"This is essentially a people's contest. On the side of the Union, it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form ...of government, whose leading object is to elevate the condition of people - to lift artificial weights from their shoulders ... to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance in the race of life."
"Over the last century, our lives as disabled people have improved because we have fought for our rights. We have refused to allow people to crush our dreams. While our victories have been great, we have much further to go. True equality will be obtained only when all disabled people create and fulfill their dreams, and fight for the rights of all."
"People with disabilities are becoming empowered to make choices and control their own lives. It's about freedom and becoming independent. This is the time for people with capabilities of all kinds to come to the table. We need to reach out to all Americans to work together for the new millennium."
A POLITICAL PLATFORM FOR THE ELECTIONS OF 2002, 2004 AND THE 21ST CENTURY
TOWARD A CULTURE OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT FOR ALL
YOU HAVE THE POWER
YOU HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY
TO MAKE THE DREAM LIVE
Among Those Who Have Endorsed The Concept Of Individualized Empowerment - But Not Necessarily Every Word Of This Writing - Are: James Billy, Marca Bristo, Fred Fay, Lex Frieden, Tom Harkin, Wade Henderson, Judy Heumann, Andy Imparato, Bob Kafka, Ron Mace, Paul Marchand, Gina Mcdonald, Kathy McGinley, Ralph Neas, Becky Ogle, Marcie Roth, Mark Smith, Stephanie Thomas, Jim Ward, Paul Wellstone.
"Our oppressors are and always have been weak, frightened people. Our complete liberation depends on improving everybody's mental health."
"Revolutions begin when the people defined as the problem gain the power to re-define the problem."
"Power concedes nothing without demand. If there is no struggle, there is no progress."
Individualized Empowerment For All -
A Common Sense Political And Social Platform For 2002, 2004,
And Everyday In The 21st Century
An Agenda For The Short Run
An Agenda For The Long Range
An Agenda For Universal Victory
1. Love For All
2. Government For All
3. Responsibility For All
4. Simple Taxes For All Who Prosper
5. Education For All
6. Employment For All
7. Civil Rights For All
8. Technology For All
9. Healthcare For All
10. Food and Housing For All
11. Public Transportation For All
12. Social Security For All
13. Environment For All
14. Foreign Policy For All
Individualized Empowerment For All/America For All - The Action
"To me, the most important point is we have started on a journey to the promised land of full equality, dignity and respect. The ADA is a map to guide us to that promised land. The ADA is fair and balanced and must be maintained. The world is watching."
Senator Tom Harkin
"The Americans with Disabilities Act has set new standards of integration, participation, inclusion, and independence for all of us to strive to meet. We must endeavor to transform our programs and services - including income support programs - so that they promote these new standards. Our goal should be nothing less than full participation in every aspect of society for all individuals with disabilities."
"I agree with you that this nation is founded on the principle that each human life is sacred and inviolable. People with disabilities have an absolute right and responsibility to participate fully and equally in society and to maximize their quality of life potential in manners of their own choosing."
President Ronald Reagan
Letter to the National Council on Disability
Because of the deep rooted emotional attachment to traditional political correctness I have chosen to publish our political platform as a writing separate from "With Liberty and Justice for All." I do not want anyone to reject the powerful concept of individualized empowerment because of a disagreement with our political platform.
INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT FOR ALL - A COMMON SENSE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL PLATFORM FOR 2002, 2004, AND THE 21ST CENTURY
NOW IS THE TIME TO INFUSE EVERY ASPECT OF GOVERNMENT AND SOCIETY with the values of ADA, IDEA, Independent Living, MiCASSA, Universal Design/Fair Housing, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, Deaf President Now, the Highlander Statement and the entire spectrum of disability empowerment and civil rights initiatives. The same thing must be done in other nations, - using the equivalent terms of their cultures.
WITH THE LIFE OF DEMOCRACY HANGING IN THE BALANCE, with the crossroads elections of 2002 and 2004 upon us, it is imperative to rise above "politically correct" stereotypes and declare a simple common sense agenda for an America dedicated to individualized empowerment for all. Now is the time to shine the light of simple clarity into the foggy politics of self-indulgence that is misleading us down the road of retreat and defeat.
THE ONLY WAY TO SAVE DEMOCRACY is to mobilize all in our personal universes to campaign and to vote for our agenda and its self-evident values, to replace government of retreat with government that will fight for the Dream.
