My Selection…

A lot of people are sure who they’re voting for, but I’m finding that not as many people are sure why they’re casting their vote for their chosen candidate.   I know a lot of Trump fans who are just that —  fans.  When I ask why they support him, they say, “He’s so funny.”  (Not a reason to elect a President, folks.)  A lot of people I know do not like Trump, but they support him anyway, simply because he’s Republican, and Republicans generally believe in pro-life or no gun control.  I’ve met people who are voting for Hillary Clinton simply because she’s a woman, or people who are pro-Bernie because they’re Democratic but they don’t want a woman.  I met a woman the other day who told me she is very conservative and always votes Republican no matter what, but she just wasn’t sure if Trump was the man for the job.  She asked who I was voting for, and after I explained that the reason for my vote had a story behind it, she told me she was so impressed, she was moved to change her vote because of it…

In 1999, I relocated from Central Florida to Central New York.  I had visions of New York being more upscale that Florida, more progressive, more expensive, and more lucrative.  I was wrong on all counts except the expense.

In Florida, on just about every street corner, you can find a daycare center, an after school kid care, or another such facility such as dance studio, karate center, or gymnastics gym that picks up kids after school and cares for them until 6:00 when their parents get out of work.  The cost at the time for one child was approximately $30 a week.

That was one of the first things I found to be quite different when I moved to New York.  I had six-year old Jeremy who was in kindergarten, and ten-year old Stefani who was in the fourth grade, and other than them and my sister Michelle, we didn’t know another soul in the Empire State, so we had no one to ask how these things were handled.

What I found was that there were essentially NO kid care facilities whatsoever in my county.  What they had instead were county licensed “babysitters” who were allowed to run “home daycare centers.”  Since I moved there mid-school year, there were only two available women on the list.  The first woman was the wife of a military man, and she said they’d be moving before the end of the school year.  So, I moved on to my last hope… A woman named Rachael R.

Since Rachael and I shared the same first name (though hers was spelled wrong), I took that as a good sign.  Boy was I wrong!  She charged $140 a week (yes, really!) to watch my kids after school for a couple of hours, five days a week.  (I got off work at 4:00 back then.)  She smoked like a chimney, and my son had chronic asthma.  So every day, when I picked up my kids, I had to have them strip in the car and change into clean clothes, then bathe them when we got home before they could play.

jeremy six

Can you see picking on this little cutie?

After a few months, I learned she was being abusive to my son as well as one other child she watched.  She made these boys sit on the couch — on their hands – from the time the bus dropped them off until the time their parents picked them up.  She refused to give them a snack, and she refused to allow them to get up and play with the other kids or even watch TV.  In fact, she apparently sat in her chair and chain smoked and watched rated R movies the whole time the kids were there!

Now, I knew my son could be a handful… He’s autistic, and as such, he was very active and curious.  However, he was always a sweet kid and generally well behaved.

I was kept late at work twice one week (so I had to work until 5:00 PM those two days), and she got so fed up that the second time, she fired us!  (Keep in mind, the $140 price was the same for parents who always had to work until 5:00.)  When I picked up my kids, she told me to never bring them back.  No notice.  No warning.  So I was stuck on the spot with no caregiver.   It wasn’t until that night that my kids told me what had been going on.  They said she threatened to beat them if they told me how she treated everyone.

That was the Friday before a long weekend (Martin Luther King Day), so it was more difficult to find anyone at home to secure a new babysitter.  But that’s a story for another time.

Tuesday, I had to call into work and take the day to find someone.  When I went to the County office to get a new list of sitters, I filed a complaint against Rachael R.  They told me it didn’t sound like much of a problem, and I should be glad my kids were out.  (Yes, really!)  I then drove straight to the police department, and they told me there was nothing they could do.  I went to the Sheriff’s office, and they blew me off as well.

