially and emotionally is so high for me. And opioids are unfortunately a necessary evil, as I’ve had two brain surgeries and the pain still exists. So I feel your pain. My heart goes out to you.

    2. Your situation makes me think of what Bill Clinton might be doing, you could mentor and someone else could follow your instructions and finish up your house. Your dogs love and need you, but they would’t be the only ones. Shiksa will be working for her campaign, send Shiksa your resume. Knowledge is always valuable. First knowledge is highest, it’s what should never be lost (but often is).

    3. I appreciate your comment. You have worth even if you can’t fix up your house. I’m really glad you have your dogs.

  29. Thank you for sharing your story with us and sharing your ideas with Hillary. I have no doubt your thoughts and yourself are of great value to her.

  30. I have been a Hillary supporter and admirer since the 90s…I first noticed her when she began speaking out on Human and Civil Rights. Her core beliefs remain unchanged, and her ardent love and respect for all of her fellow Americans and all world citizens is the driving force for all she does..She is uniquely empathetic for a incidental politician..She has finally found the confidence to be in public what many have known in private about her..The “Love and Kindness” she mentions..is indeed the best way to describe her. Yes, I am a big fan.
    I have been privileged tonight to have read the many stories of such beautiful human beings …thank you for sharing.

  31. Thank you for your moving story! I too am disabled & your story moved me. I was never a supporter of his, bt used to admire him greatly. That has changed, for all the reasons you listed & more. I’m so sorry for how you were treated, bt I’m so happy, someone w your depth & understanding.
    Again, thank you for sharing your story ♡

  32. Bernie supports legislation that would help you but you’d rather bitch about semantics? This is a crap hit piece from the hillary camp. Funded by hundreds of corporations and billionaire donors. Go ahead and pick your “queen” and fuck america.

    1. Nothing like a man accusing me of being bitchy… And then imply I am with the Hillary camp and funded by corporations. If you had bothered to do your research you would know that none of that is true. But obviously you’re not into research. Otherwise, you’d realize Bernie is not what he seems and would drop him. Not so much a professor of logic. More like one of crazy delusions.

      1. But see, you disagree with the One True Progressive, our dear leader Bernie, therefore you must have started taking money from the Hillary camp because no *ordinary* person who claims to be progressive would besmirch him the way you do; it’s simple logic. (/sarcasm)

      2. (When a post ends in “/s” or “/sarcasm” it’s meant to mock the ideas it purports to express; basically I was making fun of “Professor Logic” earlier.)

  33. Thank you for this lovely essay. I really admire your persistence and open-mindedness. You didn’t just feel bad. You worked hard. You are making a difference. To the Sanders’ supporter who claims Clinton hasn’t addressed the disability issue, why not just google, “Clinton, disability issues?” The fact that you didn’t, and that you are still insisting the system is “rigged” is sad and revealing. Open your mind. Learn. I did. https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/disability-rights/

      1. He was unfair, yes. But you are being unfair too, and seems like you may have a pre conceived idea about Bernie supporters.

        I’m disabled, on pain meds, and would never think of voting for Hillary. She showed her colors during the race against Obama.

        Bernie is what’s best for our country, not just those of us who are disabled.

        I’m afraid what you experienced was lip service.

  34. Wow, thank you so much for writing this. I have been baffled about why so many people have so vehemently attached themselves to someone with so little understanding of – and willingness to try to listen to and learn from – marginalized groups. While attention has been paid to his problems with POC, I’ve never heard a word about PWDs – either from him or from the media on why he doesn’t even mention us. Although I don’t have Autism or Alzheimer’s, I was blown away by Hillary’s comprehensive plans to address these issues that no other candidate even talks about. There have been several times where I have sent messages to her campaign about issues that matter a lot to me personally, and subsequently heard her publicly address those same issues. (Not that I think they were listening to me in particular, but they are obviously listening to constituents in a general sense.) I have tried and failed to understand how Bernie has managed to convince so many people that she doesn’t care about anyone but herself, especially considering all of the things that she’s actually championed over the years. It’s actually a really terrible thing to do. It’s gotten to the point where I feel like not only does Bernie not care about anyone but himself and his apparent need for power and validation (that verges on worship), he wants to burn everything to the ground while he’s at it. Like HRC said at one of the debates, and as you’ve echoed here, it’s easy to point out the problems. It takes a whole different kind of person to actually research, learn, understand, and come up with a detailed, nuanced, achievable plan to try to fix those problems… the difference between an ally and a champion. I have several rare and/or severely undertreated and poorly understood diseases, and she is the only candidate who gives me hope that more research funding and greater education and understanding are possible in the near future. Thanks again for sharing this, and for your honesty, and for your advocacy for our community!

      1. he presents himself as mr. honest and he’s gotten away with it. So his smears are more destructive and now that Donald is repeating them, Donald has co-opted his ‘authority.’ Bernie really is a very irresponsible human.

      2. That’s the thing! His reputation for being honest makes his followers really believe everything he’s saying. Ever since the NY win, he’s been spiraling out of control and his supporters are further convinced of conspiracy to cheat him of the vote. But even if he got all the suppressed votes and proportional amount of superdelegates, he’d still lose. They can’t accept facts.

      3. Pointing out out Hillary’s wrongs and discrepancies is not smearing her. If she cannot stand up to the light of day, she shouldn’t be considered for public office.

      4. The major wrongs of Hillary he points to are not caring for the 99% – WRONG! And being a war hawk when he supported for regime change in Iraq, voted for the Afghanistan war, supported bill’s Bosnian invasion and has supported the war on terror.

      5. Could you post a video or something that shows how he has been making her out to be evil? I have not seen anything that shows this. I’m pretty sure it does not exist.

      6. Oh please. Go to a rally. Listen to all the stuff he accused her of, namely corruption despite being able to prove that any of her policy decisions are swayed by big money. Bc it isn’t true.

      7. I’ve been to Bernie’s rallies. I never heard him accuse Hillary of being evil. He’s never mentioned her email scandal, the conflicts of interest between her State Dept. work & the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi, her husband’s sex scandals, etc. The Republicans certainly will, however. Bernie’s only criticized her for two things: 1) her Iraq War vote and 2) her acceptance of huge speaking fees from Wall Street & big banks. Tell us, why would these firms pay huge fees and make large contributions if it didn’t affect votes? Elizabeth Warren certainly believes Hillary changed her vote on a bankruptcy bill because of such contributions: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/02/09/elizabeth-warrens-critique-of-hillary-clintons-2001-bankruptcy-vote/

      8. 1) corrupt 2) election fraud 3) shots fired at him and friend 4)uncaring toward the 99% 5) she’s not qualified to be POTUS 6) election is rigged for her

      9. b. belinda, you have heard him point out her ‘wrongs,’ perhaps thinking he was telling the truth?

        The fact that she was paid for speeches does not mean, as he often says, that she was paid for more than those speeches, recall his laugh line: Must have been sooooommmme speeches? And he would not know if she hadn’t released her full tax returns, with a special addendum of who paid what for each speeches. He’s a Senator, he can’t be paid extra for speeches, if he speaks it’s part of his job. he hasn’t even provided his campaign financial disclosure, much less the tax returns that would show how much he paid his wife in 2015.

        She hasn’t sold out to wall street, and the proof she hasn’t is right there, the financial industry spends tons on attack ads against her and nothing on attacks ads against bernie. the Kochs pay for pro-Bernie ads, so he does have a super-pac trying to get him the nomination, because he’d be so easy to beat in the general, and he knows that. That she is on their side and not his side is Bernie’s fantasy, their money says otherwise.

        He claims she favored the Iraq invasion.

        He’s fundraised on claiming she called him a sexist, she did not.

        He’s claimed she can’t be trusted to carry out her policies, that’s his fantasy too, so far she’s been good to her word, she’s never backtracked.

        His entire campaign is based on smearing her, he rarely speaks of his own policies, or hers, he runs on character smears, on lies that he’s brought in millions of new voters, on lies that the DNC has been cheating him. he pretends to be a threat, he claims he’s making Hillary nervous, he’s a crazy old coot.

        His defense of himself is the polls that show his smears have been working. He and Trump both speak of their poll numbers and they run down their opponents.

        She’s never said one negative thing about him. He’s claiming she’s telling him to get out of the race, she has not.

      10. You guys are going to have to do better than just claim he has done all these things. How about posting some actual proof instead of saying “oh puleeze, his whole campaign has been about this or that.”

        There HAS been election fraud and shenanigans. I don’t believe Bernie has come out and blamed HRC for it. No one knows where it has come from. I believe it has been going on for some time. But now we have all these newly energized and newly registered voters. And they are calling it out. Because they are not jaded, as are so many of us over not being able to effect any change for so long. These new people are not standing for it. We have been asleep at the wheel for so long.

        If some of them are hot headed, so what? Let’s get something done.

        Hillary may not be doing anything illicit at all. That doesn’t matter to me. I think she is part of the problem.

      11. When did I say he rolls around in her money? I AM bitter! He totally manipulated democrats and took our money even after he had zero chance of winning. He does not have a path toward victory. Yet he tells his supporters he does so they’ll keep donating money they don’t otherwise have. He’s already admitting he stands no chance and plans to support Hillary. http://www.politicususa.com/2016/05/20/bernie-sanders-personally-calling-democrats-reassure-party-unity.html

      12. louise, he revels in her money, his entire campaign is based on inciting envy of that ‘rich’ Hillary, that she was paid less than other SOS’s after they were back in the private world isn’t important to him, that she gave more than that to charity isn’t important to him, what is important is that a girl getting that much money for not much of her time can be spun to sexists as just plain wrong, no one sane could possible pay Hillary that much, for a speech, ergo she must have sold something else, it can’t just be to hear ‘her’ speak …. her? That’s his laugh line, must have been soooome speech, we’d all like to read a speech worth sooooo much.” ha ha, corporate whore, throw dollar bills at her.

        it’s creepy, he’s creepy

        he says he’s never been paid for a speech and good thing, he’d have broken the law, the people pay his salary, he isn’t permitted to moonlight.

        But I would like to read the transcripts of his meetings with Enrique Diaz-Alverez.

        And with his economic advisors, but hasn’t even named Diaz-Alverez, or any of his economic advisors, ( http://qz.com/610963/bernie-sanders-refusal-to-reveal-his-economic-advisers-is-an-ominous-sign/ ) and though he claimed he admires Krugman, that now looks knowingly deceptive.

        Here’s a quote:

        “Too much economic power, too much political power, and the economists that I talk to say we should break them up,” he said.

        In a previous debate in January, he talked about the importance of appointing the right people to economic policy positions: “If you have an administration stacked with Wall Street appointees, it ain’t going to accomplish very much.”

        But despite repeated inquiries, Sanders’ campaign won’t tell Quartz, or anyone else, which economists he is talking to, or who he plans to appoint to high-level positions if he becomes president. What kind of experience does he think is is relevant, beyond not working in the financial sector? No one knows.”

        …..

        But one of his economic advisors, William K. Black named himself (and sounds like a bot).

        “Economists Bill Black and Michael Hudson respond to Paul Krugman’s latest New York Times column, “Sanders Over the Edge,”

        http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/04/bill-black-krugman-on-the-corruption-of-our-nation-via-perverse-incentives.html

        (in which Krugman asked, “Is Mr. Sanders positioning himself to join the “Bernie or bust” crowd, walking away if he can’t pull off an extraordinary upset, and possibly helping put Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in the White House? If not, what does he think he’s doing?”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/08/opinion/sanders-over-the-edge.html)

        And also: Why Krugman’s Latest Attack on Sanders’ Economic Plans Is Wrong

        http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=16087

        Another one is probably L. Randall Wray, and Krugman does acknowledge him and where they move far apart:

        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011L. Randall Wray/08/15/mmt-again/

        But like his nationalization of health care, this is another place Bernie remains coy. We could all profit from real discussion about these economic differences, but, oh well.

  35. Thank you. I personally supported Secretary Clinton early-on because of many of these reasons. I’m autistic, and I couldn’t tell you how nervous I was last fall when I learned that the Clinton campaign was working on an autism plan. As you know, disability politics (as with most community politics) isn’t the easiest thing to navigate. To do that successfully requires a familiarity with disability communities. I wondered if the campaign would at least come close to getting it right. But, I can’t tell you how excited I was this February once I read it. It was great. It was familiar with the particular nuances of issues important to autistic individuals, and it was clear that the plan was developed with the input of autistic people and other disability activists. I wanted to shout about it, but I largely kept quiet hoping that the Samders campaign would release a plan of their own so I could share both. That never happened. Your piece now makes me want to move forward and shout about that plan everywhere.

    One of the things that has impressed me about Secretary Clinton in this campaign is that she has built a staff and network of advisers that looks like America – and she did that early. There are disabled people helping her run her campaign. There are people from all walks of life helping her run her campaign. Not only are they there to support and campaign for the candidate, but they are there to help hold her accountable and push the candidate (even when it is uncomfortable) on key issues. That matters. I appreciate so many things about Senator Sanders, but that is the type of leader I want as President. That’s why I’m supporting Secretary Clinton. I hope my story – like yours – will help others do the same.

    1. The man who wrote her autism plan is a friend of mine. She’s definitely hiring people from every minority, and I love that. The sanders campaign is all white men. That wouldn’t bother me in another context but when you’re trying to reach out to minorities it’s impossible if you don’t have anyone from those minorities.

      1. The Sanders campaign is not “all white men”. A friend, Tara Zhabouwekwe Houska, is a campaign advisor and she’s a well-known Indigenous activist. I met her through EONM (Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry) and she is the real deal, involved with and in the lead in organizing on many Indigenous issues and campaigns. Bernie hired her at least a couple of months ago.

        I am reconsidering my support of Bernie in light of your information, but whether I do or not, it would be helpful for you and other Hillary supporters to do the research on Bernie’s staff so that you don’t try to woo us with untruths. The disability staffing and deep inclusion of us throughout Hillary’s policy team and paid staff makes a powerful statement of truth on its own.

        Thank you, from another WwD who needs a President who keeps our needs in mind. My mind is opening to Hillary, but I’m not there yet. Please give me my time and the space I need to consider all you and others have said. We will have a meeting of the minds well before November, and I am a lifelong Democrat.

      2. When did I say he only hires white men? I’m aware of a fee women he’s hired, one of which is black but apparently hated by the AA community in NC. And I’m sure there are many more. But the ones I was in touch with were white men. I apologize if I implied that he only hires white men. Was not my intent. I do think he’s had issues reaching out to minorities though due, in large part, to the demographics of his staff.

      3. This reply is in reply to your comment replying to mine. Yours starts: “When did I say he only hires white men?” I didn’t say that you had; what I was refuting was your statement in your reply to John, above at 4:41 AM on May 20, 2016, which was:
        “The sanders campaign is all white men.”

        This is not the first time you made that misstatement in the comments thread here, and I perceive it as inaccurate every time I have read it. I believe you when you say that all of the high-level staffers with whom you had such dismissive, condescending dealings were white men. No POC or ethnic minority, no PwD, no woman, no fellow human being deserves to be treated in such a manner, and the many disabilities issues activists, including you, need to have your voices heard and understood, respected and listened to, and to be active participants in making both campaigns better. I get that you found that respect and welcome via the Hillary Clinton campaign, and that, by itself, is enough to give me pause to reconsider.

        I want to make the point that the Bernie Sanders campaign, as an entity, is not composed entirely of white men. Especially in Washington state, where I live, I have met Bernie supporters of every hue and many identifying communities. However, we are Bernie supporters, Bernie voters, Bernie delegates perhaps; we are not, in and of ourselves, “the Bernie Sanders campaign”. Tara IS. To say “The sanders campaign is all white men” is to be almost as dismissive of the Bernie campaign as the behavior you received. It is a misstatement, a tool to push away the full truth, which is that there are Indigenous people, Black people, and other people who have historically been marginalized working as a part of the campaign. Please, as a matter of respect for justice, let the truth be spoken. It is all too rare in political circles and we PwDs, I feel, owe each other the mutual respect that this shows.

        With respect to all who have commented about Bernie’s position on opioid pain medication, yoga, guided meditation, and other such CAM (aka “woo” to evidence-based scientific medicine bloggers), and particularly to you, shiksappeal, for posting his entire statement verbatim, I feel you. I too am angered and not a little frightened for my future. I too live with chronic pain, as I have since September 2004, when my hands first quit working. I tried so much! CAM, physical therapy, chiropractic “care” which increased my pain and caused me damage, a TENS unit (which worked a little bit for a short time, until it stopped being helpful and I became allergic to reusable electrode adhesive), taking prescription-strength doses of ibuprofen for months because there was no relief… I don’t have to tell YOU these things; you know them by heart. Opioids are the only things that allow me any quality of life. I’m on a pain contract as mandated by my state. I’d like to see how I do on medical marijuana, which is legal here (as is recreational marijuana), but I don’t dare; my transplant program has condemned at least one would-be transplant patient to death, saying that legally prescribed medical marijuana, used as prescribed, demonstrated that the patient “had an addictive personality”. I’ve already had Bimaaji, my kidney, for nearly 5 1/2 years now and he works well, but what happens if/when he fails and I need another transplant? That’s why I don’t dare. I’m a 56yo woman with type 2 diabetes, several other fun invisible disabilities, and one visible one: I walk with a stick because my balance, never good to start with, got increasingly worse post-transplant for unknown reasons. I fall a lot without my stick. Downstairs and down even slight slopes are my worst, uneven surfaces only a slight bit less bad, but I can fall anywhere. For these so-called comorbidities, I have a much lesser chance of another transplant than I did before UNOS’ new rules were codified and implemented. Believe that I feel every one of you. I wish for all of us, every PwD and especially people living with chronic pain, that everything about our lives becomes destigmatized. That we are seen as unique, complete people as we are, with all of the gifts we have to offer. That people no longer shut doors in our faces, direct us the wrong way and laugh, tell us “walking distance” means 3/4 of a mile in polluted air, or keep shouting “eh? Eh?” at our Deaf friends when they’re using their voices for *our* convenience. I wish all of that and much, much more. May we be treated with fairness, dignity, and justice wherever we are.