TO BRING OUR AGENDA to the people level, I have created Power Mary, a fictional empowered citizen in a culture of individualized empowerment.
POWER MARY and her protŽgŽs will give every available minute to passionate involvement in the elections of 2002, 2004, and beyond. She will repeatedly emphasize that, no matter what we call the values and goals of individualized empowerment, they are essentially the same as the goals of all responsible families, religions, businesses, social and other political groups: empowering all their members to live their full potential.
AN AGENDA FOR THE SHORT RUN
WE MUST CONTINUE AND STRENGTHEN OUR CURRENT DISABILITY RIGHTS ADVOCACY.
POWER MARY: "These are all profoundly important initiatives because they result in immediate increased quality of life for millions of Americans. Of equal importance, they are powerful seeds of an America that empowers all."
AN AGENDA FOR THE LONG RANGE - IT MUST BE FIRMLY ROOTED IN THE VALUES OF VICTORY FOR ALL
NOW IS THE TIME TO CREATE AN AMERICA - AND A WORLD - OF VICTORY FOR ALL PEOPLE - with and without disabilities.
VICTORY FOR ALL IN AN AMERICA OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT WILL REQUIRE THAT EACH HUMAN BEING ACCEPTS TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY TO EMPOWER SELF AND TO EMPOWER ALL TO LIVE LIVES OF QUALITY.
THIS WILL MEAN CHANGING THE DEFINITIONS OF VICTORY - OF SUCCESS, RESPONSIBILITY AND PRODUCTIVITY. Success must no longer be defined in terms of gaining symbols of prestige that make you feel superior to other people. Responsibility must no longer be defined in terms that permit lifestyles with major investments in conspicuous consumption, spectatorism, elitism and escapism - investments in pushing people down rather than lifting them up. Productivity must no longer be defined in terms of raw dollars only.
ALL HUMAN ACTION MUST BE MEASURED IN TERMS OF INCREASING THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF EACH AND OF ALL in the interdependent continuum which is individual, society and universe. Producing a million dollars worth of cigarettes or landmines is not the same as producing a million dollars worth of personal care assistance. The passionate effort to live conspicuously better than others and pursue frantic escapism is a game that guarantees a majority of losers, including a growing poverty gap.
HISTORY HAS TAUGHT US AGAIN AND AGAIN that those who think they are living successfully without taking responsibility for others are suffering a self-defeating illusion resulting in poverty, hate, war and terrorism. Eliminating this ancient stereotype will not be quick or easy. It can only be accomplished by passionate advocates like you and me and Power Mary. Our message: the success of each is necessary for the success of all.
POWER MARY will advocate and live the new values. She will not have the big dollars to compete with the advertisers of "I'm-better-than-you-are" consumption and with the major media escapism. She will have the profound power of living the truth. While she is struggling toward the promised land of universal empowerment, she will marshal all her resources, however meager, to create a life of conspicuous simplicity, conspicuous economy, conspicuous principle and conspicuous beauty, for herself and for all in her personal universe. As with Gandhi, living simple truth is a powerful weapon for change.
POWER MARY: "LIFE IS A SUPER BOWL WHERE EVERY ONE CAN WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP RING. "
"I remember when I was 6 years old climbing the mountainside to pick weeds and roots for our family dinner. I remember washing our clothes in the ice-cold river. I remember seeing clouds of airplanes on their way to bomb Tokyo. I never felt that I was poor or a loser. I believe that any person achieving full potential for responsibility to life is at one with the universe. I believe that every person can be great in the universe."
"Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment. Love is God."
"The world is a classroom; the lesson, love."
AN AGENDA FOR UNIVERSAL VICTORY
1. LOVE FOR ALL
VICTORY FOR ALL IN AN AMERICA OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT WILL REQUIRE LOVE FOR ALL. "Love in a political platform? Are you serious, Justin?" Absolutely! Love is the magic ingredient of empowerment. Every human being is empowered by an environment of love. Every human being is entitled to an environment of love. Every human being is responsible to contribute to an environment of love - not only in families, but also in schools, businesses, social services, communities - and, yes, in governments and politics. Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King won with a politics of love. Destroy the injustice. Love the unjust.
