America, at least in my lifetime, has been the home of the brave and the land of the big mouth. One of my first media memories was the commie-hating big-mouth senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, a master at waving a bunch of papers into a television camera and shouting, “Here is a list of 4,000 communists in the State Department!” He was a trendsetter.
As we all know, because he wants us to know, the current biggest big mouth is Donald Trump, but he is only the latest incarnation of what I would call the “Golden Age of Big Mouths.” Starting with Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, and Al Sharpton, not to mention the great Muhammad “The Mouth” Ali, we now have so many shouters shouting over each other’s shouting that there should be a TV awards show devoted to the best of the blowhards. Donald Trump could host.
There is a lesson here for the disability community, especially if it wants to be heard beyond the echo chamber of its own, excuse-me-I’m-disabled small voice. To get anywhere in this culture, you have to have a human megaphone that the media can’t ignore. Take the queen of the Tea Partiers, Sarah Palin. Nothing can shut her up. Who can ignore someone who says we “should invade Ebola” or send all illegals home across “the Mexican Sea.” And let’s not forget wild man hatemonger Ted “Obama is a subhuman mongrel” Nugent. On a slow news day, call Ted.<