        Sorry this got so long. I tend to run on sometimes. I mean each word, but my apology anyway for the tl;dr some (most?) people are bound to experience.

      4. to rivercs, bernie’s inner circle is white men and his wife, who is his well-paid senior advisor. He’s hired some advisors of color. If he fired her when he downsized, she can apply at the DNC, they’re doing 50-state and have been hiring some bernie employees that he fired.

  36. I am very impressed with your thoughtful insights. Welcome to our little group of millions who believe that HRC cares and has ever since her early days at the Children’s Defense Fund.

    1. We’re not a little group, we’re the majority! It’s great to speak up and own our perspective, and not get cowed by the anger of Sanders’ supporters.

      1. It is hard on the eyes to read white print on black background. Avoide yellow and black, as well.

      2. @annibanani

        I claim that HRC as an experienced modern politician, who is also the Secretary of State, knows how the game is really played, is privy to that reality, and participates in it. I didn’t blame her for anything. She showed she was willing to play the game all the way back in the 70’s, to go back to my original comment. She has already declared her own hawkishness in foreign policy. I was simply providing one example of what is expressed in the media vs. what is reality that she does participate in. People here keep acting like she’s some kind of Saint, just like Bernie followers act like they really believe he can make good on any of his rhetoric. The naivete on both sides I find astounding.

      3. Act as if she’s a saint?! Hardly! The point is BS tries to act like he’s holy and innocent of all the evilness she is. But he’s voted for war a few times. He’s taken money from super pacs including right now and he’s getting massive amounts of illegal contributions hence the FEC complaint against him.

  37. Wow, thank you so much for writing something so personal & eloquent. It really spoke to me, especially because my twin sister has been dealing with chronic pain issues for 2+ years as a result of a concussion. She’s had a nightmare of a time with doctors and insurance companies; if she had a dollar for everytime someone told her to do yoga, she’d be a wealthy woman. Anyway, really well done and an important story to share.

    1. If only we got paid every time suggests yoga or prayer. Yeah ok. Let me put a hot iron to your face while stabbing you in your jaw with an ice pick and I’ll recommend yoga and prayers. Bet they wouldn’t find that an effective treatment then.

      1. It always astounds me to hear people recommend yoga. A) You have no idea what their pain is, B) You are not a medical professional. How is that suggestion at all compassionate or helpful? Boggles my mind.

      2. I had a well-meaning friend tell me that if I learned to meditate the pain away, I’d no longer need any of my pain medications. Little does she realize, I’d LOVE to not need them. I don’t get high or buzzed or whatever you want to call the feeling addicts are looking for, they keep me in less pain than I would be if I didn’t have them. There’s no such thing as a pain free day but some days are better than others and I’m always thankful for them and realize I could be much worse off. However, I NEED my pain medication just as a diabetic needs insulin or oral hypoglycemics or someone with chronic heart disease may need nitroglycerin for chest pain or a betablocker. I’ve never heard anyone tell them to try yoga, meditation or anything other than, “you should take your medication, you need it.”

  38. Your story is moving, and I am glad you shared it. Thank you. I never like Hilary, and now i have reasons to not like Bernie, when most of my community seems to think he’s the Bee’s knees. However, Hilary’s reputation is not besmirched by Bernie. Her behavior over years has created it for those who pay attention, or do any serious research.

    The following article makes fairly clear HRC character as a politician from the early 70’s:

    http://savannahnow.com/news/2015-12-21/fact-check-was-hillary-clinton-fired-watergate-investigation

    As a lawyer, I am sure that if what was stated in Zeifman’s book was in fact libel, she’d have sued him for it. Furthermore, there’s no known motive for him to have made it up. Because you are choosing to support a slick tounged viper, who may still implement the policiies you want, don’t make it out as if Bernie has tarnished her reputation. Her own behavior has, and it has many times since she was that 27 year old White House staffer.

    I thought there were no REAL choices when Obama first ran. After all, he was out of nowhere for most of the US, however, this election season makes his look like there were plenty of viable, sensible, choices. Woe is the USA.

      1. Ishmael – as a lawyer – I would expect you to do a little more research. Here is an article where Ziefman actually is quoted as saying he would have fired her if he could: http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/pdf/zeifman-20080404.pdf In addition Ziefman wrote a book after he worked to get Clinton out of office, he had a bit of bitterness on his side. His claim has been addressed by her actual boss and by others who stated she was on the committee until it was disbanded as it no longer mattered. Snope has some research and quotes there along with some reasons for Zeifman’s motivations. http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/zeifman.asp Clintons support of the disabled, women, children has been supported by her actions throughout her entire career. I hope you give her a change. Bless your heart!

      2. FYI
        Re: Hil fired from Watergate investigation allegation:
        FALSE

        http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/zeifman.asp

        Thanks for your work and interesting blog. HRC gets into the details and formulates logical policies and gets to work getting it done. I loved Bernie getting into the campaign and putting climate & the rigged economy of the 99% front & center, but he has been boring me for months with the same speech.

        Glad you got thru to her campaign & they responded. I would like to Google you, but am not coming up with any hits beyond this blog.

        All the best to you.

      3. My apologies, you said, “that Bernie is maliciously lying to democrats about Clinton’s uncaring regard for the 99%.” I have no idea about how HRC really feels about the 99%, vs what her policy is, and I won’t pretend to. From my perspective, I would hesitate to state that Bernie is malicious or lying about her regard for the 99%, unless you are inferring it from her stated policies. I think we are both old enough to know, not think, that politicians make a lot of policy statements that are more about getting elected, than what they are really committed to.

        From a getting things done perspective, I’d trust Hilary’s ablilty to do that more than Sanders or Trump. The only problem is there is enough in her past that I don’t trust her, nor do I believe she has the character I would want in a President of the US.

        Just Sayin’!

      4. to Ismael, Bernie’s malice is obvious. If it weren’t malice it would have to be ignorance, prejudice and hubris, which would you prefer? He lies about her, he attributes to her motives of the most unsavory character. His entire campaign is ‘oh no,not Hillary!’ He fundraises on pretending to be her victim and pretending to have been cheated out of his rightful due.

        She has a long and real record of helping the most vulnerable, without getting anything out of it for herself. When there is that kind of consistent record, it generally means ‘cares.’ She has a life-long history of service. She’s a square goody-two-shoes bleeding heart liberal Methodist do-gooder. But she’s a girl and to guy’s like Bernie, that’s an opportunity he can’t let pass. The strong Democratic men who would have run if she’d decided not to, deferred to her qualifications and to her first-one gender. So Bernie didn’t have to face a man.

        Didn’t you ever wonder why he waited until he was 75 to run for president? Isn’t that kind of weird, why now? To save the world from HIllary? Does he think he’s the great male hope?

      5. @annibannani,

        Well now I know that HRC supporters are as naive as the Bernie crowd.

        Here’s some info. to better understand the RealPolitik that HRC is very
        much a part of:

        https://levantreport.com/2016/01/04/new-hillary-emails-reveal-propaganda-executions-coveting-libyan-oil-and-gold/

        This is a part of why I’d have faith in her actually getting some thing done.
        I don’t know that Bernie “plays the game” well enough to do anything more
        than talk.

        In both cases Bernie/HRC, you all seemed to have drank the Kool-Aid.

        So it goes …

      6. ishmel, you gave a link to this group? ”

        LEVANT REPORT is composed of a network of Texas professionals who are deeply alarmed by what Washington is doing in the Middle East. The LR Editors are primarily made up of educators—at the university and high school levels—who have lived, studied, and traveled extensively in the region.

        You are claiming that emails contained evidence that Hillary was involved in sinister realities? With all due respect, this is seriously weird and highly fringe. Because Sidney, her friend, told her there were army defections? And I am naive? Conspiracy much?

    1. I’ve tried reiki, accupuncture, yoga, meditation, hypnotism, open craniotomy, gamma knife brain radiation, nerve blocks in my skull every two months, anticonvulsants, and anti-inflammatories.

  39. Great article. It truly moved me. However, I have some questions for you. How did you change your mind other than the disability factor? Do you still think she is corrupt? Do you feel ashamed for smearing lies against her? Not trying to attack you or anything, but I would like to know your honest opinion. Also, how can I check your Facebook posts to know that you are speaking truth regarding your stance change? Again, I’ve spoken to many BernieOrBust people and NONE of them would rationalize with facts. All of them gives bunch of excuses like their cult leader Sanders.

    1. On Facebook and Twitter I have posts open to the public. Just look for “Ariella barker.” I changed my mind based on facts and research. I never spread lies about her. I was never a cult follower. I did buy that she was corrupt for a while, but I never spread that rumor. I recognized that she was very intelligent, experienced and capable.

  40. I saw through the vileness against our party since day one of his announcement. He is not a pure as makes himself to be. At least we know Hillary’s whole story. Mostly lies by the right and now the left. Thank you for sharing your story.

  41. I’m so glad I came across your blog especially this post. I’ve been a Hillary supporter forever and have been upset at the things he’s thrown at her questioning her entire life’s work of fighting for the poor, healthcare for every one, disability benefits, children’s health, human rights, so on. I’m disabled too but I still struggle admitting it. I had a stroke and brain injury but not really familiar with the difficulties many face. I’m on social security and medicare with difficulty paying bills but beyond that I guess I chose to live in a bubble since it all happened. I recently read an article about how the disabled don’t get minimum wage. I was amazed and truly angry over it. I was so thankful Hillary was speaking up about it and wanting it changed. I noticed you wrote about it, which is partly why I wanted to comment. Thank you for your strength working to make our community better and talking about it. I rarely talk about my own situation but I’m getting there.

    1. You should tell your story and be proud of your disability. It is not our defect or an insult but rather what makes us strong and fearless. The more we open up about disability, the more educated the public becomes.

    2. There is a disagreement in the disability on paying people commensurate wages which can allow people with disabilities to be paid sub-minimum wages. I work in the disability community and I am one who supports 14 (c) which is the Department of Labor regulation that allows commensurate wage payments. As a disclosure, what I state here is my own opinion and not necessarily that of my employer.

      As you probably know, people with disabilities are discriminated against in the workplace and if their disabilities are significant then they essentially are given very little chance at being employed. Thus they are deprived of the self-esteem of having a job, the social bond that comes with working with other people and they are deprived of making a contribution to society and their local community. This can be psychologically very damaging.

      14(c) creates options for people with significant disabilities. For example, people with significant disabilities can work for a non-profit agency that has a federal contract to stock commissary shelves or launder linen for government agencies like the VA. Let’s say that a person with a significant developmental disability can only fold linen at a rate of 150 items per hour where a “standard” worker can fold 300 items per hour. What 14(c) allows is that the person that is low functioning can still be given a safe environment to work in and they can obtain the psychological and social benefits of working with other people with disabilities and people without disabilities. And, yes, they will get paid the same for every item that they fold as a person without a disability. The problem is that if they may be so low functioning that their hourly pay is below the minimum wage.

      So some people in the disability community say that this is utter BS and it should be abolished. Well, the result of that thinking was recently shown with Obama’s Executive Order on minimum wage that prevents any worker on a federal contract to be paid less than $10.10 (and then $10.15 per hour). What happened is that many people with the most significant disabilities were taken off the job on commissary shelf stocking contracts and laundry contracts because these aren’t really profitable contracts anyway and the non-profit agencies couldn’t afford to pay people $10.10 an hour when they produced work that was only worth $5 an hour. So the intent wasn’t to fire a bunch of people with significant disabilities but that was the result.

      The good news is that from anecdotal evidence most of these people, while they were removed from laundry and commissary contracts, they were not entirely moved out of the workplace and still have the financial and emotional benefits of working like “normal” people.

      Anyway, there are good reasons to support abolishing 14(c) and there are good reasons to keep it, and I hope that people with goodwill can see both sides and have intelligent conversations about the issue without resorting to easy, internet attacks. Be well.

      1. the government pays half salary for mentally disabled employed people, there is no reason everyone can’t be paid at least the minimum wage, their employers already have a good deal. Not only are they sincere workers, they are delightful people, I go out of my way to shop where there are mentally disabled employees, i am hooked on sweet, and so their employers get more business too. (Lucky’s, in El Cerrito, California to be specific). I have a disability that isn’t obvious, so sweet and non-judgemental is for me soul balm.

      2. I was talking with a man running for the Board of Supervisors here; he’s on disability, and his complaint was that no one would hire him for minimum wage, but they might hire him if they could pay less than minimum wage. Therefore, he wanted to do away with minimum wage.

        Unfortunately, I didn’t come across this thread until after I was talking with him; apparently he could (at least for now) get a job at less than minimum wage. I hope I encounter him again to enlighten him. (he also said he couldn’t work while on disability – I pointed out he could, it just would cut in to what he collected and he then went off on some other tangent).

  42. Welcome aboard, glad to have another HRC supporter. I tried to warn people early on that Bernie only had two goals, riding the Democratic Party all the way to the White House and destroying the party from the inside. Nothing else mattered and that’s exactly how he’s run his campaign.

    Glad to see people are starting to realize this was a political Ponzi scheme.

      1. Bernie didn’t make the political realities, he’s just speaking about them. Not everyone is as naive as you seem to be. Whether about Bernie initially, and now HRC. What do you make of this:

        Why else do you think HRC can speak with the pretense of confidence that she’s alreadyt won the nomination when she clearly hasn’t? Why is she avoiding the California debate with Bernie if she’s a sure thing? An early broken promise by Hilllary. I understand why the choice was made, but that doesn’t change the fact it’s already a broken commitment. Par for the course for a modern politician.

        It’s clear the DNC wants her to win the nomination, but that’s not neccessarily what the people or even the delegates want.

        I like HRC, because a woman in that office is historic, and that would be awesome. That, the historicity is what I liked about Obama as well. I just wish we had a better choice than HRC.

        Bernie could never make good on his rhetoric, if he managed to get elected, and I genuinely believe Trump would be more successful in implementing his goals than Bernie, even if he could never do half of what he speaks about. I wonder if even he really thinks he can. (Yes, the thought of Trump in office scares me, but I felt that way about Reagan and Bush Senior, too.)

        I really appreciate what you wrote, I am just sorry you, and many others, are truly so naive about political realities. Maybe you believe W actually really won his frist election, too?

      2. Hillary has won more states and way more votes and pledged delegates. There’s zero chance that Bernie can now reach the necessary amount of pledged delegates to get the nomination, even if all the alleged suppressed votes went to him. She would still have more in the end. He’s trying to tell his supporters that he should get the nomination anyway even though the will of the people has shows otherwise. And he thinks superdelegates should ignore the will of the voters and switch to him. How is that democratic? There’s no way he can win, but he’s keeping his supporters hopes up and getting them angry over an election he has lost to this point. There’s no chance he’ll have more pledged delegates than she will by the convention. I realize that’s disappointing to his supporters. It depresses me too after he lost NY and PA. it was obvious he had no shot after that, but I believed so strongly that he could pull it off I and many others continued to donate. He has no intention of winning or else he would have some specific plans and more inclusive speeches by now.

  43. Does she still support the Welfare Reform Bill passed by her spouse? The welfare reform bill was incalculably awful and destructive. I was raised by a single mother who was also caring for a disabled adult daughter. They cut her off AFDC. She tried to get job training, but was told she was too old. She tried to get any job, but was told that they do not subsidize day care for adult disabled people- especially ones who have seizures every day and need constant attention, and cannot be left alone for a minute. She was utterly neglected and left destitute by these policies. I went to work after school and helped out where I could, that was supposed to be the money I was saving for college. I hoped to never see another Clinton the rest of my days. I don’t think I can be convinced that the Clintons care about the disabled. They didn’t give any thought to the worth and dignity of someone who devoted her entire life to taking care of a disabled person, it wasn’t worth shit to them then, and I don’t believe they’ve changed.

    1. I hear your frustration and anger over what happened in the past, but if sanders doesn’t even care to talk about the disabled after being begged to do so, what makes you think he will do anything for PwDs while in the White House? Your options are going to be trump who openly mocks disabled people or Hillary who has included us more than any candidate for POTUS in history.

    2. that’s one that she lent no support to. She was mainly working on health care, and when it failed because Teddy Kennedy kept it in his committee, he didn’t let it go to the floor for a vote, she worked on the children’s health care bill that made a big difference, but wasn’t Universal Coverage.

      She spoke once in favor of the police expansion bill that had such awful consequences, and she apologized for that support (bernie really voted for it, Bill signed it when it got to his desk)

      but on ending welfare as we know it, Hillary said nothing. Which at the time to me meant something, because I didn’t like it either, not one little bit. but, we didn’t have congress then, and we did when Universal Coverage wasn’t given an up or down vote. And that is income redistribution.

      Did you notice Barack did some more redistributing? He signed an order and a lot more people will now get over-time, and should have a long time ago, go Barack!

  44. “But I often struggled with his rhetoric on and lack of inclusion for people with disabilities in his stump speeches, acceptance speeches, debate performances, advertisements and campaign literature. Despite discussing issues that affect our daily lives like healthcare, income inequality, social security and criminal justice, he almost never mentioned the disabled population, which makes up 20% of the American electorate. He harped daily on how the Donald Trumps of the world try to divide us up based on our minority status but never even included disability as one of those dividing factors.

    Meanwhile, I became more frustrated because Hillary Clinton was including us in every speech, ad campaign, debate performance and even intersectionality graphics of disabled people of color in her literature. She issued press releases supporting the Disability Integration Act, which requires Obamacare plans to cover long-term care for people with disabilities, and talked about sub-minimum wage, a construct by which employers can legally pay the disabled less than minimum wage. Bernie either never did this or lagged behind, as if he was only doing it because Hillary was.”

    http://therespectabilityreport.org/…/sanders-becomes…/

    So Shillary Clinton aproves of it while Sanders actually co-sponsered the bill. Yeah, the author is delusional.
    “Bernie either never did this or lagged behind, as if he was only doing it because Hillary was.””