POWER MARY: "WHEN YOU REALLY LOVE PEOPLE, you want their lives to be complete victories." Power Mary will be an irresistible advertisement for individualized empowerment, because she will deliver her message with effervescent love. Everyone has active or potential qualities that can be singled out with love. Everyone has needs that can be met with love. People will be happy to see Power Mary coming because they know she is going to say "I love you," in sincere words and actions. They will open their minds and their hearts to her truth. Even if their morality and their politics are not revolutionalized instantly, the infection of love will enrich their lives and the lives of those around them. They will be on the track to individualized empowerment.
2. GOVERNMENT FOR ALL
VICTORY FOR ALL IN AN AMERICA OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT WILL REQUIRE GOVERNMENT THAT IS STRONGER IN ITS GUARANTEES AND SIMPLER, LESS BUREAUCRATIC, LESS PATERNALISTIC IN ITS PROCESS. Government will be leaner and less bureaucratic in the sense that major law will be more simple, more nationwide - more complementary in states, counties, cities and towns. Much decision and process will be passed from layers of bureaucrats to individuals and free enterprise. Government will be stronger in the sense that it will guarantee the foundations of productive life to all, in a seamless system of legal supports delivered equally and completely no matter who you are and where you live. Federal guarantees will include:
POWER MARY: ÒGood government will simply guarantee the same kind of foundations for the empowerment of its people that a good family tries to guarantee, but often does not have the resources to provide. The simplicity and universality of federal guarantees and regulations will save individual citizens and General Motors big dollars, big hours and big headaches.Ó
"As times change, so government must change. We need a new government for a new century - humble enough not to try to solve all our problems for us, but strong enough to give us the tools to solve our problems for ourselves. The preeminent mission of our new government is to give all Americans É a real opportunity to build better lives."
President Bill Clinton
"The legitimate object of government is to do for the people what needs to be done, but which they cannot, by individual effort, do at all, or do so well, for themselves."
3. RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL
GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, by the people, and for the people, cannot fully operate until all the people take responsibility to operate government for the benefit of all the people. Private citizens must participate everyday in government at all levels - through adamant advocacy and positive action. Imagine a citizenry who will insist to pay taxes, who will pick up papers off the street, who will scream so soon and so loud about bad policy, bad ethics and violations of human rights that the ship of state will stay on course without multiple layers of law suits and of oppressive armies of bureaucrats.
POWER MARY will never be neutral when justice is at stake. She will participate passionately in key political campaigns. She will not only vote, she will register others to vote, educate them how to vote and take them to the polls. She will campaign everyday. She will run for office.
ONE OPTION: POWER MARY and all citizens could be required to serve public and private service internships as part of their elementary, junior high school and higher education. All citizens in their late teens or early twenties could be required to serve two years of full time public service internships in areas such as military, public health, public security, education, maintenance of public lands, utilities and transportation, public emergencies, agriculture, personal care assistance, law enforcement and more. Done properly, this will provide massive productivity targeted on areas of real need and a large, flexible labor force with valuable experience and positive work attitudes. It would begin to eliminate our tragic underclass of welfare recipients and near minimum wage workers with little marketable ability.
4. SIMPLE TAXES FOR ALL WHO PROSPER
OUR TAX SYSTEM MUST BE GREATLY SIMPLIFIED AND UNIFIED. I don't think anyone has the slightest idea how much it costs us to collect thousands of different taxes in thousands of different places. One rationally flexible, but essentially unified system of federal and local consumption and income taxes will save billions of dollars and millions of hours every year. Efficient, fair taxes will liberate big dollars for increased investment in basic human needs. It will eliminate deficits and make possible saving for future challenges and opportunities. Eventually, it will mean lower taxes.
POWER MARY, as a person with an above average income (perhaps $70,000 - $100,000 per annum), will be proud to pay the taxes necessary to invest in the empowerment of the poor, to create a society that is truly one of victory for all. Sound impossible? I have experienced in some churches where well-to-do members competed to see who could contribute the most. There could be a system which allowed taxpayers to receive some sort of positive recognition as in the church.
5. EDUCATION FOR ALL
EDUCATION IS THE FOUNDATION OF A CULTURE OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT. An America of individualized empowerment will require rising above traditional, rigid, time limited educational programs. Government will guarantee lifetime public education, including higher education that never ceases to meet the challenges of constant social change. First your parents and you, then you alone, will be enabled to participate in the creation and ongoing development of an individual educational plan designed to utilize the best resources in the world to meet your personal needs and to develop your distinctive abilities. Every plan must communicate the values of empowerment and the passion to make those values live through hard work and creativity. The desire to work hard and effectively will be communicated through all programs, including rewarding, real work internships from childhood, through basic higher education.
