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Letter: D.C. Republicans have lost their way

D.C. Republicans have lost their way

People with disabilities are born vulnerable and live lives that are constrained from everyday activities that the nondisabled take for granted. We shower accolades on able-bodied athletes and soldiers, who are gifted physically and fight with not only weapons and equipment but courage. Those disabled persons outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office fought and continue to fight without weapons, without gifted bodies and without sports equipment. To fight for rights in the absence of protection takes tremendous courage, which not only vindicates the disabled person’s right to free speech, but also vindicates universal rights to human dignity.

In the movie “Lincoln,” Daniel Day Lewis as the president says, before making up his mind to fight for the 13th Amendment, “We begin with equality, that is fairness, that’s justice.” Today, Washington, D.C., Republicans are proposing drastic cuts to Medicaid, which will disproportionately affect the health, safety and welfare of people with disabilities.

Those protesting outside McConnell’s office were arrested. People in wheelchairs were handcuffed and the TV news showed their blood on the floor. That is the new Washington Republicans’ definition of fairness and justice.

We now live in a United States where a Senate leader accepts many millions in contributions from health care companies and simultaneously cuts lifesaving Medicaid for disabled people and has the police beat those who dissent, until they bleed on a hallway floor.

Washington Republicans have lost their way. Decency, dignity, equality, free speech and justice are virtues worth fighting for, not enemies we fight against. This is a national disgrace.

William B. Licata


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