    1. Hillary can’t co-sponsor the bill. She’s not in congress! But she came out in support of the DIA days before Bernie. Bernie only signed on after she released the statement, despite the community begging him to sign onto it for months. Obviously you have no idea how government works, but yeah I’m the delusional one.

      1. I’m aware of the dates. However HRC announced at a rally several days before her press release that she supported it. She released the press statement early April 6 and the next day Bernie announced he did too.

      2. No, not the next day. The same day. Bernie co-sponsored the bill on April 6 and Hillary announced her support on April 6. Both are a matter of public record.

  45. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so glad for people like you who are getting the word out there about him. I am 67 years old and believe me Bernie Sanders is giving the exact same speech he gave in the sixties! In spite of the fact that he has been in politics and a Senator for years and years he has not done one concrete thing or submitted one plan to correct anything he continues to bellow about is wrong with this country. In the course of this election I have lost every bit of respect I still had for him, not only for his lies about Secretary Clinton but about the fact that he and his wife while taking contributions from poor Americans to the campaign are just living it up and thinking they are going to wind up in the White House and will finally get “the goose that laid the golden egg”! They do not want to release their taxes because of what is hidden there. They do not answer people’s questions because they have no answers. Bernie’s campaign is not about the people and what he wants to do for this country. Bernie’s campaign is about getting vindication for Bernie. It is about his need and want to be elevated to power to prove that what he wants is important although once there he will accomplish nothing because there are no plans to take it forward. He would be just as much a disaster to this country as Trump.

    1. Hello,
      I am also in my sixties and from the beginning, I saw the petty ego and sense of entitlement under all Sanders’ holier-than-everyone rhetoric. He reminds me of so many men I knew in the seventies. I imagine you knew them, too!

      1. I was a baby in the 70’s BUT I love your comment because it provides good insight from someone who has more perspective than a lot of us. 😉 I totally get the same vibe from Bernie especially after reading some of his old creepy writings from the 70’s, lol. Ick.

      2. he wrote a paper blaming female cancers on frigidity. He has much in his past that is so weird, bringing up it would sully the bringer upper. It’s never been open season on the bern, like W he has the advantage of so-outlandish seems-implausible. Donald hasn’t yet asked why Bernie won’t keep his tongue inside his mouth, he’s hoping Bernie will run third party, he’s holding back, hoping along with Jane for a terrible miracle.

      3. It IS so super creepy and weird, yet if it’s brought up, his supporters dismiss it because it was when he was young. Yet somehow, Hillary being a Goldwater Girl in high school is proof that she’s some kind of fake, smh.

      4. Yes. They use her being a Goldwater girl as proof she’s a racist. I was also a republican as a youth bc my family was. I grew up and evolved.

      5. LOL yup that’s exactly what I mean!! Makes me think of him as a dirty old man hahah. Not cute. Btw, your blog post is fantastic and SO perfectly describes the same exact issues I’ve seen from so many people who are coming at this from so many different angles: Race relations, repro rights, women’s rights in general, HIV activists, gun control, etc etc. Over the past 6-8 months the stories I’ve seen from all these folks have been exactly like yours. If it’s not in Bernie’s small wheelhouse of pet issues, then he treats them as a distraction. I have been very disappointed by it. I shared your article on Facebook just now! I’m so glad to see the HRC campaign treated you so much better and also that you will be a great asset to them. Thanks again for this.

      6. Thank you for sharing! I hope more people come out and tell the truth about him. And yes I was so pleased with how wonderfully the hrc camp treated me. It’s ridiculous that the sanders camp would treat me like I am a whinny nobody when I worked for the Bloomberg administration as an attorney and work for the mayor of the town in NC where I grew up advising them on disability issues. I didn’t work my ass off and go to a top university (Emory) to be mansplained by some politician.

  46. During the Clinton Administration (Hillary ran the show ..if you think otherwise, you’re fooling yourself or you weren’t old enough yet). Let’s see .. NAFTA – yeah, that was great for the middle class and keeps working better and better. Budget Surplus – when you raid Social Security, of course you can get a budget surplus. Signed Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, which effectively nullified Glass–Steagall, which set us up perfectly for the 2008 economic implosion.

    So .. yeah, I’ll pass on another four or more years of Clinton Bravo Sierra. We don’t need to continue the corruption, income disparity, and wars.

    1. I just love how it’s okay to blame a woman for the mistakes of her husband. It’s easy to point out all our problems, but quite another to actually come up with solutions. And somehow you think that hating Hillary so much that you’re willing to let a narcissist billionaire (the very people Bernie hates) who scapegoats Mexicans and Muslims for the issues we face today. Trump will destroy social security when he defaults on our loans and has to cut socialist programs that you cherish so much.

  47. Forget the politics — I admire your voice and writing here. I am in higher education and work with students with learning and physical differences and your story and work is an important narrative for them to hear. I will be happy to share this with them. Be well and good luck.

  48. Yikes! Is this opioid platform available online anywhere? That’s shameful, it makes him sound like the annoying friend I started avoiding after the surgery that took a tumor out of my spine and left me with permanent spinal cord scarring.

    1. This is the actual quote from BS on the issue they sent me:

      “Addiction to opioids – prescription pain medications like OxyContin and illegal drugs like heroin – is a serious problem we must address in this country. It is, simply put, a public health emergency.

      I have seen the devastation of opioid addiction in New Hampshire, in my home state of Vermont, and around this country. Between 2000 and 2014, we saw an increase in opioid abuse in Vermont of 800 percent. In New Hampshire, there were 300 drug-related deaths last year. Tragically, opiate use too often leads to death or incarceration. This has to change.

      I’ve talked to students, I’ve talked to veterans, I’ve talked to members of law enforcement, and I’ve talked to professionals who help people living with addiction. And two things are abundantly clear – we need to focus on prevention and we need to focus on treatment.

      Focusing on prevention means asking: Why are people turning to opioids, turning to heroin, in the first place? What should we be doing differently to keep that from happening? One big thing we can do, we must do, is to address income inequality in this country. We have to make sure hard working people can find a job, that the job they find pays a livable wage, and a fair wage. Today, unemployment and underemployment remains far too high, particularly among our country’s young people.

      A focus on both prevention and treatment means that health care professionals across this country not only need to take steps to reduce unnecessary prescribing of opiates and work with public health officials to address this crisis, but also to provide access to treatment for those individuals who seek help for their addiction. If someone is addicted to opiates and they go to get help and they are told there is a six month or 1 year waiting list for treatment, that is not an acceptable situation.

      We also need to give people options for treatment for both mental health diagnoses and to manage chronic pain. As the former Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the Senate, I have met with veterans all over this country who need mental health and substance use disorder services. I have introduced legislation in the Senate to improve access to complementary and alternative therapies for veterans, so they aren’t left with the false option of either being in excruciating pain or at risk for opioid addiction. Therapies like yoga and guided meditation can help manage pain and reduce stress with zero risk of addiction.

      I support expanding programs like the one in Manchester, New Hampshire that offers peer-to-peer counseling because I have seen how effective it can be for someone in treatment to get help from someone who has walked in their shoes and come out the other side of addiction.
      Progress is possible. In my home state of Vermont, we have seen the devastation of opioid abuse but we’ve also seen success. The people of Vermont have benefited from $3.8 million in funding from the federal government to deliver substance abuse prevention and addiction treatment for at-risk youth. And, between 2010 and 2014, we have quadrupled the number of people getting help through programs that use medication to assist in treatment. And for many, many people, those treatments are helping.

      But the medications that help with treatment are expensive, and many cities and states are experiencing sticker shock. I’ve contacted mayors, county officials, governors and attorney’s general to encourage them to stand up to these drug companies to combat these high prices. We are facing a public health emergency and the drug companies are profiting. But we can stand up to them. With a supported and well-trained health care workforce, expanded access to prevention and treatment services, and a united message to pharmaceutical company CEOs, we can address our opiate epidemic and ensure access to life-saving treatments in New Hampshire and around the country.”

      Can be found here. https://www.nhms.org/presidential-candidates-heroin-and-opioid-crisis

      1. …wow.

        Wow.

        Man, I’m not a single issue voter, but if there’s any issue on which being so utterly tone deaf is enough to make me seriously consider my stance, this would be it. I have been on the same dosage for years, with perfect adherence to my pain management plan and monthly visits to my docs.

        My experience with the Sanders campaign wasn’t nearly yours, but it was negative enough to make me withdraw from active politics, and after phone banking and volunteering for Obama twice, that’s saying a lot.

        Thank you for providing the policy statement, again. That’s pretty jaw-dropping.

      2. It’s shocking right? To insult our levels of pain by recommending yoga and meditation and blaming it on income inequality just shows his utter willful ignorance of this issue. I don’t appreciate being called an addict. If I could go off opioids I would do it in a second. I’ve had multiple brain surgeries and procedures to help my pain. Nobody subjects themselves to that unless they’re in excruciating pain.

      3. Oh thank you a ton for finding a link I tried yesterday, but I’ve been stressed so I lost words and that makes it hard to Google things. Thank you!

      4. What, exactly, is wrong with this statement? He appears to be talking about people with addiction problems. This does not negate the use of pain meds for those who need it.

        There is a problem, it needs fixing. I wouldn’t want to be without my pain meds either. I need them.

    2. Exactly! If anyone could avoid the humiliation, frustration, the way we get treated by pharmacies, ER doctors, etc., they would in a heartbeat. I went through every other medication in the arsenal, and got either bad side effects (like falling asleep at the wheel, which makes me a danger to others) and/or no pain relief.

      In September 2015, after surgeries, physical therapy, (including some of that guided meditation), tai chi, etc. I found myself in the ER with extreme abdominal pain. Due to the fact that I am on opioid painkillers, the doctor cancelled my ultrasound and sent me home.

      10 hours later I was back in the ER, sick at Exorcist levels and dehydrated beyond belief. 24 hours later, I was minus one gall bladder. My hospital stay was all the worse because the ER doctor looked at me and saw “addict,” despite that I disclosed my pain management doctor as soon as I walked in the door & carry a letter from said doc on my person at all times, showing I’m a legitimate patient with a long, steady history and under his care.

      Who would stay in this situation if they didn’t have to do so?

      Ugh. I’d welcome the opportunity to talk with you more, this is a slap in the face to the disability community and I think a lot of us just aren’t aware.

  49. HI I have a few thoughts.

    I so appreciated your article in so many ways. One thing I wish we could change in our culture is the attitude towards invisible disabilities. We have such a hard time believing them if the don’t manifest themselves in wheelchairs, walkers, canes, hearing aids, etc. Laws won’t change that.

    As to the opioid crisis. I don’t think it is a hoax. We had 23 opioid related OD deaths in 10 days in our county in 2016. We are on track for 570 deaths in 2016 if this pace keeps up. One death is too many. Our county population is about 900,000. While 570 out of that may not seem like a lot, if you had 570 measles cases, that would be a crisis.

    I also work in Family Court and many of my clients have addiction problems. I see how addiction can destroy lives, even if they survive the “ride.”

    I hear a very similar story over and over. They all started out in a similar fashion: they suffer an injury, or illness. Their primary care doc gives them opioids to deal with the pain. (I have no problem with that.) But then as a result of bad pain management or negligence by the doc who has over prescribed either in terms of duration or dosage, they become dependent, even after the pain issues is resolved. (I have a problem with the doc.) They then move onto chasing that high as their addiction grows. And then they become a statistic.

    The other thing I see are kids who have stolen a few left overs from the medicine cabinet, and like that feeling, or teenaged athletes who share and self medicate to keep on playing. And then the addiction evolves.

    I do not say this to minimize chronic pain or the treatment of such. I live with a person who has chronic pain. I see it. I would never tell anyone how to treat or otherwise cope with their pain.

    I just think that the opioid issue is very nuanced and the crisis is not a hoax. I work with the resulting damage every day.

      1. I still don’t know if I would choose the word hoax. But as an author, you get to decide!! 🙂

        It is a public health crisis that hopefully can be curtailed. Although maybe it is now a “crisis” because suburban white people are dying. My county is among those making positive strides to prevent ODs through narcane, no penalty for OD reporting laws, etc, hopefully expanding subox, and subutex availability- that one is state or federal level. I just know that my Family Court practice is filled with people whose lives are being ripped apart or have been ripped apart by this addiction that started for them 5-15 years ago.

        But in any event, as I said before, I think the opioid issue is nuanced, and I would never tell you or anyone else how to manage their pain.

        And if I didn’t mention it before, I thought this was a great post.

  50. Very briefly, accessibility standards for websites strongly recommend a white background and black type with a minimum font size of 12. It’s actually much more expansive than that and web designers who specialize in accessible web design can spend pages arguing over how best to accomplish a good design. I’ll take a look around and see if I can point out what might be useful for you on WordPress.com.

    Thanks for sharing your story. My sister is in a wheelchair after having damaged her spine in a couple of spots from a fall while rock climbing. I haven’t been as diligent as perhaps I should have been in seeking out specifics on Hillary’s policy proposals for PwDs but I’m very grateful that people like you have stepped up to the task.

    I found my way here from a post on Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/05/20/1528724/-Hillary-NewsViews-5-20-16:-CNN-Interview,-Hillarys-Homecoming,-and-Disability-Rights

    I suspect you’ll see a few more visitors from there today.

      1. Well, there’s another post at Daily Kos exclusively focused on your post here and it’s hit the top of the Recommended List. Hopefully, it will bring positive feedback your way and not too much of the negative stuff.

    1. Excuse my ignorance, but for me, this blog post has a white background with black lettering. Only the menu stripped across the top is black with white lettering. I have my Mac set on 16 point and so this is very easy to read. I wonder if I’m just not understanding the argument or if the site looks different to others.

  51. One of most important posts of the campaign. I am a die hard Hillary supporter.I have been so since I was on her press corps in 1997.
    I have followed her closely ever since.I am photographer but used to work in clinical social work in the area of developmental disabilities.I thank you for your heartfelt and heart rending story.I am not in the slightest bit surprised by the treatment you have received from the Bernie people and it comes from the top down. I admired Bernie in the Senate but as the campaign progressed and i learned more about his record I realised that Bernie, after 25years in congress had not authored any significant bills nor dedicated himself to any of the causes for which he has voted “correctly” . The irony of his campaign is that despite his central theme- representing the disenfranchised and financially challenged, he hasn’t been able to get the support of African Americans or latinos. To me that says it all. From the get go I thought the rhetoric was just that.But then the rhetoric morphed into demagoguery and soon it was clear: Sanders is a complete narcissist. What he is doing now is not revolutionary. It is revolting. It is destructive.It is disrespectful of the electorate and it is certainly not statesman-like.
    Bernie has now so alienated Democrats that to his mission to win over super delegates is either hubris or delusional or both

    1. Couldn’t agree more. There’s a reason minorities aren’t voting for him. He talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk. He doesn’t try to be inclusive or follow through with the very people he claims to represent.

  52. Thank you for sharing your story! Welcome to our truly all inclusive community for Hillary! I am a 1st generation Asian American, and Hillary often talked about us and of course, everyone, no matter who we are. She launched her Asian Pacific American platform in San gabriel, ca, where her mother grew up. She was the only one as far as I know that had a YouTube Chinese new year greetings made. She’s also the only candidate that accepted the invite to speak at an Asian American political conference where President Obama is the keynote speaker recently. I know this has nothing to do with disability issues that you passionately care about, but I just wanted to share how truly inclusive her campaign is and that’s what I feel one of the best qualities to be a good president. Keep up your great work! 🙂 Lots of hugs to our fellow supporters!

  53. Thank you. You are an amazing writer and an amazingly smart, courageous and strong human. Thank you for this honesty and all you are doing to help this country’s survival for everyone.

  54. And yet, in April you were busily on Facebook indicating that he was cosponsoring the DIA, was including in his stump speech an argument for the rights of disabled people (and increasing their wages), and that he was the first campaign to respond to a questionnaire you sent out. Indeed, you posted:

    “I just watched ‪#‎BernieSander‬’s remarkable speech in Washington square park and was so pleased that in minute 24 he talked about people with disabilities and the fact that we are forced to live off of $12-13k per year! This is something I asked the campaign to do, and they have not only been in touch with me, but he is now doing what I requested. Bernie cares about our vote and our issues and isn’t ignoring us like so many politicians have, but instead ‪#‎sayingtheword‬!”

    Perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle between your “Bernie or Bust” and “OMG! I was SO wrong!” In any case, it’s hard to take seriously a 180 that ignores your fact-based support in the past.

    For those who are interested, here are the platforms of both candidates. Perhaps it would be best to start there and do your research.

    https://berniesanders.com/issues/fighting-for-disability-rights/

    https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/disability-rights/

    These are short reads (Clinton’s is a bullet pointed page of less than 400 words, and Sanders’s is about 700 words). It will give you

    1. That’s right. I did. I contacted them but they didn’t respond directly. However, after I sent them a million messages, he included us in that speech, which I recognized he occasionally does now. But he did not include us about any other issues or place us in ads. He said the word “disability” ONCE at liberty university and it was used in that one ad I posted. I recognized every time he did anything for the disabled, which was like three times, and it lagged far behind our requests and Hillary coming out before him on these issues. My support for him and trying to recruit disabled people to his campaign is only evidence that I’m not some paid Hillary troll that has always supported her. And I now regret ever recruiting disabled people to join his cause. But I will recognize when any politician recognizes us.

