But what has happened is something unusual. The conservative candidate has turned out not only to be the better autism candidate, he has brought more attention to the disorder than any other national political figure in history.
So at this late date (I have decided you can either be an autism mom or find time to write about autism, but rarely both), I am announcing my endorsement of John McCain as the autism candidate, and urging you to vote for him for the following reasons, some of which you may be aware of, one of which is new information:
1. John McCain has brought autism to the forefront of the national agenda during this campaign.
This started in March, even before the Hannah Poling concession was announced, when he was the first presidential candidate to address the autism/vaccine connection publicly, causing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to add their comments on the topic.
It continued during the conventions, when McCain talked about autism in his acceptance speech, declaring:
"I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania,... They have two sons. The youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism. Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. And they matter to me."
And he did again during the debates when he brought autism into the conversation.
2. John McCain is meeting with and listening to parents. Barack Obama is not.
John McCain met with several of my friends in late 2007, when he had been considered out of the contention for president. (I was actually invited to participate in this effort, but family obligations prevented me from doing so). He listened, he heard them, he acted on their behalf, and he began talking about our kids on the national stage.
Barack Obama will be introducing autism legislation shortly that he has been preparing for the last six months. Our community has reached out to him on several issues, and he has not responded. At any time he would have had a chance to gain our input on his autism bill, but we found out about this bill after it was drafted, from a source other than the Obama camp, practically by accident. Even those of us in regular contact with the Obama campaign had no knowledge of this bill. Reading the bill it is clear to see why he may not have wanted parents to read it. More on his upcoming legislation in a moment.
3. John McCain, after meeting with autism parents, along with Joe Lieberman wrote to the Senate Health Services Committee asking them "to hold a hearing on federal research efforts regarding factors affecting incidence and treatment in order to help determine where research efforts can best be directed". This included the environmental triggers of autism such as vaccine additives, pesticides, metals and other chemical pollutants.
Barack Obama is on that Committee and could have picked up the torch and initiated hearings, but didn't.
4. Barack Obama will be introducing this legislation after the election during the lame duck session of congress. This information has not yet been made public, so most of you will be seeing this bill for the first time. Some who have seen the bill in the last few days are upset not only because it will do little to help our children, but it will give even more money and more responsibility to the same agencies who have been wasting autism money and failing in the responsibilities thus far.
From one Generation Rescue staffer:
The draft Obama Research, Treatment and Services Bill Puts HRSA/CDC At Helm:
1.) The bill had no input from the "biomedical" community (the fact that our people had no clue about this bill speaks volumes considering they've been in touch with the Obama camp for quite awhile.)
2.) Individuals within Obama's office who worked on the bill have not returned any of our calls asking for some background on the bill nor have they replied to our request for GR to have some input on the bill before it gets submitted.
3.) The bill is outlining many of the same mechanisms that are contained in the original CAA bill. It is redundant.
4.) The CDC is put in charge of "facilitating the rapid dissemination of evidence-based and promising practices" which, in my opinion is one of the most troubling aspects of this bill!"
5. John McCain has stated that parents should be the ones to be making health care decisions for their children, Barack Obama has stated that he is "not for selective vaccination", implying that he may be in favor of forced vaccination.
Our community has tried doggedly to get Barack Obama to expound on this statement and let us know if he is in favor of forced vaccinations like the kind that are taking place in New Jersey and Maryland. He will not respond.
5. John McCain has taken far less money from pharmaceutical companies, and has been consistently tough on them over the years.
6. Political Base has listed Julie Gerberding as a possible HHS secretary in an Obama administration.
The fact that she is even speculated by dems to be in contention to be in charge of this country's health services under Obama after all of the debacles she has reigned over is upsetting. The ONLY thing that our community agrees with the skeptic community is that Julie Gerberding has done a horrible job as the head of CDC, which is also the opinion of many of the people who have worked under her. Her public career should be over when Bush leaves office.
Hillary Clinton is also listed as a potential for the job. Hillary Clinton is no friend of the autism community.
7. John McCain chose a special needs mom as his running mate.
Sarah Palin is new to special needs parenting herself, but as her sister Heather Bruce has a 13 year old son with autism (hear Bruce's interview on Autism One Radio), she has been touched by the disorder. When you have autism in your family, you get a chance to see how much more difficult it is than people imagine, and addressing it becomes a much higher priority.
