Because we haven’t heard much about Gabby Giffords lately, the New York Times decided to bring us up to speed – not on her recovery from the Tucson shooting, but on her positioning for a Senate race in 2012. Although the rampant speculation in the article is decried as crass opportunism by many on-line commentators, it is completely in line with what the public thinks about the integrity of people associated with politics.
One of the on-line commentators, however, made a comment (tangentially related to Giffords’ recovery) that I have often uttered, but never written down. To save me the effort, I will simply quote from Ekeizer4 from Oregon:
- “It disturbs me to hear people say things like, “if anyone can recover from this, Gabby Giffords can.” These people may mean well, but it suggests that victims of trauma and injury are entirely in control of their own recovery. It reminds me of those who insist that a positive attitude and a ‘kick butt’ mentality are the keys to recovering from cancer — implying that when one does not recover, or when the disease proves too daunting to overcome, that it is somehow the fault of the patient. I dearly hope that Ms. Giffords recovers completely, but if she does not, that in no way diminishes the effort, hard work and character that it has taken her to survive. We can only play the cards we are dealt, and perhaps the best way to support Ms. Giffords is to be happy with whatever makes her happy, whether or not that happiness includes politics. She has spent years in service of her country, and now perhaps her country should ask itself how it can best serve her.”