      1. Given your venom toward Bernie and your reason for now supporting Hillary, it’s hard not to conclude that your about-face is simply due to Hillary’s staff person being nicer to you than his was. If that’s your reason, so be it. But how many disabled people did Hillary help create by the wars she has supported? How many disabilities would have been prevented if she had voted against the Iraq War, like Bernie did? Based on their history, which candidate is most likely to get us into more wars and thus create more disabled people?

      2. Bernie voted for the gulf war and the war in Afghanistan. So under that standard, he created tons of disabled and dead soldiers too. He also has voted aye to every foreign aid initiative for Israel since he’s been in office. So he must’ve caused all those Gazan casualties too.

      3. No, Bernie voted against BOTH wars in Iraq, in 1990 and 2003. He voted NO on the resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. He voted NO on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. He voted YES on redeploying US troops out of Iraq by March 2008. In 2008, he also voted against the Defense Authorization Bill, calling Iraq an unwinnable war. In 2009, he opposed the proposed 40,000 troop surge in Afghanistan. When you get such basic facts wrong, you undermine your credibility in your other arguments. When the tone of your argument is bitter and insulting (I’ve read your other responses on this thread belittling Sanders) then your argument just sounds like a grudge about not being including in his campaign’s inner circle rather than fact based.

      4. He supported Iraq regime change. “More problematic for the Senator in Birkenstocks is the little-known fact that Bernie Sanders himself voted twice in support of regime change in Iraq. In 1998 Sanders voted in favor of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which said: “It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.”

        And I made one single comment on his recent video talking about how he gets his beliefs from the bible when he has this entire election said he’s secular and his religion is just to treat people well. I liked when he was secular. I can’t stand any politician using religion to get votes including Hillary. I’m a firm believer in separation of church and state.

        Notwithstanding, I really don’t care if you support Bernie. That’s your choice, and I understand why you would bc I did. But respect my decision to support Hillary. There is no point in arguing with each other. It’s no unproductive.

      5. to robert, bernie voted for regime change in Iraq when he voted for the gulf war, and he voted for the Afghanistan war on terror authorization and he voted yes on a house resolution after W invaded Iraq, that thanked him on behalf of all Americans and accepted the fake terror connection, which is what prevented bush from being impeached, because bernie’s resolution made Bush’s invasion legal under the Afghanistan war on terror authorization – bush violated the terms of the Iraq authorization by pulling the inspectors out before they’d completed the search, that authorization required all peaceful means be exhausted and it required that he return to the UN.

        Bernie also had war protestors arrested, in 1991, rather than taking a conference call from them to listen to their point of view. And he’d filed for CO status, but he had war protestors arrested, what do you make of that?

  55. Thank you so much for this. I was a strong supporter of Sanders early on because I do think that some type of socialism is the only way that society can go forward with rising inequality. But as someone who has worked in law and public policy, I was constantly disappointed by the lack of substance. There is a lot of rhetoric but not the simple work to get there.

    And I understand why Bernie is more attractive.. Everyone will gladly cheer for there to be more cake, but almost nobody actually wants to make the cake. Although with Sander’s campaign it seems more fundamental: people don’t know how to make the cake or even that a cake needs to be made by someone. The “ground game” is non-existent. And your experience is a sign of that. I doubt that it was malice that prevented anyone from the camp to return your calls. More likely, they simply don’t have the internal organization to make it happen. Or, again, they simply don’t care enough to get that type of structure in place because they don’t consider it to be as important as the ideas of the movement. But ideas can’t get things done alone. Hillary has shown an understanding of how to actually get results, even if those results tend to be more compromises than I would want. Small change is better than no change, which is what I think we’d get under Sanders.

    I’ve been on the fence with this decision because I have frankly been afraid of going public with my support of Clinton. You’ve inspired me to be more open about it.

    1. I never thought I’d publicly support Hillary. But then I saw the difference between the two campaigns and I was sold. I don’t think it was malice, either. I think it was uncaring and the malicious part is telling people you do care when you don’t.

      1. As a disabled person, I care way more about being able to pay my bills and afford my healthcare and prescriptions than about a campaign staffer stroking my ego or a bunch of empty campaign promises. There is a reason Hillary polls as the least trustworthy candidate on both sides, and it’s simple: She can’t be trusted. Bill was caught on a hot mic telling Paul Ryan that Social Sec and Medicare need to be cut. Both Trump and Bernie oppose cuts to those programs. I’ll take expansion of SS and Medicare benefits and reining in the fleecing of Americans by pharmaceutical companies over the hot air of a candidate that will say anything to get elected.

      2. I watched that video all the way through. It was never said. That was just the headline and if you listen to it it says nothing of the sort.

      3. Finally, a sensible observation. There is much unsaid in this attack on Bernie Sanders – the politician no one has been able to pin to any foul play during this campaign, which must be the rarest of things in American politics.
        What he is attacked for here, is what I admire: keeping the eye focused on the general issues, from which solutions to the more specific matters spring.

      4. not only is she far from who Bernie claims she is, she’s actually amazingly great, super wonk who cares, we are so lucky to have someone like Hillary running, the world will be lucky when she wins (and the rest of the world knows it, even if here at home there are those ….)

      5. I agree Anni, I’m actually really sick of people calling her “the lesser of two evils.” Not only is she not evil, she’s an amazing choice to lead this country. I want nuance and thoughtfulness and thoroughness, not shouting and blaming and endless finger-wagging.

    2. yes steffen, all those who don’t want to share will revolt, anyone against universal pre-school, and debt-free tuition and evidence based competent governing, and racial justice and criminal so-called justice reform, and caps on greenhouse gases and investing in Americans, and rebuilding the infrastructure, and and and, will be so pissed they will rise up and take over, for sure. Benie’s made sure they’ll still be armed with automatic weapons, lucky or what!

      Unless her policies aren’t just progressive and wonderful and will improve our lives, they’ll also grow the economy, in which case the haters won’t get enough support to stage their revolution.

      we’ll see?

  56. This is a fantastic read. Thank you so much for sharing your unique insight and perspective. I’ve been Team Hillary since she ran for Senate in my home state of NY back when she and Bill left the White House. She was an incredible advocate for New Yorkers in the wake of 9/11, and the striking image of an obviously distressed Hillary Clinton down at Ground Zero amid the debris, providing a stark contrast to the perfectly coiffed public image we saw of her as first lady, will resonate with me forever. After living in her husband’s shadow for 8 years (and even longer while he was Governor of Arkansas), we finally got to see Senator Clinton at work and wow, was she a force to be reckoned with. Anyone who has followed her or made an effort to learn a little about her history would know that the person you see on the campaign trail, tackling the issues that seem to affect everyone — be it a single mother, a middle class family, a person of color, a person with a disability, or a member of the LGBT community — regardless of the demographic, is not the Hillary Clinton – Pandering Politician that the Sanders camp would have you believe she is. It’s who she genuinely is. She’s the real deal and wants to use her power and influence to make the world — or at least our government — work for everyone.

  57. Thank you for writing this and, more importantly, for advocating for people with disabilities. I’m so glad you were open to talking to Hillary’s campaign and that you found it as warm and welcoming as she clearly intends it to be. She is an easy media target because of how much personal time she devotes to understanding deeply personal experiences like yours instead of hammering home campaign slogans on the national stage. I truly believe this is the most important distinction between her and any other candidate available to voters right now. You see it with other constituencies like the Mothers of the Movement who have lost sons to gun violence and need to see common sense gun violence reform, educators and families advocating for early childhood education for all, the transgender community fighting for discrimination protections, workers advocating for paid family leave and reliable scheduling. These issues have been afterthoughts for the Sanders campaign who is looking to catch up but not working very hard to do so. Best of luck in your work with the campaign and beyond.

  58. I found your article reblogged in a Facebook group for Hillary supporters. I wanted to thank you for such a personal, vulnerable and heartfelt story. I am very sorry you were treated so dismissively by the Bernie campaign, and I am very glad to hear Hillary’s campaign has been so welcoming.

    I’m a gay white male and not disabled, but I’d just like to thank you again for writing such a compelling piece… because I was able to really sense what it was like to experience your frustration and change of heart. It’s extraordinarily painful to be marginalized and used as a means to an end by people seeking power. And I, too, was a Bernie supporter at the start… but (like you) I soon came to see the mask start slipping, to realize his campaign was really about Bernie and not about the people he professed to speak for, about negativity and hostility and not about positivity and real change. I’m now a Hillary supporter too. And as what remains of his campaign becomes increasingly detached from reality, I realize more and more I made the right decision.

    Thank you again! And best of luck in the upcoming campaign season.

    -Jason

    1. You hit the nail on its head. He exploits minorities to rise to power but he doesn’t follow through. He’s gotten hundreds of millions of dollars in donations and he couldn’t hire a disability advisor?

  59. Thank you for sharing your experience. FYI I have tweeted out your story to the disability / accessibility community under the twitter account @CRPDisabilities

    Cheers

    Bill Shackleton

  60. I too am disabled, and like “D” was forced to lose everything to prove I was truly disabled. In fact, Social Security told me via the phone that only after I lost my home to foreclosure would they make their decision because someone who was not disabled wouldn’t let it go through. Within three weeks of it’s loss I was approved, having lost a business, all my savings and my home. Had it not been for my Congressman be Dave Loebsack and a State Senator’s intervention, whi negotiated my being able to have other people buy it back and resell it to me, though I lost everything I had in it, I would have been homeless. I have been a supporter and volunteer for Hillary since 2008. I believe that she cares deeply about people and on several occasions I have had the opportunity to speak one on one to her about issues important to me and know she isn’t just giving us lip service. Hillary will bring something new to the White House, and it’s time for that change, women have waited long enough.

    1. I wish I had known all this long ago. I regret supporting Bernie and disliking her so much before now. Bernie makes a compelling argument that she’s bought and paid for.

  61. really well said. admire you putting your name on it, about being a real person not some wall street attorney. These days people automatically think anyone that disagrees with them is a paid for troll.

    1. I’ve been accused of that a few times already. A few hate mail comments as well. One accused me of not really being disabled and I was really just an addict.

      1. Super disgusting, though not surprising. Sad that you’re subjected to abuse for sharing your story. Your writing matters.

  62. Thank you for sharing this, so many of my friends are supporters of Senator Sanders, it’s frustrating to me. Sharing this probably will not persuade them embrace HRC, but perhaps it could soften the blow of Hillary clinching the nomination.
    Am I to assume you live in the US now, your gravatar states you moved to Israel in 2008? Anyway, another crip here. I became involved in politics in 2008, my first trip to the OFA office was a pleasant surprise, it was accessible in both physical space and attitude. I suppose you could say that’s when I became a baby wonk, 8 years later I’m working for HRC as a volunteer. I love elections. When the primary organizers for the campaign arrived in Ohio back in April, the space the occupied for a short time was down a steep flight of stairs. I was crushed, fortunately the campaign moved once they realized the problem. I hope it was a simple oversight (the space was in the basement of Union HQ) and a convenient friendly space as they stated to me, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t crushed. Is there a group of crips working with the campaign, perhaps a FB page? BTW, I make and sell campaign jewelry (as I did in 2008) please visit my site when you get a chance.
    peace,
    River Wolfe
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/democraticjewelry
    http://www.riverwolfeartjewelry.com

    1. Disability action for Hillary is a great group.

      I live in NC now. I lived in Israel for several years. I can’t seem to find the gravitar on the WP app to change my location. I’ve had a few people attack me saying it must be bc I support “the genocidal state of Israel” that I wrote this. What a load of garbage. I very much dislike Netanyahu. So tired of all the conspiracy theorists. Anyway, look forward to you joining the group!

  63. Your story brought me to tears. Thank you for having the courage not only to share this publicly, but, more importantly, to be open to questioning your previously-held beliefs in order to welcome new possibilities. This is an incredibly difficult and personal thing to go through, and you are a stronger person for it.

    I’m so glad that I saw your post. As someone who started out also liking Bernie more than Hillary, I have had my own journey in rediscovering the Clinton that I thought I already knew. While I’m thrilled to hear she is so strong on disability rights, I still have my concerns on her positions elsewhere. That said, I am no purist; and the strikingly sparse discussion of issues from Sanders on anything other than his signature talking points has left me wanting. Meanwhile, Clinton has demonstrated an ability to address an incredibly broad and diverse set of issues with aplomb. That’s not by accident; as I’ve come to learn through this primary process, she has worked for over four decades in issues of social justice and understands our issues not just from a policy perspective but from an experiential perspective.

    I hope that others will hear and be receptive to your message. Thank you again for sharing, and thank you for all that you’re doing in support of people living with disabilities.

  64. Sharing this story and opening yourself up to the possibility of abuse, harassment, death threats, hate mail, and violent extremism is extremely brave of you. But, really, it’s okay to evolve, change, and grow. Hillary has on issues that are well-known. Bernie has too — he just lies about it to his supporters.

    Your evolution is really important. I hope you will keep sharing it, and keep speaking out about who Hillary really is: someone who cares about and has worked for the marginalized for forty years, and someone who has kept growing, learning, and changing for the better. #LoveTrumpsHate

  65. I’m disabled too, mentally in my case. I don’t know about you, but this has resulted in me being dirt-poor my entire life. I’m one of those people who will get absolutely wiped out by a sudden $1000 cost. I was unable to complete my education (stopped at AA) because a future of disability-clouded employment prospects made the prospect too shaky to go through with in this economy. I’ve been paying very close attention to this race from the beginning and I’ve yet to have anyone offer me a positive, policy-oriented case for why I should even consider voting for Hillary Clinton.

    I’ve seen lots of mentions, as I do here, about how inclusive she is. How much she caters to my interest group (disabled) by mentioning that we’re important and she’s fighting for us and so forth. Well whooptee-freaking-doo. That costs her absolutely nothing, and in the current social climate is an indisputable net positive to her campaign’s chances. But what policy solutions has she offered me? Has she committed to expanding social security benefits, by lifting the cap or otherwise? No, she has made vague promises about ‘strengthening’ it, which in DLC-Democrat speak can very much mean cutting benefits. Has she offered me anything on the education front? No, I cannot work so her college proposal changes nothing for me. Has she proposed changing the healthcare system in any way that would help make it easier for me to try and re-enter the workforce at some point? No, her solution is still Obamacare, which gives me the choice between staying unemployed and keeping my well-functioning Medicare/Medicaid or re-entering the workforce and being thrown to the individual-market wolves. They’re probably better than Absolutely Nothing, but let’s not pretend that most of the low-end O-care packages are truly healthcare in anything but name. She even had to be dragged kicking and screaming to support the $15 minimum wage movement, so that’s one concrete policy position that could conceivably benefit me at some point in my life, and she has only taken it because of pressure from Bernie.

    What has Sanders offered me? Expanded social security benefits that are permanently solvent because the cap has been lifted. Universal healthcare that would completely eliminate my fear of losing access to my medication, doctors and therapists if I did feel capable of working again at some point. Free college education, period, that is not dependent on my ability to prove I deserve it by being a good little worker-bee during the off-hours. All of these things as guaranteed rights that are about enhancing and dignifying the human existence rather than prizes to be earned if I can, again, prove that I “deserve” them and am not one of the moochers in the DLC-Democrat worldview that Hillary espouses.

    What’s the downside of Bernie? He is old and sometimes behaves like a person who grew up around outdated methods of expression. He is not slick and does not have an army of consultants teaching him how to best take advantage of the current trend towards intersectional identity politics. He does not tweet about the “complex set of intersectional issues we face”, his speechwriters do not tweet about how he understands intersectionality better than any other candidate, he might screw up and reference mental illness in a derogatory fashion, etc.

    What’s the upside of Hillary? While she isn’t going to offer me any actual promises to do anything specific that would actually improve my life, and generally tends to stop at declarations that she is looking into, exploring, open to, supportive of, etc. such policies, she is very much willing to pander to my identity group by stating that I matter to her and she is fighting to me. And… well, to be honest that’s about it.

    I’ll take Bernie.

    And ps, I’ll thank any non-mentally ill people on here to stop being outraged on my behalf. I don’t need identitarian coddling. I need money, healthcare, housing, and education.

    1. I’m disabled due to cancer and am helping my sister, disabled due to a stroke and other health problems. She also has cognitive impairment. Obamacare has made a world of difference for her. She has finally been able to get tests, treatments and medications that she wasn’t getting before. It would have been even better if Texas had taken the Medicaid expansion.

      I appreciate your frustration but those of us who support Hillary don’t think Bernie can make good on his promises of universal health-care, etc. In fact, it makes me angry that he is getting money and support for promises that he must know that he cannot keep without a major change among Republicans and some conservative Democrats. He has had little support from Congressional Democrats and I bet he has even less support now that he had accused the Democratic establishment of corruption.

  66. In 1992 a friend and I met Hillary as she was campaigning for Bill. My friend was a wheelchair-user, very thin and twisted from scoliosis. Nondisabled people who didn’t know better always treated him like a small child. Not Hillary! When she came him she took his hand and said hello in the same tone and manner as everyone else! That’s all I needed to know.
    I should mention, during the early part of Hillary’s 2008 campaign, her official website listed people with disabilities under healthcare with no mention of us under civil rights. Like you I made call-after-call to her campaign people, even to the campaign web-designer and received a similar brush-off until someone with clout listened to me. Shortly thereafter the website was changed.
    Although I’m again a volunteer for HRC I am glad Bernie is pushing her campaign to the left even if he doesn’t quite know what he’s doing. Hang in there, y’all!

  67. Thanks for posting this! As someone who suffers with chronic pain I am deeply distressed at the treatment we receive from people and some medical professionals who just assume that we must be addicts. I have tried just about everything and the only thing that works are opiates. I can’t function in pain and the opiates allow me to live a more normal life. I have permanent kidney damage now from taking so many NSAIDS for pain before I finally found a doctor who really listened and figured out what was going on and who understands that some people require opiates for pain control because nothing else works. I wish I didn’t have to take them but I would have no quality of life without them. I consider chronic pain a disability and was not impressed with BS comments on the subject. I don’t compare my problems to yours in any way and I appreciate your honestly and the attention you have brought to the disabled community and the differences between BS and HRC. . Before my problems started I was a home health nurse who cared for disabled patients and I was continually dismayed at how poorly my patients and their families were treated. I have followed and supported HRC since her days as Arkansas first lady and have always thought that she genuinely cared and wanted to do more for the least cared about of our society, for all those marginalized by society or simply invisible. Welcome to the HRC club and please keep writing!