POWER MARY, as a high school student, might at one time choose to participate in courses, counseling, research and internships with Harvard, Stanford, Microsoft, a local business and community college, and all of the great information resources of the world. Mary's public school educators would increasingly play the role of counselor/broker rather than that of set curriculum lecturer only - with Mary, the student, as the senior partner. While certain books and face-to-face communication will always be valuable, Mary would increasingly use the international electronic media to make millions of quality writings, video communications and personal dialogues available in instant and less expensive forms. Mary would never experience a final graduation from higher education because it would last all of her life.
6. EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL
EMPLOYMENT IN AN AMERICA OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT WILL REQUIRE RISING ABOVE RIGID JOB DESCRIPTIONS and workplace rules. You will participate in creating a job description that is customized to meet your needs and to fully use all your abilities. Youth to adult public service internships will help guarantee immediate employment for all. Employers will welcome the lower taxes and the increased productivity and profit that this process will bring, as people move from welfare to employment and consumerism. Individualized empowerment has enabled "helpless, hopeless" people with very severe disabilities to secure good employment. The electronic media will instantly connect all job seekers and prospective employers, saving millions of hours wasted searching classified ads, distributing written resumes and other obsolete procedures. Youth to adult internships will play a major role.
THE MINIMUM WAGE MUST BE DOUBLED - AT LEAST. Earning the present minimum wage qualifies the worker to live far below the official government poverty level, a figure which in reality is not half enough to rise above real poverty. As we have stated, the poverty gap is increasing dramatically.
POWER MARY could serve as CEO and janitor/security guard, if those roles met her needs and those of the company. Ridiculous? Not at all. CEO as janitor raises the quality and morale of janitor services. Power Mary gets paid to exercise instead of paying dues at a health club. Simultaneous service as security guard raises the consciousness and the quality of security and the morale of all in the company.
POWER MARY would have a good chance to use technology to work at her home, where she could be with her children. She would have the choice of full day care service which would enable her to work anywhere in her area. Well designed education and internships would give Power Mary the option of part or full time salaried employment at a fairly young age. Whatever she does, including public service, Mary will earn enough in terms of salary and benefits to enjoy the basics of dignified human existence.
7. CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL
CIVIL RIGHTS IN AN AMERICA OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT WILL REQUIRE PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL. No one will be left behind. Women, men, children, older Americans, people of color and diverse languages, ethnic and religious minorities, people with disabilities, consumers, patients, workers, gays and lesbians, aliens, prisoners and literally all who might need protection from discrimination and abuse will have it. There must be affirmative action for all, not to give one-person precedence over another, but to seek out, protect, strengthen and use the abilities of all.
POWER MARY may be black, a person with a severe disability, a lesbian and a prisoner, but she will have seamless civil rights protection. More important, as a private citizen, Power Mary will provide the first and most effective line of enforcement of civil rights. Her instant, militant public reaction to civil rights violations will force many immediate positive solutions and prevent many expensive, time consuming court actions. Without daily citizen enforcement, there are not enough prosecutors and policemen in the world to prevent injustice.
8. TECHNOLOGY FOR ALL
TECHNOLOGY IN AN AMERICA OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT WILL BE GUARANTEED TO ALL. Today's culture is increasingly dominated by technology. Individual access to electronic communications and other technology is a necessity and a civil right. Every person must be guaranteed 24-hour personalized, lifetime access to the technology, to the electronic information and transaction resources of the world. Every person must be guaranteed use of an up-to-date, portable computer/communications device which is personalized to maximize the abilities of the individual. Every home must have a computerized telecommunication system. The simple right to possess accessible technology will not necessarily empower the average person to dominate the vast complexity of ancient stereotypes and positive resources that comprise today's electronic universe. Intensive infancy-to-death education to use public technology would be imperative.
POWER MARY and all individuals could have their own customized software containing their complete personal files - all their vital information as a whole person - organized to provide positive interaction with the resources of the world. This software would be constructed to serve the personal interests of Mary and of the society of individuals rather than the financial, political and professional interests that now dominate telecommunications.
