Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Who Is Mentally Fit to Vote?

New York Times reporter Pam Belluck’s article, “States Face Decisions on Who Is Mentally Fit to Vote” sort of reminded me of the tougher, revised Chinese laws on adoption–one stipulation being that no one taking antidepressants gets a kid. I know the discussion is more nuanced and difficult than that, but I had to think for a minute…are we Communist?
Click here for the full article.
I especially like this line:

“I just think if you are declared insane you should not be allowed to vote, period,” said Joseph DeLorenzo, chairman of the Cranston Board of Canvassers. “Some people are taking these two clowns and calling them disabled persons. Is insanity a disability? I have an answer to that: no. You’re insane; you’re nuts.”

Now now, Chairman, there are a variety of nuts here in this country … some work better than others as a gift basket. Would you like a brochure?

  • A Chinamom

    Love your blog. I’m learning so much from what you write. As a Chinamom, though, I wanted to comment briefly about the rules change to clarify. And yes, I was excluded from adopting #2 for more than one reason by the new rules.) It isn’t really a communism issue so much as it is the China adoption being a victim of it’s own success. The China program has for several years been one of the best-run, most stable international adoption programs. It has also been one of the more lenient ones, allowing for more medical conditions, more divorces, etc. The problem is, the country has always capped the number of children who could be adopted by foreigners, or many of us believe so. And because the program is so good, the number of foreigners who want to adopt grossly exceeds the number of children available for international adoption. So, the China Centre for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) had to come up with ways to exclude large groups of applicants and shrink the applicant pool.
    The new rules affect all would-be single adopters, the morbidly obese (as opposed to the merely obese), families with a net worth less than $80k, persons with more than 2 divorces, etc. etc. And, unfortunately, CCAA’s understanding of mental illness is not quite the same as ours (not that ours is that great), so persons taking psychotropic drugs within the past 2 years are also excluded. China has made similar rules changes in the past, e.g., after November 2001, when they started limiting the number of singles and requiring a statement about heterosexuality.
    China claims that the number of abandonments is down and the number of domestic adoptions is up. I hope that’s the truth. I do know, however, that many orphanages do not participate in international adoption, so I suspect that the shortage of adoptable children is an artificial one. But none of us really know. I hope to God that children aren’t being kept from finding homes for reason of protecting China’s image, but I fear otherwise.
    Keep up the good blogging, Therese. I enjoy reading what you have to say every day.

  • Clarissa

    I was diagnosed with SMI years prior, but I was well enough for preliminary votes. BUT I’m still labeled ill without the meds. Go figure.

  • D. Valori

    More after I get some sleep, before my friend’s surprise arrives. Being Hypersensitive, I feel keeping the surprise is somewhat deceitful, dishonest.What do you think?
    What is an SMI?

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