  68. In 1992 a friend and I met Hillary as she was campaigning for Bill. My friend was a wheelchair-user, very thin and twisted from scoliosis. Nondisabled people who didn’t know better always treated him like a small child. Not Hillary! When she came to him she took his hand and said hello in the same tone and manner as everyone else! That’s all I needed to know.
    I should mention, during the early part of Hillary’s 2008 campaign, her official website listed people with disabilities under healthcare with no mention of us under civil rights. Like you I made call-after-call to her campaign people, even to the campaign web-designer and received a similar brush-off until someone with clout listened to me. Shortly thereafter the website was changed.
    Although I’m again a volunteer for HRC I am glad Bernie is pushing her campaign to the left even if he doesn’t quite know what he’s doing. Hang in there, y’all!

  69. I became disabled back in 2004 as the result of an incomplete spinal cord injury that has gotten worse the last couple of years. It’s frustrating that there is so little that’s being done to help any disabled people with benefits, etc. I haven’t made a final decision on who to vote for in terms of the Presidential race, but the more I read and learn, the more I lean toward Hillary. While Senator Sanders may have some valid points, in my opinion, it seems that he spends more time complaining how he’s being treated so unfairly by everyone. It’s starting to remind me more and more like the Republicans and their “stuff”.

    It saddens me to see Senator Sanders spend so much time talking like this instead of stuff like this instead of actual things he will effectively do for the country or knocking off the vitriol against Secretary Clinton and trying to work together to stop the Republicans from regaining the White House and doing their best to get control of the House and Senate, or at least closing the gap between the two parties. It’s time to unify, not divide or it will be President Trump for sure!

  70. i would like to point out, that during the Clinton presidency, Hillary was pushing her healthcare package. The Republicans steadfastly told her, it was going to happen. They threatened her with this proposal, Take the millions of dollars, and “take a hike”. She took the money. This truly changed her forever. She was not as vocal in her strategy, because the Republicans gagged her. My question is, since her husband Bill was POTUS, why didn’t she use him to push this through? Bill, pushed through NAFTA, which in my opinion was awful. Bill, didn’t have a strong backbone, because of his passion for sex in the White House. Perhaps a One- Payer strategy, would get you the treatments you need covered by insurance, which Bernie has spoke of.

    1. Where is evidence of this bribe? Single payer was why i liked him and voted for him. But he has no interest in following through on any of it. Otherwise he would have concrete plans right now that don’t leave him TRILLIONS of dollars short for single payer.

    2. she didn’t give up, it was completed and then went to congress and Teddy Kennedy kept it in his own committee, well actually he spit it into two parts and gave one part to a different committee, but both parts stayed in committee, it didn’t make it to the floor for a vote. Teddy was upset that he wasn’t the prime author, and we had a Democratic congress then so it could have passed. It was slightly left of ACA, it was called Universal Coverage. I don’t know where you got your information but it isn’t even close to fact based. she finished her part, she had no power to force it to the floor for a vote, Kennedy killed it, and I don’t think he was paid to, I think it was a power thing. later he said it was his biggest mistake, but too late, oh well.

      you can find a clip of Bill and Hillary mocking the harry and louise ads, you mean people will still die? When it was killed she picked herself up and went to work on the children’s health care plan and invited Teddy to work on it (he’d had representation on Universal Coverage too and he still killed it) and he didn’t spoil that one, he took credit for it.

  71. Senator Sanders has supported the disabled on many fronts. His campaign people are not always pleasant to even those of us who are able, and that sucks – but look at Bernie’s congressional record on disability issues, and you will find that he has done quite a lot more than Hilary has in real terms. And his issues are inclusive, he doesn’t separate out groups as to who should get better health care, or education, or employment. His goal is fairness for everyone. It’s not about politics, it’s about action.

    1. If you can put me in touch with one single disability activist who has a relationship with the campaign and is supporting him I’ll hear you out. I’d be willing to bet you can’t.

    2. ” but look at Bernie’s congressional record on disability issues”

      I have. His congressional record related to disability issues looks like this:
      * Serving on the Budget Committee in Congress, fought efforts to define Medicaid by $500 billion, and efforts to turn Medicare into a voucher program.
      * While in the Senate, he cosponsored ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
      * While in the Senate, he supported the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act.
      * While in the Senate, he cosponsored Safe Schools Improvement Act.
      * While in the Senate, he cosponsored of Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act.
      * While working on the Budget committee, managed to reduce the intelligence budget for fiscal year 1999 by 5% while managing to get an exemption for the CIA Retirement and Disability Fund so people with disabilities would not lose services.
      * In 2008, he was involved with Senate efforts to increase specially adapted housing benefits for disabled veterans.
      * In 2013, he worked to get the Secretary of the VA to increase , the rates of veterans’ disability compensation while the Republican congress was trying to cut these benefits.

      This is Clinton’s historical record that I am aware of:
      * First job out of law school was working for Children’s Defense Fund, where she learned that lack of disability support was a contributing reason for why many students did not go to school. This evidence was presented to Congress, who changed laws to require more disability support services in public schools.
      * As First Lady, she lobbied Congress to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provided healthcare to million of uninsured children to make certain their health needs were met.
      * As a Senator, she worked to make sure 9/11 first responders, many of whom acquired disabilities as a result of their work, got access to medical care in the years after the attacks.
      * As Secretary of State, she tried to lobby Congress to become a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Her efforts were unsuccessful, and the Republican Congress blocked this.
      * She cosponsored ADA Amendments Act of 2008 as a Senator.
      * As a Senator, she cosponsored Individuals with Disabilities Education Reauthorization Act.
      * As a Senator, she cosponsored IDEA Full-Funding Act of 2003.
      * While in the Senate, she voted to increase funding and discretionary funding for IDEA.
      * While in the Senate, she cosponsored Mental Health Parity Act and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.
      * While in the Senate, she voted to increase mental health care for veterans by $500 million.
      * While in the Senate, she “helped develop and co-sponsored Autism legislation that authorized over $1 billion in funding for research, early detection, and early intervention.”
      * She co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.
      * As First Lady, she advocated for nationwide immunization against childhood illnesses.
      * As First Lady, she supported an investigation of what is now called “Gulf War Syndrome” and getting treatment for veterans who have it.
      * In the Senate, she served 8 years on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions .

      Maybe Sanders does have a better Congressional record than I give him credit for. Can you offer additional examples that I missed? Anything he did while mayor? I’m iffy on Sander’s VA related disability support, mostly because I’ve seen a lot of veterans get super fucking pissy over what they saw as his culpability with that broken system. Can you better articulate his involvement in that, and how his actions support a narrative of supporting US veterans with disabilities, either ones they had prior to their service or ones acquired during their service? I’d love to learn more about specific examples of his congressional record, and you seem informed since you told me to check. I checked and I must be missing something you obviously know a great deal about.

  72. Thank you for writing this. I have been wanting Democratic Socialism to get a strong foothold in this country for a long time, and I still look forward to that happening. But I never fail to vet candidates in every way I can. And I realized from nearly the beginning of his campaign that Bernie Sanders was the wrong choice to lead the change. Hillary spends so much time addressing social issues he never touches. He is so obsessed with the haves and have nots in regards to money that he doesn’t even begin to address the critical needs. I am appalled by how you, and the issues you raised, have been treated. I too have disabilities, and fail into categories of needs in regards to ageism and abilities and unemployment that I haven’t seen him really begin to address. I’m very glad he won’t be our candidate. Once I would have said I agreed with him 99%, but I see more works of socialism being addressed in Hillary Clinton’s hands than he’s even begun to think about. Thanks again.

  73. Wow! This is an incredible piece and your journey is such an important one to be speaking out about. Thank you. Truly.

    On another note, I have a show on Netroots Radio, Hopping Mad (you can find us at IMHoppingMad on WordPress) and we would love to have you on. The next show we have available is the one which records on 10 or 11 June (depending upon the schedule of the interviewee) and airs on 13 June. We are Hillary folk who LOVED Bernie for running, the difference he was making and the importance of his message…all the way up to the point that he just became another angry white guy clinging to his privilege. I am especially interested in talking with you and getting your informed perspective on why Bernie’s followers are so sure Hillary is inauthentic. As someone who has followed her closely for decades now, I have been continually impressed by her ability to “be a person” in amidst the tornadic forces that have always been around her. Still, she clearly does not “message” that equally well to all people. I am genuinely interested in your insight. Also, I would love to get into real detail regarding the legislative agenda of the disabled community as well as the need for leadership focus which you have so beautifully articulated.

    Again, carrots on the wonderful piece! – Arliss Bunny

  74. Would love to talk with you about disability/chronic illness issues. I am co-president of the Well Spouse Association, a national nonprofit that provides peer support to those caring for a disabled or chronically ill spouse/partner. Your blog post really has me no longer feeling the Bern.

  75. Thank you for speaking out on this issue!

    I had the same experiences with Bernie when he was campaigning here in Iowa. I approached him four different times to discuss issues with mental health. My main concerns I brought up had to do with my best friend who had taken his life in 2014 (he had a schizophrenia diagnosis) and how we could make policy and social changes to help others like him in the future. Each time I was rebuffed by Bernie with comments such as “I don’t have time for that”, even an “oh, you again.” He never directed me to his staff or anyone that could of taken my ideas to be included in his campaign policy work. I had supported him early on, partially because my late friend would of supported him. Keep in mind, I have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, am a commissioner for the disabled appointed by my local city council, and work for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. I have some understanding of the issues at hand.

    I was really quite surprised when Hillary Clinton took interest in my friend’s story at one of her first events held in Iowa City in July, 2015. I had gotten to know some of her high level Iowa staff from previous political volunteering and working two Congressional internships when I went back to college a few years ago. A couple of her staffers introduced me to her at this event (the staffer in particular had worked with my late friend on a project for a Congressional campaign). I was surprised when Hillary Clinton took in interest in my friend and my issue and we must of talked for five minutes at this event. This was later followed by about a half dozen other conversations with her when she was out here in Iowa (including one about my experiences with autism, which I understand may of been some of the inspiration behind her autism policy). I was quite surprised as well when she took an interest in my late friend’s poetry (I framed his story around how he was an activist, community leader and a creative sort and how this was cut short by a psychotic break). I went on to be a precinct captain for Hillary and volunteered for her by knocking doors and making phone calls. I am still supporting her as a state convention delegate. After my experiences with “brusque Bernie”, I find it difficult to understand how the man has the support that he does.

      1. Because they think he’s being honest about bringing these policies and that he cares about them instead of Hillary. Because they think it’s normal standard procedure to not be able to contact anyone in the campaign. So they figure theyre unresponsive because they’re so busy. The truth is he has no desire to make any meaningful relationships with anyone from the community or to make specific plans to roll out his big ideas. They’re under the illusion that BS cares about them. But he does not or else he would’ve included us when talking about our issues.

  76. Thank you so much for this illuminating piece. I have always felt that Sanders was like this — immature and self-centered underneath all the holier-than-everyone rhetoric — but have never read a first-person account like yours.

    You have also inspired me to contact the Clinton campaign to start volunteering sooner rather than later!

  77. Excellent piece. I never was a Bernie fan but I can see how people who didn’t pay attention before could be enamoured with him. Everything he is saying has been said by PBO or HRC in ways that make sense. If folks want what Bernie is selling they could have had it by voting in a Democratic congress in 2010, 2012, 2014 to support the same initiatives under President Obama.

  78. I’m sorry to hear about your experience with the Bernie Sanders campaign. This goes against everything I have heard about him and being inclusive. When the Native Americans reached out to him, he hired an advisor to his campaign to represent the needs of the Native American people. When BLM activists took over at a rally, he stepped aside and let them speak. Aside from your account here, there isn’t one other story out there that demonstrates that he “doesn’t care” about a block of people in the United States. Not being disabled, I can’t speak for you and your feelings. However, just because he fails to mention disabled people during his stump speeches doesn’t mean he isn’t looking out for all of us. That is the point of his message: unity. Besides, I’m pretty certain Sanders’ “Medicare for All” Universal Healthcare plan would include people with disabilities.

    I do find it odd that you say you were “Bernie or Bust,” but now you are in close contact with the Hillary campaign? It doesn’t fit the mold of someone who really was a true Sanders supporter. I also find it interesting that while you were supposedly a Bernie supporter, you gave glowing remarks about Hillary and her support for the disabled. I have heard her mention the disabled once and certainly not during a debate performance.

    And, where is this email that Bernie sent to you? You went through all of the trouble to write this piece a month after the email you received, and you would think a screen shot of it would be valuable to include within your article.

    Just had to comment on a few things that didn’t add up to me. I take issue with writing an article like this about the only candidate left with any integrity and honesty, because a) there is zero proof of your interaction with the Sanders campaign, besides your word, and b) this is only your side of the story. It’s unfortunate that you felt the need to broadcast how you were “berned by Bernie,” without giving the whole story.

    1. Here’s another disability activist who is the director of a disability group of 5,000 people. She was a Bernie supporter and then this. https://www.facebook.com/kris.guin/posts/10153430529360855

      You want screen shots of twenty some odd unresponded emails and texts? I’ve copied and pasted his on-the-record opioid response in the comments and everyone who is interested in proof I have sent it to them.

      And I never glowingly praised Hillary before. I wrote one article about disability in this election recognizing ever candidate for their accomplishments in disability. But I clearly preferred Bernie in that article and greatly supported him.

      Here’s the email opioid response:
      “Addiction to opioids – prescription pain medications like OxyContin and illegal drugs like heroin – is a serious problem we must address in this country. It is, simply put, a public health emergency.

      I have seen the devastation of opioid addiction in New Hampshire, in my home state of Vermont, and around this country. Between 2000 and 2014, we saw an increase in opioid abuse in Vermont of 800 percent. In New Hampshire, there were 300 drug-related deaths last year. Tragically, opiate use too often leads to death or incarceration. This has to change.

      I’ve talked to students, I’ve talked to veterans, I’ve talked to members of law enforcement, and I’ve talked to professionals who help people living with addiction. And two things are abundantly clear – we need to focus on prevention and we need to focus on treatment.

      Focusing on prevention means asking: Why are people turning to opioids, turning to heroin, in the first place? What should we be doing differently to keep that from happening? One big thing we can do, we must do, is to address income inequality in this country. We have to make sure hard working people can find a job, that the job they find pays a livable wage, and a fair wage. Today, unemployment and underemployment remains far too high, particularly among our country’s young people.

      A focus on both prevention and treatment means that health care professionals across this country not only need to take steps to reduce unnecessary prescribing of opiates and work with public health officials to address this crisis, but also to provide access to treatment for those individuals who seek help for their addiction. If someone is addicted to opiates and they go to get help and they are told there is a six month or 1 year waiting list for treatment, that is not an acceptable situation.

      We also need to give people options for treatment for both mental health diagnoses and to manage chronic pain. As the former Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the Senate, I have met with veterans all over this country who need mental health and substance use disorder services. I have introduced legislation in the Senate to improve access to complementary and alternative therapies for veterans, so they aren’t left with the false option of either being in excruciating pain or at risk for opioid addiction. Therapies like yoga and guided meditation can help manage pain and reduce stress with zero risk of addiction.

      I support expanding programs like the one in Manchester, New Hampshire that offers peer-to-peer counseling because I have seen how effective it can be for someone in treatment to get help from someone who has walked in their shoes and come out the other side of addiction.
      Progress is possible. In my home state of Vermont, we have seen the devastation of opioid abuse but we’ve also seen success. The people of Vermont have benefited from $3.8 million in funding from the federal government to deliver substance abuse prevention and addiction treatment for at-risk youth. And, between 2010 and 2014, we have quadrupled the number of people getting help through programs that use medication to assist in treatment. And for many, many people, those treatments are helping.

      But the medications that help with treatment are expensive, and many cities and states are experiencing sticker shock. I’ve contacted mayors, county officials, governors and attorney’s general to encourage them to stand up to these drug companies to combat these high prices. We are facing a public health emergency and the drug companies are profiting. But we can stand up to them. With a supported and well-trained health care workforce, expanded access to prevention and treatment services, and a united message to pharmaceutical company CEOs, we can address our opiate epidemic and ensure access to life-saving treatments in New Hampshire and around the country.”

  79. I am sorry for your bad experience, but there are other points of view from others with disabilities on this subject. And something to consider for me is all those who are permanently disabled or dead from the war Hillary Clinton voted for in Iraq–when the UN Weapons Inspectors and EVERYONE else said there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That was not a mistake. That was a cold and brutally callous decision to invade that country and destroy thousands upon thousads of lives. There is no way I could support someone who did that. And yes her connections to Monsanto and Wall Street and her super pacs etc etc do matter, they matter a lot. I hope you reconsider as there is a lot at stake in this election. But I wish you all the best. https://www.facebook.com/PWD4Bernie/ http://therespectabilityreport.org/2015/06/23/bernie-sanders-people-with-disabilities-must-have-all-opportunities/

    1. If you couldn’t support for someone who voted for regime change in Iraq you shouldn’t vote for Bernie. If you can’t support someone who voted for wars including the Afghanistan war, the Bosnian invasion, and the war on terror, you shouldn’t support Bernie either bc he voted for those. If you can’t vote for someone who’s taken super pac money you should dump Bernie then too bc he’s always taken it before and continues to have one helping his campaign right now. He is not as innocent as he claims.