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY ORDINARY PEOPLE like Mary could record the vital details of their daily existence and get instant feedback on the interrelated totality of their current needs and abilities. They could get instant feedback from the best resources in the world on the likely impact on their lives of prospective decisions in areas such as health, education, employment, government/politics, buying, selling, budgeting, investing, taxes, housing, transportation, leisure and community participation. As the system was developed, each request for feedback would trigger millions of positive inter relational transactions - a process impossible for even the most brilliant human mind or staff of experts.
THE POTENTIAL POWER OF THIS SOFTWARE - after a relatively few years of design and development - is beyond present imagination. Not only would the power of the individual be increased by several magnitudes, when a critical mass of individuals were empowered by interrelated systems, there would occur a kind of human fusion which would endow those involved with a dominating social power. No one could afford to be left out.
OBVIOUSLY, POWER MARY'S PRIVACY and her total control of decision making must be guaranteed by strong federal, state and local law - with the potential for very substantial criminal and financial remedies. We must establish in the public mind that you own your personal data, and that simple possession of it by an individual or entity without your written permission is a criminal offense. Government, education, business and the public media must be given strong incentives to protect your right to total privacy and total choice.
POWER MARY could access a first rate "911" hotline to deal with telecommunications issues. The bottom line: all people will have the educated final choices about how to use their own information and the information of the universe.
9. HEALTHCARE FOR ALL
HEALTHCARE IN AN AMERICA OF INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT WILL BE GUARANTEED TO ALL - with no artificial limits like economic caps, or exclusions such as dental care, prescription drugs and pre-existing conditions. You will no longer simply be a "patient," subservient to an authoritarian health care system. You will be trained and empowered to take full responsibility as senior partner in all aspects of your care. You will no longer be forced to be in a hospital, a nursing home or other institution in order to survive disability or illness. A broad spectrum of fully funded home and community based services will enable you to live and participate in the community of your choice.
POWER MARY and her contemporaries will be trained as part of public education to provide basic professional healthcare at something like the licensed vocational nurse level. With aggressive self and family provided preventive care and instant electronic communication with the medical resources of the world, Mary and her family will live longer and better. Millions of hours of expensive, obsolete medical process will be eliminated.
10. FOOD AND HOUSING FOR ALL
ADEQUATE FOOD AND HOUSING in an America of individualized empowerment will be guaranteed to all - guaranteed by government, provided largely by free enterprise. Simple government subsidies for good nutrition and dignified housing will be much cheaper and contribute much more to quality of life than the present "solutions" - paternalistic welfare, crisis charity and finally prisons - that form massive barriers to empowerment and productivity.
POWER MARY could use a sophisticated credit card that would communicate the extent of her eligibility for instant access to food, housing and other subsidies. She would have to be educated to take full responsibility for organizing these affairs. The privacy and integrity of this process would be protected by strict federal law with substantial remedies.
11. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FOR ALL
AFFORDABLE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION in an America of individualized empowerment will be guaranteed to all. Our present primary reliance on private cars is a major barrier to the empowerment of youth, older persons, persons with disabilities, persons with illness and persons with limited budgets. No one should be prevented from full participation in the mainstream of society by lack of a private car. No one should have to sacrifice adequate food, housing or healthcare to buy a private car. Universal public transportation would greatly reduce pollution, death and disability from injuries and the enormous amount of money and priceless time lost in gridlock.
POWER MARY would save several thousand dollars a year and hundreds of wasted hours by utilizing public transportation and not owning an automobile. (I myself have made this experiment with major savings and greatly increased peace of mind.)
"Each day we choose. We can choose indifference. Or we can choose to make a difference. We can choose to view adversity as opportunity. We all have the freedom to choose how we view our situation. In coalition with others who share our vision we can reach our destination: The choices are ours. The future is ours. The world is ours. If we choose."
12. SOCIAL SECURITY FOR ALL
SOCIAL SECURITY in an America of individualized empowerment will be strengthened and guaranteed to all. There must be seamless, lifetime social insurance that encourages everyone to be productive and at the same time guarantees lives of choice and dignity to all citizens. So called "privatization" could only weaken Social Security as social insurance.
POWER MARY would gladly pay her social security tax, knowing that whether she paid little or nothing in tough times, her entire life - and the lives of her children and all people - would be secure in quality and dignity.
13. ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY in an America of individualized empowerment must be radically altered to be in complete harmony with increasing the quality of life of every individual in the world.
POWER MARY would, of course, be an adamant advocate for an international ecology that nurtures life. If she can't breathe, she can't work.