Her statement to the special needs community at the Republican National Convention was, "To the families of special needs children all across this country, I have a message for you. For years you've sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters and I pledge to you that if we're elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House".
Palin's first policy speech was on the Mccain/Palin Special Needs Platform (Please read to see what they are proposing), and the autism group she invited to the event was not Autism Speaks, the ConGlomCo of endless, fruitless autism research, it was a small local parent group called AutismLink.
8. Cindy McCain has a Masters in Special Education and a heart for children with autism as well.
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, and at this point it seems that the McCain/Palin crew can't stop talking about autism.
It should be noted that both McCain and Obama supported CAA and both will fully fund IDEA.
The debate is broader than what I have referred to here, but it sums up the differences between the two candidates.
You may be asking, "why should I vote for a candidate based on this one issue", so I will answer. This is more important than the economy. It is more important than the war. There are few issues as important as the autism epidemic, because what we are seeing happening in this country will be blossoming into a disaster that will effect every arena in this country in the next 10 years or so.
Autism now effects around 1 in 100 children. The CDC's number of 1 in 150 is several years old, and the Department of Defense reports that 1 in 88 of their dependents has some form of autism. The disorder is believed to be growing at 10 to 17 percent per year. And CDC admits that 17 percent of children have a developmental delay or disability.
Read that again... 1 percent have autism, 17 percent have developmental problems.
This week Suzanne Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks talked about how appalled she was to find out how prevalent and quickly growing autism was when her grandson was diagnosed 4 years ago. When she asked the CDC why they were not talking about this their response was, "Well, we don’t want to disturb people. Pediatricians aren’t sure of the diagnoses and it might just cause difficulty."
The federal government is not just allowing the autism epidemic to happen, they are now complicit in the escalation of the problem. The decision has been made that this epidemic will not be addressed because doing so will "cause difficulty".
So more and more children get sick, stop talking and their parents are told by doctors to just accept it.
Think about what it will mean for this country in ten years.
When somewhere between 1 and 17 percent of adults cannot reach their vocational potential, what will that do to tax revenue? What will that do to the economy?
A child with autism will cost between three and ten million dollars over their lifetime. If the autism rate remains at 1 percent, that means that those millions will be paid by the other 99 people. Which means that for my high functioning son with autism, 99 of my friends will pay more than $30,000 in taxes that will go to his care.
When 1 in 60 boys has an autism diagnosis, what will that do for military readiness and defense in 2018 and beyond?
In 10 years a generation of disabled children age out of education programs into adulthood. When their parents start passing on, or becoming too infirmed to care for them, what will that mean for homelessness in this country?
When a generation of people have melt downs when overwhelmed by loud noises and confusion, some becoming violent, what will that do for law enforcement?
1 percent of children have autism, yet the government will not even declare it an epidemic.
Now... is the economy this year really more important that what hundreds of thousands, even millions, of disabled individuals pouring into society will do to this country over the next several decades?
Please vote McCain on November 4th. He is the only one who takes autism seriously.
Ginger Taylor, M.S.
Bob had a few more reasons to vote McCain:
"Let's not forget that disgusting "midnight rider" the preservative republicans slapped onto the tail-end of the Homeland Security bill in 2002. You know, the Eli Lilly rider designed to provide liability protection to Eli Lilly against Thimerosal-induced Autism that came over from the White House at 10:10 PM and was inserted into the Homeland Security Act?
From the New York Times article "Whose Hands Are Dirty?" November 25, 2002
"Senator John McCain of Arizona characterized the provision as ''among the most inappropriate'' in the homeland security legislation. He said: ''This language will primarily benefit large brand-name pharmaceutical companies which produce additives to children's vaccines -- with substantial benefit to one company in particular. It has no bearing whatsoever on domestic security.''
John McCain gave his word that he would fight to remove the rider, and guess what? It was removed."
...John McCain continued to fight against Thimerosal liability protection efforts. He and few others banded together to to form the gang of fourteen.
They fought over and over against as Bill Frist and Hillary Clinton tried repetitively to slip Thimerosal language into countless bills. And when it became clear that Hillary Clinton and Bill Frist were blocking Thimerosal and vaccine research, together John McCain and fellow Autism ally Joe Lieberman composed a letter to the U.S. Senate H.E.L.P committee calling out the lack of Thimerosal and vaccine research and calling FOR Senate hearings concerning the Combating Autism Act fiasco.