      I’m aware of his two page response to respectability with broad stroke ideas. Compare to this: http://therespectabilityreport.org/2016/01/30/hillary-clinton-completes-pwdsvote-2016-campaign-scorecard/

      1. I, for one, see it as quite so black & white in that regard– I think Afghanistan was justified, Iraq was not (and that was apparent to me *at the time*, just as it was to Bernie). Certainly, if you compile a scorecard of where the money has come from in the campaigns, and what both candidates historical votes have been regarding regime change and military action, Bernie comes out way ahead in my book.

      2. Oops– sorry, I mean’t “don’t see it as quite so black and white”– there doesn’t seem to be an edit button…

  80. Thank you shiksappeal for sharing your experiences. It is very understandable why you feel as you do. It is a heartbreaking story, but it is filled with hope for the future.

    I, too, am a Hillary supporter, but I did wrestle in the beginning with whether I was making the right choice between her & Bernie Sanders. But I did not forget what I had learned about her after the 2008 election. That was when I was absolutely convinced Hillary should not be anywhere near the WH, I was an Obama supporter, at the time and still am. I had done extensive research … on Obama, not HRC. My mind was made up.

    It wasn’t until sometime after that election that I ran across, by happenstance, an article that opened my eyes to Hillary Clinton. It went into her history of being a true advocate & fighter for women’s rights & for children, for the vulnerable and for the impoverished, over her entire adult life. I have come across many more articles, both positive and negative, about HRC, but I know now that I was entirely wrong & closed-minded about her. I will never regret voting for Obama, but I do regret being so closed minded about her. Iam just glad that I finally recognized I was wrong-headed & very unfair.

    While there are things I disagree with HRC I support her 100%. Hillary has a depth of knowledge unparalleled by none, at least in the running. She has made mistakes, but good grief who hasn’t. Human beings are fallible. Typically no one agrees 100% with their preferred candidate whether it is on policy or something else, & we find fault with something he or she has done, but those differences are to be expected. What I find troubling, however, about the Bernie loyalists is that they seem to believe Bernie can do no wrong & never has. They refuse to accept reality. This willful blindness is exactly what Sarah Palin’s loyal warriors demonstrated in 2008. Any criticism against Sarah was considered hatred. Now the same applies when Bernie Sanders’ is legitimately criticized. This is really unhealthy and frankly, worrisome.

    However, when push comes to shove, I think/I hope his supporters will come to their senses at least long enough to pull the lever for Hillary Clinton in the general election, even if it is just to express a vote against Trump. Once in office, perhaps Bernie’s supporters will then realize they has been misled. Because in the end it all comes down to this: you know a person by their deeds & acts, not words, talking points & bumper sticker slogans. Therein lies hope for our future tomorrows.

    1. I also was very close-minded toward her and criticized her a lot for the things Bernie was saying were true about him. I regret that a lot today. She is not the way people make her out to be.

      1. but it’s really sort of better, you know more about how opinions are formed, and how they can be changed. For you it was the combination of experience and facts, but you were already open-minded, it is actually hard to notice you’ve been suckered when you’ve paid to suck, it’s social science, the more expensive the ‘purchase,’ the more its ‘value’ is defended. (And its corollary, the less its worth, the more it’s fought over.)

        In general women don’t support her until we’ve been in the workplace longer, differences aren’t so great among the newly hired, and then we fault ourselves for falling behind, we deny sexism as long as we can, some deny it forever, it takes time to realize it isn’t us in particular, it’s how it is. And then to have the ‘ah ha.’ In ’08 we were accused of having sympathy for her; it was empathy. Carly may have noticed when she fell off the stage and Ted didn’t notice. We’re invisible, unless we’re wrong.

        You say it so clearly, you remind me of HIllary, she doesn’t take it personally either, she just keeps on doing the job. Hillary isn’t allowed to get angry, and when she calls Bernie out on his BS, she’s seen as castrating, and as shouting. Meanwhile he can hiss and twitch and interrupt and ‘correct’ her, and shout and go red-faced and pointy-call-for-the-wait-staff, he’s still seen as a kindly old fellow who only wants to help, and she makes him smear her, lest we be taken in by her witchy competence and not being Bernie.

      2. I always admired her ability to debate so well without making an immature nasty face. It’s very hard to do. I had to learn to be that way as an attorney. Carly didn’t possess that quality, which is why Trump made the comment “that face!” Women can’t make faces bc we’re viewed as bitchy. Men can and are viewed as tough.

    2. While I still like Obama, I too regret my attitudes towards Clinton in ’08. I have really had my eyes opened during this campaign about my own sexism and the rampant sexism in our media and society that makes it so easy to dismiss and mistrust someone as accomplished and talented as Clinton. And I’ve been a lifelong feminist!

      I also have to say that Obama, while less experienced than Clinton (like Sanders) was very different from Sanders. His message was truly one of hope and inclusiveness, not anger and division. He was respectful of others, while Sanders is not. While these might seem like small things, in the big picture, they are vital traits in a political leader.

  81. Thank you for sharing your story. I admire you for being so open. I’m also disabled. I have trouble writing and I’m very slow at typing. Every time Bernie blames “income inequality” for every problem in the country, I cringe.

    People who don’t experience pain on a continual basis cannot imagine what we go through.

    I don’t wish chronic pain on anyone, but sometimes I wish certain people could experience what I go through just for 1 day so they could understand and be a little more empathetic.

    Good Luck to you! You are an inspiration to me!

  82. Excuse my ignorance here– but it doesn’t appear to me that Bernie is suggesting that opioid pain medication is always unwarranted, or that anyone using them for pain is automatically considered an addict. No doubt there are some people on opioid medications that are in fact addicted, and there is an enormous potential for abuse that is itself a problem that many are looking to address, some by trying to find ways to reduce proliferation of them. The National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs are conducting a 5 year study on alternatives to opioids, and this FDA document lists things like mindfulness, transcendental meditation and exercise regimes as possible alternatives: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/NewsEvents/UCM307837.pdf

    So it’s not like “yoga and meditation” is snake oil and I don’t see here that Bernie is suggesting that should be the cure-all in any case, at least not in the quote you provided.

    I’ve read over that Bernie quote you’ve posted and seen the apparent gasps of horror in some of the responses as if he’s some kind of axe murderer or something, but I just don’t see it– what, exactly, is the problem with his statement?

    Bernie has been active in particular with issues in the disabled veterans community, you may have already seen this site: http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-people-with-disabilities/

    Also, this post from January attempts to explore what the various candidates have been or not been doing regarding people with disabilities, and according to it, at the time of the writing, Bernie was the only one who had actually completed the PwDsVoteCampaign2016 Scorecard, though since then, PwDs has apparently awarded both Clinton and Sanders perfect scores.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/128546/2016-candidates-need-stop-ignoring-disability-vote

    I’m by no means an expert on the subject of disabilities, but I do think while there are times military actions in the middle east are justified, such as in Afghanistan, we have been far to quick to use that blunt tool and have made things far worse over there in my opinion, and many of those actions resulted in more instability in the region, and more disabled veterans, something that I think it is perfectly appropriate to be concerned about. In my book, you can’t be concerned about the disabled without also seriously questioning a significant source of them: military action. And especially, when many of us believe much of what we have been doing in that regard have turned out to be significantly counter productive both in terms of people with disabilities, and in terms of foreign policy. And while it may be that Bernie has joined in a few votes with Hillary in that area, if one were to compile a scorecard of who voted for military actions that turned out to be ill-advised, I’d still have to give Bernie significantly better marks.

    Could Bernie and his organization do better with regards to people with disabilities? No doubt, I’m sure that’s true of every candidate, and no doubt every voter as well, and is probably also true on virtually any subject of concern in politics anyone might have. But I think Bernie’s concern for avoiding the creation of new people with disabilities via military actions is not misplaced.

    I also think that this paragraph of yours in particular:

    “His speeches never change for a reason. It isn’t because, as his supporters allege, he’s authentic and always on the right side of things. It’s because he doesn’t care to adapt, to research issues other than income inequality and the environment, follow up on his lofty ideas with solid policy initiatives or to make any compromises to achieve his goals. Rather, he just plays the blame game, pointing out everything that’s wrong with this country and proposing no specific plans to achieve his goals. He prides himself on being so honest and trustworthy while lying to the electorate about his concern for our well being and Hillary’s lack thereof. In reality, I see now that he doesn’t care about anyone’s well being but his own ability to rise to power.”

    Is a gross misrepresentation of Bernie, and attributes hidden motivations to him that are conjecture and not in evidence, and in fact, suggests to me you haven’t really taken that close of a look at either Bernie the politician and his historical record, or Bernie the individual, and how he has expressed his values.

    1. His opioid response is one that they are using now as his official policy. When I told them that this is insulting to people with severe chronic pain, they made zero effort to respond much less amend it to reflect what his constituents’ needs.

      He was not the only one to submit it. Hrc did soon after. Bernies was two pages with broad ideas. Hers was like 16 pages of detailed experience and proposed policy.

      Many minority advocates are reaching out to his campaign and are not getting concrete responses or attempts to establish a relationship. This is why organizations like the HRA and PP aren’t endorsing him and why the superdelegate in the Virgin Islands switched from Bernie to Hillary. He liked his ideas but he’s failed to follow through with any real plans. He’s had a year and hundreds of millions of dollars to do so, but has chosen not to. Now that I’m hearing from so many activists out there who have gotten the same lackluster response I realize that he’s all talk. If he cared about these marginalized groups he would try to represent them in word AND action.

      1. You don’t see it because you aren’t a chronic pain sufferers. Can yoga and meditation help for some people? Sure but not enough and in many cases as in mine not at all. It’s insulting because it’s from a politician with zero medical experience who does not suffer pain, and he tells those suffering the way we are to consider yoga and guided meditation instead. I’ve tried every form of non-opioid option from yoga and meditation to two brain surgeries. Pain sufferers don’t take opioids as a first option. It is always our last option.

      2. When I started looking at Bernie’s positions on disability things by examining his record and what his website said he wanted to do, it was eye opening. For both women’s issues and disability issues, his major platforms appeared to be supporting UN conventions on rights for both groups. This is provided absent all context for what meaningful change for both groups and absent the fact that Hillary had worked hard in position in the Senate and as Secretary of State to push through such messages. This wasn’t just voting for it but acting as a lobbyist inside the political structure to get others to change their position. It never gets mentioned that his major policy positions for actions are things Hillary pushed for. I’m completely unclear how he’ll get them passed when Obama and Clinton were not successful. What makes him special?

    2. I have been listening to and following Bernie Sanders for 10+ years his rhetoric never changes. He talks about the same things I care about and he uses his position as a Senator to speak about income inequality, the need for single payer healthcare and corporately financed elections. He has actually done very little as an elected official to advance his causes. He’s been a politician for 40+ years, compare his record to the Ultra-Liberal Ted Kennedy, it pales. His plan to “galvanize” the public to actually do something about those problems falls short. We all thought Obama had “galvanized” the public as well, then we watched in horror as congress fell apart. Can Secretary Clinton bring congress together? I hope so, but I know she has a much better shot at it than Trump or Sanders. You must work from within, get involved in the local political party of your choice and make a difference from the ground up. It’s hard work, but that’s a great way to advance change.

  83. I have legitimate concerns that Clinton’s campaign rhetoric will have little bearing on her actual policies. It is impossible for me to overlook the Clintons receiving vast amounts of money from entities that they are supposedly regulating. Look no further than her current stance on marijuana legalization, even medical marijuana: this stance falls in line with her big pharma donors. I doubt very much that her policy once in office will be as warm as your current experience, and her immensely hawkish foreign policy will no doubt create many more Americans with severe disabilities suffered in combat. I have absolutely no reason to take her rhetoric as anything other than empty promises. As Elizabeth Warren pointed out, she is apt to change her tune when push comes to shove. I think you’ve been euchred. Not that this will matter, because she has little chance of winning a general election facing a demagogue like Trump who knows no boundaries whatsoever.

    1. Her history fighting for PwDs is clear here: http://therespectabilityreport.org/2016/01/30/hillary-clinton-completes-pwdsvote-2016-campaign-scorecard/

      And if you’re going to blame her for war, you should blame Bernie too. He’s voted in support of the Afghanistan war, the war on terror, the Bosnian invasion and regime change of saddam hussein. If you won’t support Hillary bc she takes money from special interests then you shouldn’t vote for him either because up until last year he got super pac money too and is now supported by super pacs. Do you think any of that money swayed him in the past? If so, he’s a hypocrite. If not, then it’s possible to take big money and it not sway your policy.

      1. HRC has been personally enriched to true tune of hundreds of millions of dollars and has repeatedly been caught lying to the public. Her hawkishness is not about senate votes, it’s about policy pursued during her tenure as Secretary. I’ve done a lot of research about her views during that time. They are chilling.

      2. So exaggerating when there was sniper fire and a decision her husband made is worse than totally leading people to believe you care about them and their issues and in reality ignoring them and not making one specific realistic policy to follow through on this claim?

      3. That was a lie, not an exaggeration. She was lying to make it seem that she understood what combat was like. She stuck to it until it was vividly disproven.

      4. there are no examples of repeated lies, it’s just a smear not invented by Sanders but used by him, a way of capitalizing on the prejudices that run under the radar and that pervade everywhere too. Male privilege is still special. Trump supporters can’t delineate what is is they like about him, and Clinton detractors can’t defend their smears, in both cases they just ‘know.’ Wussy Bernie didn’t say it to Hilary’s face, when she called him out during a debate, and asked for an example of some vote she’d sold to wall street, because there are none he can only charge her behind her back, and let ‘corporate whore’ win him donations. He’s a disgusting human being, he’s harming all women with his nasty allegations. When she pointed out there was factual proof of the opposite, those financial interests have paid millions on attacks ads against her and none against Bernie, and the Koch’s put millions into pro-bernie ads, they prefer Bernie to Hillary by far, he had nothing to say. I’ve pushed many of his angry supporters, the one example is her mistake about being shot at in Bosnia, the shots were there but not at her plane, the plane took evasive action and she and Chelsea were taken to the cockpit for added protection and they wore flack jackets, but they took them off before debarking. That’s the only example, and when she was corrected she apologized, immediately. The Hillary haters say that’s ‘stealing valor,’ that’s how far they have to dig and how crazy their accusations.

        her ‘crime’ is running for a job that by right should go to a man, and for being smarter and more prepared and all round better and not deferential to Bernie. She won’t pretend he’s moved her left, she knows his plans are nothing but hot air and fake promises. Obama calls her ‘wicked smart.’ That kind of talk gets guys like bernie’s goat, she’s not the first woman Bernie has run against by running her down.

        She’s not just female, she cares about what we care about, and it’s women who are for the most part the caregivers, disability rights are high up on our priority list.

      5. to J hardy, you hit on the one ‘lie’ that has some substance, just not enough to make it a lie. Her plane was not fired on, the pilot took evasive action, and she and teenage Chelsea were taken to the cockpit for precaution where they wore flack jackets. But they took them off before debarking. Long afterwards she her fear trumped the facts and she remembered them still wearing the jackets when they got off the plane, and she remembered having been under fire. Exactly as soon as she was corrected she apologized. Since it was filmed, she’d have no good reason to deliberately lie, she was embarrassed. And that is the only ‘lie’ that anyone can cite. And worse, they claim she stole valor, a disgusting charge against a woman who has travelled to many hot spots, visited our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and faced her detractors, she’s never ‘sniped’ behind backs, like that coward Bernie, who by the by filed for CO status and yet voted for wars.

    2. Jeff Weaver was a lobbyist for Monsanto, does that mean Sanders is secretly supporting genetically modified crops? probably not. Politics makes for strange bedfellows. What are you doing to advance the causes Sanders has brought to your attention? Pull up your big boy pants and get involved in real life, make a difference, join the local Democratic party or whatever party you prefer and do something to constructive.

    3. I agree. Marijuana is nearly a wonder drug for many (I can’t use it, so I am not just a user who wants easy access, not that there’s anything wrong with that).

      And it’s natural. Why is everyone so afraid of it? Because it will reduce big pharma’s profits.

  84. “And I quickly became part of the Bernie or Bust movement”
    – Means you went quickly to the extreme side, Bernie’s supporters are not all for Bust movement.

    He harped daily on how the Donald Trumps of the world try to divide us up based on our minority status but never even included disability as one of those dividing factors.
    – That’s exactly what establishment is doing, to keep your “minority” issues divided or even opposed to other minority matters. Sanders is telling you that your fight is unique and you suffer the same big problems as other minorities or communities; veterans, workers, black, Latinos, immigrants. Even if your needs are different and specific, don’t be divided and fight for what unite you not what divide you: “like healthcare, income inequality, social security”

    As well as to communicate grave concerns the community was having with some on his policies.
    -Any examples or details of those grave policies?

    Finally, his political director, Billy Gendell, a non-disabled white male, responded by scheduling a phone call with me.
    -Lot of details here! Maybe this is one of the grave policies? He has a non-disabled white male political director! Shame on him 😦

    But he asked that the answers remain “off-the-record” so that I could not share them with the community that was asking them.
    – Of course he’s a political director, and he may think as I modestly do that you are preparing something bigger and planned or working for opponent campaign, especially if you are claiming representing a community! Many PWD communities are supporting Sanders, they are known and transparent and campaign managers have their research teams and knows with whom they communicate.
    https://www.facebook.com/PWD4Bernie/

    The only policy answer that wasn’t “off the record” was Bernie’s official statement on the opioid issue, sent to me via email. It said that chronic pain sufferers should seek yoga or guided meditation to ease our suffering.
    -The most stupid campaign worker will send you this link with all policies Bernie’s campaign have for PWD, the yoga story is to make people angry about Sanders but it needs a high degree of stupidity to believe it, it’s insulting to American people.
    https://berniesanders.com/issues/fighting-for-disability-rights

    So, begrudgingly, I told a Hillary supporter with a disability that I was now considering supporting Hillary. He immediately introduced me via email to a blind Clinton staffer.
    -This is to make us remember that Sanders has a non-disabled white male political director (shame on him) means also that Hilary’s campaign have blind staffer with all technical tools to use Emails, it’s a complete inclusive campaign and therefore the need of yuuge wall st. money (maybe, maybe).