"There are only two kinds of power: money and people. We don't have the money, so our only hope for having power is to effect changes in people."
"No one will give us our rights - we have to fight for them! In other struggles for social justice and liberation, people have paid the ultimate price, namely, their lives. What are we prepared to sacrifice?"
14. FOREIGN POLICY FOR ALL
THE TRAGIC TERRORISM OF SEPTEMBER 11TH demonstrated once again that America and other developed democracies cannot exist as islands of peace and prosperity in a sea of poverty, oppression, violence and desperation.
WE MUST PROVIDE VIGOROUS LEADERSHIP FOR A WORLD CULTURE THAT REMOVES THE CAUSES OF TERRORISM by empowering all to live their God given potential. This must be done, not by attempting to support and police the world but by USA becoming a dramatic model of universal empowerment.
We start by eliminating the poverty gap and the prejudice and violence here at home, by creating America as a sparkling, irresistible advertisement of the good life for all. And we must develop a much stronger, more consistent and more passionately democratic foreign policy supporting the oppressed people of the world. We must cease to subsidize regimes that systematically abuse human rights, practice violence and acquiesce in poverty. We must use military action only as an extreme last resort.
WE CAN DO THIS WITH MUCH SMALLER, stronger, streamlined military and State Department establishments, freeing billions for investment in America as a magnetic model of individualized empowerment.
LET OUR FOREIGN POLICY - GOVERNMENT AND CITIZEN - BE A ROARING SINGLE MINDED, ESSENTIALLY NON-VIOLENT, ADVOCACY FOR LIVES OF QUALITY FOR ALL PEOPLE ON EARTH.
MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO SUPPORT TERRORIST ATTACKS on their colleague advocates for justice.
POWER MARY would become a conspicuous advocate for international individualized empowerment - through her trips abroad, through her electronic and other international contacts, and through her domestic and international politics. Power Mary could bring more quality of life and democracy to the oppressed people of Afghanistan than a hundred bombers and a regiment of Marines.
INDIVIDUALIZED EMPOWERMENT FOR ALL/ AMERICA FOR ALL - THE ACTION
Individualized Empowerment for all/AMERICA FOR ALL IS AN AMBITIOUS AGENDA.
SOCIALISM? NO! "FREE LUNCH?" NO! The empowerment of the individual to provide for self and for all is the foundation of free enterprise.
CAN WE AFFORD TO DO IT? HIGHER TAXES? DEFICITS? We can't afford not do it. Our present primitive system costs too much, is the cause of high taxes, deficits and unnecessary expenditures by families and businesses. Emergency room health care costs twice as much as good health insurance. Policemen, prisons, substance abuse, welfare and crisis charity cost far more than good education and employment supports. Homelessness costs more than guarantees of housing loans. Our underclass of working, welfare and charity poor costs us tens of billions of dollars annually in lost productivity.
THE EMPOWERMENT OF ALL WILL BRING AN EXPLOSION OF PROSPERITY and quality of life that will dwarf the industrial revolution. Lower taxes and the elimination of public debt will be real possibilities.
BUT CAN WE SELL IT in a context of multi-million dollar ad agency politics? Not quickly, not easily. We will have to fight long years for every inch of progress. But we will never win unless we get the word all back at the top of political dialogue. Victory, not for 40 percent, not for 90 percent, victory for all!
WE CAN WIN. We have the ultimate power, people and truth. We have you! We have a fighting chance to win many of the elections of 2002 and 2004, if we, if you, reach out to Americans who want change. There are no better leaders than you - the advocates of disability rights and our allies in justice. Win or lose in a particular election, your action will contribute to victory in the future.
THE WORLD IS WATCHING AMERICA. The world will follow what we do. Failure is unthinkable. Get into politics as if your lives depended on it. They do, and the lives of billions in the 21st Century.
GOD BLESS YOU. GOD BLESS AMERICA. GOD BLESS THE WORLD.
I AM WITH YOU. I LOVE YOU. LEAD ON.
"An individual can achieve personal power, but the true power comes from uniting with others in shared beliefs. Individuals united gain a collective power that enables all to live their dream."
"Inclusion not exclusion. Independence not dependence. Empowerment not paternalism and charity."
Tom Harkin and Bobby Silverstein
"Most important, we must keep our eyes on the prize - full empowerment for all."
He drew a circle that shut me out -
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout,
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.
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