I've been talking to Deaf people, and checking out my Twitter feed, and it seems clear: Obama's won the debate for the Deaf community, especially in the area of foreign policy. (Maybe it's because he can sign a bit.) Most Deaf Americans might fail to see how our foreign policy decisions affect the Deaf community and world at large, but I think it's vital to seeing how the Deaf community and culture will grow in the new century–and I think the NAD would agree.
First: foreign policy and Deaf people. I do think as Deaf Americans we
should be concerned about making sure our government's foreign policy
has space for Deaf people. When we wage war, Deaf people in other
countries will likely be among the first victims. Global warming
problems will probably affect us as much, if not more than, they affect
other people. Romney and Ryan are proposing austerity, something that's
already been tried in England, with disastrous results on Deaf
communities, as Tim Blackwell reports on the Limping Chicken. Choices we make as a nation can have, globally, effects on other Deaf people. A Deaf European has reported their support of Obama in this year's election (and provided some great links about Obama's achievements. We ought to pay attention to others and to history, and learn from both. When Deaf people have access, support, etc., they tend to achieve whatever their language choices. When Deaf people find services and support cut off, there's always people who keep the fire going, but many don't have even today's level of opportunity. If we want the Deaf community to keep thriving we should remember this.
Now, the debate. Romney couldn't keep his facts and names straight last night. He substituted Iraq for Iran (maybe he read an old draft of his lines from the Bush presidency?) His knowledge of geography is frankly bizarre (maybe it's Global Warming, and changing sea levels have already confused his coastlines.) Unfortunately, however, both of them are fact-twisters: we need to remember that. Politicians ain't saints, they're politicians. Factcheck.org gives you the goods (although the summary shows each candidate lied "equally"–at least five whoppers each! Either someone's trying to be "fair and balanced" or they just picked the top five for each to look good–I'm still hoping Obama lied less. We'll wait for the final report.)
My only quibble with Obama is the issue with targeted drone strikes. Even our own research shows that drone strikes are pretty nasty and harm more than they hurt. Knowing this, Obama's statements about wanting to cut back on war and the innocents war harmed rang hollow.
But it's hypocritical to reject someone for a single issue as it is to support them, conversely, on a single issue. I agree with Obama on roughly 70% of issues. I agree with Romney on less than 20%. I'm willing to work with 70%, especially since the other choices I see (and maybe one or two are more palatable to me than Obama) don't seem to have a chance of winning against the R-Money machine.
Whether you agree with my views or not: VOTE.