    She explained in detail how Hillary planned to initiate change for us with sophisticated, legal political strategy.
    – No need for details here? The most important thing for you is the campaign not the policies, In your article there is no single comparison between Sanders and Hillary policies about PWD

    And, then she asked me to come on board and help the campaign best meet the needs of the disability community through, inter alia, writing for the campaign after they were able to officially vet my credentials. I soon realized that the Clinton campaign didn’t just care about the disability community; they hired us and treated us like the intelligent people we are.
    -They hired us, come on board, writing for the campaign … congratulations! What about the policies? You became part of the establishment, that’s how it works.

    My conversation with the Clinton campaign regained my hopefulness but also made me incensed that Bernie is maliciously lying to democrats about Clinton’s uncaring regard for the 99%, while destroying the party from within.
    -Now the big plan is revealed, those are the words of Hillary campaign; laying, destroying …, it’s related to “They hired us, come on board, writing for the campaign” but it’s not about PWD unfortunately.

    If he cared about his supporters’ interests, his campaign would respond to these communities, listen to their issues and modify his platform accordingly.
    -If democratic establishment care about its supporters it would respond to these communities, and millions who voted for Bernie, listen to their issues and modify his platform accordingly. And that’s what Bernie is exactly trying to do!

    In reality, I see now that he doesn’t care about anyone’s well being but his own ability to rise to power.
    -Especially if he did not hire you to write for his campaign (shame on him)

    Super delegates are in place to prevent dangerous politicians, like Trump, from achieving power when they don’t have the capabilities to effectively use that power and, thus, make things much worse in the end.
    -Dangerous politicians, like trump! forget about PWD and see the advantage of Superdelegates, writing for the campaign?

    Coming to terms with these realizations was very difficult for me. I literally grieved and cried when I discovered that I had been so maliciously misled by someone I believed to possess such a high moral compass.
    -Maliciously 🙂 They hired us, come on board writing for the campaign, forget about PWD.

    We cannot afford Trump or Bernie in the White House. They will only be given enough power to destroy what fragment of the American Dream we have left.
    -Who took the big part of the American dream and left you with a fragment? If you are able and courageous enough to answer this question as Bernie did, you can make the right choice.

    (For those who seem hell-bent on believing that my having lived in Israel somehow makes me biased: Bernie also lived there)
    -You are not biased because you lived in Israel of course, but you are biased because you recognized that you are writing for a campaign not for PWD.

    1. If you’ll read her response to respectability’s questionnaire, it’s much more comprehensive in terms of proposed policy and how realistic it is and shows her breadth of experience advocating for us.

      Things I brought to his attention to include us in or concerns from the community:

      1) 50% of death by cops are on disabled
      2) gun violence in not related to me talk illness, PwDs are usually victims not perps
      3) PwDs are more likely to be wrongfully convicted and put to death
      4) mass incarceration happens to PwDs too with a school to prison pipeline
      5) opioid issue – chronic pain pov
      6) it’s legal to pay PwDs below minimum wage bc were disabled (he mentioned this a couple times but never regularly
      7) most PwDs can work but are unemployed and suffer from income inequality more than anyone
      8) he compared the mentally ill to trump and Cruz which is an insult to the mentally ill – they are just assholes
      9) only mentioning disabled vets when talking about Ssi which he occasionally changes now
      10) talking about how the country’s value is how it treats the vulnerable but then defines the vulnerable as children and elderly
      11) listing all protected classes except disability except his speech at Liberty, which they used for several ads bc he forgets us time and again
      12) not including long-term care coverage in his single-payer healthcare
      13) marriage inequality for PwDs bc we can’t get married or we’ll lose our benefits
      14) student loan forgiveness for PwDs who can no longer work being counted as taxable income
      15) talking about us regarding healthcare namely that we can’t get long-term care unless we get medicaid
      17) not using people with visible disabilities in ads or literature
      18) not ever mentioning disability in his debate speeches
      19) not mentioning us in acceptance speeches
      20) not talking about how little PCAs are paid as per medicaid guidelines
      21) not having a mental illness plan that would provide community based voluntary clinics
      22) not having a comprehensive autism plan

      They knew about ALL of these issues and our concerns and just ignored them all.

      1. 23 – With all m’y respect to you are really abusing. a candidate for presidency of US should not have all those details in his campaign. you are triying to push him deep in details and acxusing him For not doing well in all of them, even if he have all of them in his PWD policies if not in other related policies (ex. Cops violence)

        She can’t be good president just because she have prepared answers and responded to questionnaires in details, and having the dedicated staff, the money and hiring experts to make all the details don’t prove her breadth to your issue, a campaign is a campaign, smart people looks at what the candidates will be able to change once elected.

        She can have a full detailed campaign and promising to change every single detail, but once elected you will need to wait for the “no we can’t because we need” and the change will be at slow motio, because there is a thousands of promises in details for hundreds of groups, and instead of solving the source of the problem you will be spending years fighting to fix each of its 22 results, plus the new ones you will get.

        Sanders went to the real general issues that affects everyone, solving them will solve the rest in the pyramid of disfumctions.

      2. Name, other Bernie Sanders supporters have already established that Hillary Clinton panders to specific parts of the electorate. These groups include women, people with disabilities and the LGBT community. The extent of her pandering is such that she has a long track record of delivering on her promises to these communities and working for these communities to try to bring about change that improves their lives.

        Now, given Clinton’s long track record of pandering and delivering compared to Bernie Sanders’s track record of not pandering and then completely failing to deliver, why should one suppose that as president, both candidates would do a complete about face in their behavior? This is an honest question. I’m on the fence about who I might vote for in the general, with a choice between the Democrats and the Greens. The Green Party candidate Jill Stein offers a slightly more comprehensive plan than Sanders, and comes from a medical background including experience with workman’s comp. If Sanders is on the top of ticket, what evidence do you have that he’ll pander to the female electorate and disability electorate and LGBT electorate by fighting for our human rights? I’d like to know from his legislative history and time as mayor.

      3. Bernie has done nothing. Also, nothing. I can’t think of anything. I nominally follow US legislation because of the connection to American disability sport, and his name has never come up anywhere near the American Paralympic or Deaflympic community. Clinton on the other hand has. His home town? Nothing important that I can recall to indicate the city is a leader in disability sports. His name never ever comes up.

        There are a lot of US veterans in the American disability sports community. I’ve seen the occasional Hillary support from them, but nothing for Bernie. I can’t think of a single thing Bernie has done for Veterans. Most Veterans I know are opposed to him for the clusterfuck he sat on top of in the Senate, where he was viewed as a major competent.

        As a member of the LGBT community, I can tell you that Hillary might have changed her mind, but she did damned well change it. She then pushed for our rights. She became a leader at times in this area, speaking about LGBT rights in the United States and abroad. Bernie? He did nothing LGBT wise that I have ever seen anyone cite. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I can’t recall him being an important voice for my rights, let alone a voice for my rights.

        Hillary has a track record of doing things for women, for people with disabilities, for the LGBT community and even for veterans. I have zero reason to believe that in becoming President she will suddenly turn from some one who fights for people’s rights into some one who doesn’t give a flying fig newton for people’s right. Similarly, I can see that Bernie has no record on these issues. He’s had a number of years to establish a record as some one fighting for rights for veterans, for women, for people with disabilities, and for the LGBT community. I see zero evidence that in becoming President, he’d suddenly do an about face and care about these rights and pushing for them.

        I’d vote Jill Stein ahead of Bernie because Bernie’s ignoring of these groups is bad all around on the economic front. One of the most important things I’ve read on that was variants of this http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/economic-empowerment/facts-and-figures : “When more women work, economies grow. An increase in female labour force participation—or a reduction in the gap between women’s and men’s labour force participation—results in faster economic growth .” http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jan/23/women-inequality-income-pay-actionaid-study-economy has a title that summarizes this: “Economic inequality for women costs $9tn globally, study finds”.

        I don’t buy the economic BS absent all the other factors. And I haven’t seen a headline saying, “Sanders announces policy push for female economic empowerment as motor for US economy”. I can’t see him suddenly doing that in office. I don’t think anyone can.

  85. “Meanwhile, I became more frustrated because Hillary Clinton was including us in every speech, ad campaign, debate performance and even intersectionality graphics of disabled people of color in her literature. She issued press releases supporting the Disability Integration Act, which requires Obamacare plans to cover long-term care for people with disabilities, and talked about sub-minimum wage, a construct by which employers can legally pay the disabled less than minimum wage”

    It seems to me that at least some supporters of Sanders don’t realize Clinton’s dedication to many of the issues they are fighting for; and that she has concrete plans to achieve them. It’s like the quote above – where you saw Clinton supporting and speaking out for people with disabilities, but you still were supporting Sanders at the time.

    I don’t know how Clinton can get her message out any clearer or how to get people to understand that she isn’t the horrible person Republicans make her out to be. Sigh.

    Thank you for this writeup; it was very interesting. I think Sanders is just so focused on income inequality that it keeps him from realizing all the other issues that need to be tackled that won’t be fixed by addressing income inequality. I think Clinton understands there are many things that need to be worked on. I appreciate Sanders bringing attention to some issues that might have otherwise been overlooked; but I’m voting for Clinton in the June primary.

  86. I said from day one that Bernie had no real plan to implement anything he was saying, He rants on and on, like mentioned here, about income inequality. The way he does it though alienates too many possible middle of the road voters. He has a 60’s radical vibe that most people grew out of and became more pragmatic in how to work the issues. He is far from being capable to lead this country as Trump is. He really does the same type of thing as Trump does. Riles up his base with no real plan of what he will do.

  87. I just get a bit confused about this post – is it implying, that a Bernie Sanders administration will do nil to better the lives of disabled people? That would surprise me enormously. Because he says that too many people are being treated with some fairly unpleasant medicine, which might have better alternatives available, is not him saying that people should not get the painkillers, they obviously need. His fight is another: to stop the pharmaceutical industries form shoving unnecessary medicine down our throats for prices, which are extensively more steep than in any other country on earth, because it is possible to do that kind of exploitation, often furthered by directly sponsoring family doctors. – What have the exact same problem here in Europe. And while Hillary Clinton is mostly likely to do nothing about it – I am sure, she is indeed very happy to have supporters, who crave for her to hand them trademark medicine – the rest of the world is getting tired of it, and we are sort of dependent, that the sane American voter will help us all out of the corporate grip, so that we can indeed take more care of people and less of fortunes earned by the minority.
    I have no faith in Hillary Clinton, whose husband was the force behind the anarchism in the financial markets today, the filling up of prisons with people convicted for life because of minor offences, and much more. But I remember that he did lower the unemployment queue to 6%.
    I am sorry to be so harsh, I do think that it is very sad that you must suffer, but the only real solution is the one, which works in the rest of the civilised world: universal healthcare, paid by taxes. It is also very much cheaper.

    1. Which is why I supported him so adamantly. I also lived in a country with socialized medicine and found it to be generally great, some issues of course, but generally better than privatized health insurance. BUT I have since realized that Bernie is just saying what we want to hear and not following through. His single payer “plan” was tens of TRILLIONS of dollars short to work and determined the tax rate based on an expectation of a 5% growth of the economy, which hasn’t happened in 60 years. That coupled with the campaign’s disinterest in establishing relationships with minority groups and their leaders and not following through on his big ideas with firm specific realistic plans made me (and many others who’ve made contact with the campaign) realize he’s all talk. His platform is great, unless it isn’t, in which case he’s apathetic to adapt it to work for everyone.

      1. I think you need not worry about financing, since a raise in taxes will be much less than the average payment for health insurance. It is easy to prove: your system cost several times more per citizen than what a single tax system does.

      2. It’s not my concern that if have to pay more in taxes it’s that his plan shows his incompetence and the fact he tells supporters “your taxes will go up 3.1%” when that’s not true. All of his proposals cannot be backed up with thorough research and achievable policy.

      3. That’s why I supported him but his plan to initiate this is flawed to say the least. His plan falls tens of trillions of dollars short to meet the costs and it presumes a rate of economic growth of 5% which is WAY unrealistic. We haven’t had anything near that in over sixty years. I think the only way for it to work here is to tax much higher and to form coalitions to get it through the senate. However sanders in the last year hasn’t even tried to establish long lasting relationships with members of his community much less coalitions that include republicans.

      4. But you do know, that he is backed by many of the leading economists, I presume?

      5. Steven, are you saying leading economists back single payer or they back bernie? He has economists backing him but they’re not leading, he and Ron Paul share economists. They would both like them to be leading, many think they’re fringe. I think they’re weird, but sort of interesting. Krugman thinks they’re cranks. (I think Bernie’s a crank.)

        It’s possible to back single payer but not back Bernie’s single payer plan.

        Bernie is now saying Medicare for all, and by that he means Sweden, under Bernie insurance companies would be nationalized and then the only insurance would be Medicare, which does not cover everything, and what they cover comes with out of pocket expenses, it ain’t free. Taxes would pay the Medicare premiums along with a ‘contribution’ from state budgets. The insurance companies would have to be compensated, of course, and that’s estimated to be 2% of the GNP or more (by Enrique Diaz-Averez, a bernie supporter and one of his over-the-legal-limit donors, not exactly confidence building) and then the government would employ the health care professionals and choose which drugs they’d provide, that’s his cost savings, it would be single employer too, like it or lump it.

        We’d all pay for it through our federal taxes and the states would have to make up the difference in premium costs and individuals would have to pay for what wasn’t covered.

        I would like him to discuss it, it’s interesting, but he won’t.

        in contrast Hillary’s plan makes people who earn enough pay their own insurance premiums, if they don’t have employer insurance. With Hillary only those who need help get assistance. Rather than buying insurance companies out, Hillary wants to compete with them, through the public option, Medicare for any (not medicare for all). We tried to get that when ACA passed, Pelosi said there weren’t the votes, but we’re getting there, ACA is the slippery slope, that’s true and it’s also income redistribution, that’s also true, these are not just Republican accusations, it’s why they want to repeal it.

        I had thought the next step would be offering the public option in states that have little competition and so higher exchange costs, but she picked lowering the age, allowing under 55’s to chose Medicare as one of the exchange options.

        To start with, ACA has dramatically slowed the rise of costs, because companies now have a cap on their profits. And made sure there is preventative medicine that has no co-pay as well as birth control with no co-pay. And removed the lifetime cap and the pre-existing conditions loophole that left so many disabled people without health insurance, and thus the need to qualify for medicaid by first going broke. ACA’s great.

        But it needs fixing, to make it easier, and cheaper; the RX costs need to be capped, the yearly needs to be capped lower. More need to qualify for assistance.

        I’d love them to have discussed this, but ‘bernie-sound-bite’ won’t say out loud his plan involves nationalization.

  88. I found your story to be a powerful testimony, and reposted a link on my Facebook page.
    One of my friends, a respectful but committed Sanders supporter, posted this link to Bernie’s RespectAbility questionnaire responses. [I’ve just spotted your link to Hillary’s in the comments above, and am on my way to read that now.]
    I am not a disability activist, thus not nearly as intimately familiar with current fronts in the ongoing struggles for reasonable accommodation, but to my untutored eye his replies seem acceptable. Can you comment, and educate me?
    Thank you.
    http://therespectabilityreport.org/2016/01/25/sanders-campaign-first-to-fill-out-pwdsvote-2016-campaign-scorecard/

    1. Sure! My pleasure. If you’ll read her response, it’s much more comprehensive in terms of proposed policy and how realistic it is and shows her breadth of experience advocating for us.

      Things I brought to his attention to include us in:
      1) 50% of death by cops are on disabled
      2) gun violence in not related to me talk illness, PwDs are usually victims not perps
      3) PwDs are more likely to be wrongfully convicted and put to death
      4) mass incarceration happens to PwDs too with a school to prison pipeline
      5) opioid issue – chronic pain pov
      6) it’s legal to pay PwDs below minimum wage bc were disabled (he mentioned this a couple times but never regularly
      7) most PwDs can work but are unemployed and suffer from income inequality more than anyone
      8) he compared the mentally ill to trump and Cruz which is an insult to the mentally ill – they are just assholes
      9) only mentioning disabled vets when talking about Ssi which he occasionally changes now
      10) talking about how the country’s value is how it treats the vulnerable but then defines the vulnerable as children and elderly
      11) listing all protected classes except disability except his speech at Liberty, which they used for several ads bc he forgets us time and again
      12) not including long-term care coverage in his single-payer healthcare
      13) marriage inequality for PwDs bc we can’t get married or we’ll lose our benefits
      14) student loan forgiveness for PwDs who can no longer work being counted as taxable income
      15) talking about us regarding healthcare namely that we can’t get long-term care unless we get medicaid
      17) not using people with visible disabilities in ads or literature
      18) not ever mentioning disability in his debate speeches
      19) not mentioning us in acceptance speeches
      20) not talking about how little PCAs are paid as per medicaid guidelines
      21) not having a mental illness plan that would provide community based voluntary clinics
      22) not having a comprehensive autism plan

      They knew about ALL of these issues and our concerns and just ignored them all.

  89. Thank you for this well thought out article and for your articulate responses to comments. The points that you make are relevant to all of us, not just the disabled. Sanders’ focus on rhetoric and anger are not the skills we need in the White House. I am a supporter of Clinton’s and am continually impressed with her professionalism and am optimistic that she will continue the positive changes that Obama has begun. Like all politicians, we the people will have to be aware of her work and pressure her to serve our interests, but she has a long progressive track record and I look forward to her continuing it as the first female President of the United States.

