On the one hand, we have the Americans With Disabilities Act. This act puts into the hands of the federal government the determination of how much accommodation an employer (or other business entity) is required to make for a prospective or current employee (or customer) with a disability. It has led to such ridiculous things as a Supreme Court declaration on the essence of the game of golf.
On the other hand, we have the relentless and utterly ruthless pursuit of unborn children with Down Syndrome, the search-and-destroy mission in which the most important thing is that we not miss one, that we decrease the number of babies born with birth defects, which has about the same relation to "eliminating birth defects" that a can of Raid has to eliminating mosquito bites. And then there is all the end-of-life stuff, the message sent that no one should really be expected to live with a disability, and that if you want to have yourself killed, we'll quite understand. As the popularity of Canadian Robert Latimer, who murdered his 12-year-old disabled daughter Tracy, shows, we may even understand if you are the murderous parent of a born disabled child.
I've puzzled about this for a long time. I think I'm finally beginning to figure it out. Some individual liberals may really be motivated in their support for all kinds of programs and accommodations for the disabled by love for the disabled (at least the born disabled, and the ones who don't at the moment want to die). But there is another motivation as well--the control-freak desire to disrupt business, to put the government into the minds of ordinary people and to tell them what their motives may and may not be, and to micromanage their practical, daily decisions. If the disabled can be used for this purpose, well and good. But when it comes right down to it, to matters of life and death, the disabled go to the wall. One wants to believe the best of people, and there's still a huge amount of rhetorical dissonance in all of this. But I think I'm beginning to figure it out.