  90. Thank you for your thoughtful article….I have a daughter who is 28 and has had CFS and Fibromyalgia since she was 15. At times she spent months in bed…been to recognized pain clinics at medical schools (Oregon Health Sciences University)…she has found the combination of traditional medicine along with alternative therapies such as acupuncture to give her the most benefit. She has been on Percocet for about half of her life..now is using the non THC medical marijuana and finding she can reduce her use of percocet…Because of her journey she has decided to study Acupuncture and share her experiences, gifts, talents and compassion as an acupuncturist. My career…I worked in the school system with students with disabilities. Add to that I have a step grandson with pretty profound autism.. OK…all that said…I was a Hillary supporter before, and I appreciate seeing the community of people recognizing that Hillary isn’t just giving lip service for votes. I was always frustrated by Bernie in that he had huge ideas but no plan on how to implement. I think that if he wins, 4 years of undelivered promises (his ideas will be a hard sell to legislature especially when he wants to bully his way through)..that our country will be prime picking for a Republican candidate… What I would really like seeing Hillary address is inclusion of people with Autism…support for families with children on the autistic spectrum, and long term plans for building a compassionate support system for individuals disabled by autism especially as they reach adulthood. I would also like to see her health care system support alternative therapies such as acupuncture. Another reason I am a Hillary supporter is her stand on gun laws. I am a member of “Mom’s demand Action”….and Hillary has addressed gun control in a way that aligns with my values…Again, thank you for giving voice to people with disabilities in this election process….

    1. But the rest of the world can only shake their head in disbelief: finally, a candidate who wants to bring USA on the same page as the rest of the civilised world, but no, you want to go on with the same kind of oligarchy, the same kind of corruption, and the same kind of basic unfairness towards fellow citizens.
      It is really hard to understand, what stops you.

      1. I would love it if much of his platform could come to the states, but he’s not the one to do it. And there is no corruption. Bernie couldn’t name one single legislative decision she made that was swayed by big money interest for a reason. And until last year he took big money from lobbyists too. So by his own definition he’s corrupt. He’s just pissed that no one would pay him $250k a speech like they do for Hillary.

      2. actually the rest of the world is moving away from fully nationalized medicine, and bringing back the private option. Bernie’s plan is retro, I posted above a clear description.

      3. Obamacare has been a godsend. My daughter can no longer be denied because of a pre-existing condition. We lived in Canada while she was in high school and sick…I love the idea of health care for all, but it is not a perfect system. You can’t get a primary care provider so you end up getting your care at urgency care clinics, so for chronic conditions where you need comprehensive care…getting in to see a specialist doesn’t happen and certainly not in any timely manner. Oncologist are in very short supply there and getting treatment for cancer is really hard to come by. That said, Sanders plan is to start over, let go of the progress we have made and start from scratch. Hillary understands that this is a building process. I fear that Bernie won’t be able to get us back to where we are now let alone hit the home run he is talking about. Hilliary will take what works and make it better…I believe in my heart in universal health care….but it has to be attained in a way that we don’t support people with chronic conditions.

  91. Wow. Are you one of those people who rarely sleeps? This blog and the community responses has been validating of what I felt HRC ‘s strengths to be. I’m reposting in hopes that the few Bernie supporters who might catch my fb posts take your experience and facts into consideration. This might be the best serious thing I’ve ever seen the Internet used for. Thank you for your intelligence and diligence as an American patriot.

    1. I don’t sleep due to pain quite often. But this blog has gone so viral that I had to turn my mobile device to silent bc my phone has been blowing up! Never even thought it would go this viral but so pleased it has. As much as it was heart breaking to realize he’s not what he seems it ultimately gave me so much hope to know that Hillary is not what we were all meant to believe. It was very depressing when I thought the only candidate that cared about the little guys like me was being robbed of the nomination.

  92. This almost made me cry – with relief and recognition. I kept seeing these exact same things with respect to sexism – reducing all of women’s issues to income inequality while completely IGNORING the fact that most women make far less than men do, that is, that income inequality and poverty are highly gendered. And that we also have to navigate rape and harassment and battery, extra child care and elder care responsibilities (again, gendered), all while he and his people call female voters “stupid,” “vagina voters” and say that “Hillary is a whore.” And sooooo much more. It is a relief to see people coming to the same conclusions from a different perspective and focus (while I also deeply appreciate this focus since I am disabled). Thank you.

    1. That calling Hillary a whore, bitch, cunt etc was a huge turn off to me, and it all came from uneducated men who couldn’t dream of accomplishing half of what she has.

  93. FOR EVERY PERSON THE US Military KILLS IN WAR WE LEAVE 10 PEOPLE WOUNDED. You know, disabled. Stop being a whiney act and realize you don’t have to be specifically addressed to be included in the group “the people.” Support pathetic, insincere pandering shillary if you want millions of more people to suffer phantom pain or just be collateral damage of the war machine. What fake, unthought out concern. smh

    1. By that very definition Bernie causes disabled people too by voting for the war on terror, the Afghanistan war, the Bosnian invasion and regime change sanctions in Iraq which ultimately lead to war. Double standard. If you had done your research you wouldn’t be the one making unthought out comments.

    2. You know what? I’ll take pandering. If Pander Hillary manages to accomplish what she says she’ll accomplish on LGBT rights, women’s rights, disability rights and human rights, then I will 100% take it. Pander away to me Hillary.

      I don’t know why I should support some one who engages in sexist behavior, does not pander to anyone, has no clear track record of supporting rights for women, LGBT, disability and human rights through successful legislative initiatives.

      It sounds like you’re offering a choice of: Hillary is pandering to you but can deliver to you on areas that you believe in. Bernie is not pandering, and can’t deliver. I mean, if he could deliver, he’d have been at forefont of getting those UN things in his platform done, working with Clinton to accomplish these goals together as opposed to just putting these things Clinton worked for on his platform of things he’d accomplish. I know you’re opposed to the war, but have you read the data about women’s rights and their access to the workforce, and what that means for their national economies? By supporting women’s access to the global workforce and to education globally, you end up with countries that are more economically stable, more socially stable, engage in fewer conflicts and have fewer wars. It’s also a lower cost solution than going to war. Hillary’s public support and making use of her public platform for these global initiatives dating back to when her husband was in office make the world a safer place. They also reduce the need for a war machine. It’s one of the best long term strategies to avoid conflicts. So Bernie’s failure to substantively address women’s issues on a global level beyond including passing a UN resolution that Obama tried and failed to push through Congress is actually problematic as it does not create a situation on the ground to reduce the need for a war machine.

  94. Just have to respond to one of your comments. I otherwise agree wholeheartedly with your analysis of the BS campaign and of the man himself. However, this comment stuck in my craw. You wrote: “The opioid epidemic is a hoax. The CDC has already said it’s very rare for people to use opioids from a dr for non medical issues. Just something to politicize and throw us under the bus for it. So sick of the addicts out there that screw us.”

    I agree that the opioid epidemic is a hoax, so then why did you say; “So sick of the addicts out there that screw us.” If the drug epidemic is a hoax, why would you be angry at drug addicts? Since drug addiction and alcoholism is considered a disease and a disability (with additional factors), this comment seems a bit insensitive to me. IMO, all drugs should be legal. People should be able to make choices of what they put in their bodies. The war on drugs is about greed not about helping anyone. Opiates are designed to change your brain so that if you take them chronically, you will build a tolerance and need to take more so most chronic pain users do become dependent or addicted to opiates. I am one of those people. What is tragic is that doctors can be so misinformed in this regard and don’t prescribe enough to cover the tolerance that in most cases occurs. They immediately stigmatize a person for asks for more as an addict.

    Now in regards to addicts who do take opiates to get high, who’s to say or who can judge them for what they are doing? Are they any less of human beings because they reach for drugs to make themselves feel better? There are studies that show that most addicts reach for drugs to self medicate because of mental illness or depression. Again, the problem here is our countries ideas about drug use, not the persons abusing drugs. We now have legalized pot in some states, this should be true for all drugs. However this is not the case because the war on drugs is a money maker. Putting people in prison is a money maker. We should be imprisoning and keeping the persons who harm others in jail, not drug users.

    Like I said, I agree with you about BS and support HC but your comment seamed somewhat judgemental to me. I understand that there is a misnomer that the drug addicts are screwing it up for people who need these drugs for pain, but if you really look into it, they aren’t. We need to change how we think about drugs. We need to abolish the “war on drugs” system.

    1. What I meant and I obviously didn’t say it very well is that the few who use opioids illegally ruin it for the ones who are in dire pain all because the DEA cares more about the low percentage of those who OD. I also think it should be legalized and more mental health and treatment centers.

      1. there is an opioid epidemic, but there long been a backlash against chronic pain sufferers, which predates this real epidemic.

        I work in addiction and a percentage of opioid addictions start with legal prescriptions, usually for injuries, conditions that can get better and so should be treated with anti-inflamatory agents, which promote healing. Opioids don’t work long-term for many conditions. When opioid treatment has to be until there is something better, the safest one is Morphine, and it’s prescribed the least, don’t ask me why.

        Sadly the addicts are better at faking conditions, they are an appealing group, very sincere and they have memorized the right answers, so they never look uncertain. In fact real chronic pain sufferers don’t follow any book, and are far less certain. Those who ought to be on opioid maintenance (until something better is discovered) have long been under-medicated and insulted, while fakes have little trouble finding someone to prescribe for them, and if they’re cut off have no difficulty finding someone else.

        also, there are careless doctors who prescribe to old people, for ‘old age pains,’ and these go on the ‘market.’ Lots of kids start with pills, but not pills they were prescribed, and then they all go to heroin, because it’s cheaper.

        But it does not mean that everyone must go without treatment because of the risk of dependency. Which is not just Bernie’s answer.

        But it isn’t new, I have noticed, from being an insider, that many doctors have a bias against patients that don’t get better. To my mind a lot of the wrong people are getting into medical school.

        Hillary is well aware of the opioid epidemic and she advocates for doctor training and for doctor monitoring when it looks like they are over-prescribing.

        Which is why it’s important that she’s tapping the likes of you, real you, not people who think they know. She’s evidence based, you’re evidence.

        And you’ll get along with her great, she never gives up either.

  95. I have a spinal cord injury and strongly support Bernie Sanders. I’m sorry you had the experience that you did but I think it’s important to understand that campaigns are very busy. That’s not meant as an excuse, just an observation. I guarantee, after following Bernie’s career for the last 15 years, that Bernie is concerned about people with disabilities. Many of his proposals would significantly help people in our community. I would have to look, but I would think that he would support any Progressive policy that would address our issues such as home care, drug costs, costs of care, and access to quality care. This sounds like more of a communication problem than a policy problem. It is people like me and my fellow Bernie supporters that actually pay for Bernie’s campaign. I say this because Hillary’s campaign is funded mostly by big money interests who are not representative of the vast majority of working people and people with disabilities. I understand your frustrations, but there are many of us in the disability community who strongly support Bernie Sanders and his proposals. I actually believe that he would be a much better advocate for us than Hillary Clinton.

    1. I know there are disabled Bernie supporters, but he doesn’t do much to support us. If he did his campaign would be including us in his speeches with every topic that affects us and he would have written policy guidelines for his plans. The disabled BS supporters he has have been entirely ignored. Not one that I know of has an established relationship with someone on the campaign. It was not a communication problem. I spoke directly to one of his top directors and was interrupted and told to just get to the policy questions I had. When I did ask him about those questions, he said broad general statements like BS supports such and such bill, one that already exists and that didn’t at all answer my question. These are not badly behaving low-level staffers who don’t reflect Bernie. They are his right-hand men. Just because Bernie gets his money from individuals and Hillary gets most from big donors, Bernie has outspent her a couple times and has raised hundreds of millions of dollars. He was never strapped for cash and thus unable to hire proper staffers.

      1. I know that Bernie has raised a lot of money, but my concern about Hillary’s fundraising is at the core of why I support Bernie Sanders. I consider myself to be a Progressive and one of the issues I care deeply about is campaign finance reform. I personally don’t think that we, as citizens, with or without disabilities have had good representation. The reason is because we as individuals don’t give huge sums to keep politicians in office. Big banks, corporations and extremely wealthy people do and it’s not hard to see where the money flows. There are also other issues that myself and many other Bernie Sanders supporters strongly prefer him to Clinton. For one, she (and her husband) have supported corporately written free trade pacts which has devastated our economy. She was for the KXL pipeline before she was against it and also supports the environmentally scarring practice of fracking which I am strongly opposed too. I will just leave those as examples as there are many other issues that I can not support her. Single payer, Medicare for all would fundamentally change our health care system for the better and provide us as disabled citizens new benefits! I understand where you stand, but it should be understood that there are plenty of disabled supporters of Bernie Sanders and they are not in anyway being duped or tricked into supporting anything they don’t fully understand. The fact is that many of us consider ourselves to be Progressive and have many differences with Clinton and what she proposes.

      2. I completely understand why you support him. I supported him for the same reasons. In theory his ideas are great, but he can’t deliver.

        1) campaign finance: he has had three FEC complaints against him for major violations, including the most recent where he has $10 MILLION of donations from last month that he can’t identify from where it comes. This is after being caught for accepting foreign donations and donations that exceed the maximum allowable, most of which has not been reimbursed. He also has a super pac that is campaigning for him. So he’s not as clean as he claims.

        2) environment: I don’t like fracking or the keystone pipeline either. But it has made us far less dependent on foreign oil, which has lowered the cost of gas and helped our economy. We have eliminated coal energy for the most part thank god. And for now, we don’t have a viable alternative. Except nuclear energy, which sanders opposes also, despite the fact that it is now incredibly safe and leaves very little waste. If Bernie had his way, we would have no energy capabilities. No oil. No coal. No nuclear. How on EARTH are we meant to live without energy? Solar and wind are great, but they aren’t enough.

        3) healthcare: first, his tax plan is tens of TRILLIONS of dollars short to fund this initiative and bases it off an expectation of a 5% growth of the economy. That is the most unrealistic expectation ever. We haven’t had a 4% increase in over 60 years. So, he would have to tax much more than he says he would. Second, single payer under his plan would make all healthcare public. So healthcare professionals would be paid peanuts, and less people would go into the profession. It would also create long wait periods and worse healthcare for us. There are better socialized medical plans out there with multiple payers and ways in which doctors can still make money.

        4) disabled people do support him, but he does nothing to include us in his rhetoric. He has a general disability section on his website, but he does nothing to establish relationships with the community. Every single activist who has tried reaching out has been stonewalled. And this isn’t just disabled people. He’s done this with every minority. This is why he isn’t getting the minority vote. Because he ignores them and just tells them it’s all about income inequality.

        5) he’s telling his supporters that he has a path toward victory. He does not. He has lost the pledged delegates and would need to win by around 70% of the remaining pledged delegates to get the nomination. This is impossible, particularly since he’s double digits behind Hillary in NJ and CA. Rather than sucking it up and bowing out, he just gets more angry and leads his supporters on. It’s not okay.

      3. Christopher, are you aware of the devastating effects on the poorest people around the rest of the planet that not having trade agreements would have? You might want to look at how many people have been lifted out of poverty (hardcore devastating poverty, not the kind you think you know about if you live in America) around the world thanks to some of those trade agreements that you claim have “devastated” our economy. As bad as things were here by 08, we have never seen economic devastation like what some of the beneficiaries of those agreements have, not even in the Depression. Isn’t being a global citizen supposed to be one of those cool Bernie camp ideals? NOTHING is all black or all white, nothing is totally good vs. evil, the world is full of shades of gray and nuance that Bernie doesn’t seem capable of seeing. She has supported many things that she thought would turn out the way she wanted them to, and when they turned into something else (as so many of these things do) she decided they weren’t good enough anymore. That indicates strength and guts, not waffling. She has explained her VERY limited support of certain types of fracking with very specific conditions in detail. It isn’t an all or nothing issue, and again, I urge you to look into who benefits from those strictly regulated instances. As for campaign finance reform, surely you are aware that Citizens United was a case against Hillary Clinton herself? I can’t imagine anyone wants it overturned more than she does. I will ask you the same question that Bernie couldn’t come up with an answer to, please show me one single instance where she cast one single vote to please one single donor.

      4. then you should perhaps be concerned that he is violating campaign finance law by accepting foreign donations and over-the-legal limit donations and unlike everyone else he’s has not built a structure that would support his candidacy if he did happen to get the nomination, he is fund-raising on the fake promise he can win, but he’s not spending that way.

      5. A friend of mine tried to donate to him, but got an immediate refund, because of her being from abroad. I have heard an acquaintance tell the same, but since he is Australia, I cannot vouch for him so much as with my friend here.
        Otherwise, I second the just uttered support against the political decisions so detrimental to the American worker, put forward by the Clintons, plus their engagement to Wall St. and Corporate America, free trade pacts etc. etc.
        Part of the hopes held by Sanders supporters here is that he will effectively stop the TTIP tract, which is being negotiated between the US and the EU, which will end democracy as we know it in so many ways.
        Even if we get a tract, it will with Sanders as president end up as a much more progressive and citizen-oriented agreement. But the best hope is still that it will come to nothing.

      6. Gee, shock! http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/bernie-sanders-super-pac-218478 As if we do not all know, that he in fact has the Nurses’ Union Super Pac behind him. And it says it all: when Bernie Sanders has a Super Pac, it comes from the unions, which is really just an extension of the millions of small donations from people, who want to get rid of the system, identified with the Clintons.
        And as for her big lead: if mainly comes from states, in which she will never win in November. or if she indeed wins there: has been clearly unmasked as a Republican Light. Sanders has had his wins in Blue States and Swing States.

      7. great point Robin, he thought the pope was also a nationalist protectionist. we need trade treaties, he’s been against every one. She’s been against the ones that don’t include equal job loss offsets AND investment in new jobs that can’t be outsourced. But the world poor have been lifted up by being able to sell their useless crap here tooi