A couple of weeks prior, Hillary Clinton had just taken office as Senator in New York.  I was at my wit’s end, and I really hated the thought of Rachael R. making one more dime off any other unsuspecting parent and abusing another child.  So I wrote a long letter detailing my frustration to Mrs. Clinton.  I started off welcoming her to the Empire State and telling her that like herself, I was a newcomer a short time before.  I then quoted her from her book “It Takes a Village” (to raise a child), and told her how disappointed I was that the “village” I lived in was not helpful in the least.  I never expected to hear back from her, but it felt good just to get my frustrations out on paper.

Well, imagine my surprise when just short of two weeks later, I received a lengthy, personalized letter from Mrs. Clinton’s office telling me that Hillary had read my correspondence and was going to look into the matter further.   It wasn’t long after that that my county started buzzing.  County officials called to ask me questions about Rachael R. and what specifically she did to my kids and others.   And about a month later, the word on the street was that Rachael R. lost her license!  I thought that would be the end of it, but then a couple of months after that, I received a follow-up telephone call then another letter from Mrs. Clinton’s office telling me what they’d done on my children’s behalf, and asking me to contact them again if I was not satisfied with the result.  WOW!

In 2004, I was back in Florida, and my son was having an extremely difficult time with his teacher.  Without getting into another lengthy story, I’ll just say that it was BAD.   (You’ve all heard stories of how some teachers pick on autistic children.  This was one of those stories.)

I went to the principal and the superintendent of schools with no satisfaction.  When they did nothing, I wrote to the governor at the time, Jeb Bush.   I figured since Hillary had been so responsive and helpful, that ALL government elected offices had a duty to be as diligent.  Not so.  His response didn’t arrive until several months later after school was out and it didn’t matter anymore.

Jeremy had another horrendous school experience in 2006.  This time, after going through the local school channels (principal, superintendent, etc.), I wrote to my Senator.  He wrote back and told me to try talking to the school principal!  (Yes, really!)  It wasn’t long after that that I quit my job and homeschooled my son for the remainder of his school career.

So, in closing, while I encounter a lot of people who can’t stand Hillary for one reason or another, their reasons are usually based on media hype and not because Hillary did anything personal to negatively affect them.  I, on the other hand, agree that I would probably be voting for her anyway just because she is a woman, and a Democrat, and so intelligent, and has prior experience in office and in the actual White House.   But the reason I am so exceptionally passionate about casting my vote for Hillary is because she personally assisted my Autistic child in getting the justice he deserved.

Let’s talk!  How do you select a candidate?  Has your child ever been bullied?  If your child had been bullied by another adult, what would you have done?

33 thoughts on “My Selection…

  1. What a great story, Rachel (spelled the right way 🙂 )! I’m definitely voting for Hilary Clinton, but I would be anyway. This is nice to hear about her. I most likely would never vote Republican, but I would definitely NEVER vote for Trump. I feel sad for our county that his hate-filled rhetoric is so popular with many people.

  2. That’s a great story and explanation of why you’re voting for Hillary. I’m still on the fence only because this election year has just sickened me. Figure I’ll wait for the one-on-one while trying to retain some faith in humanity.

    Oddly enough, I did a sort of opposite move than you. Left Long Island, NY in 2005 to live in Central Florida and moved back in 2010 soon after my son was born. He’s listed as ‘special need’ with high functioning autism, but we were lucky to move to a county with a great special education and early intervention system. Oddest thing is that we were living in a Florida area where daycare was $200 a week and found cheaper up here. So I guess it really depends on the county.

    I did work in the Florida school system as a sub when Jeb was running the show. Horrible and built almost entirely on test scores with no care about the students. Teachers tried, but the system was a mess. Kids with autism were being mainstreamed because their standardized test grades got improved the scale or something. Students in special education classes weren’t always factored in, so some schools had those classes filled with the daydreamers, apathetic students, etc. I got jaded within a year and refused to put my son in that system, which is a big reason for the move soon after he was born.

    Guess this is a roundabout way of saying what I look for in candidates. I focus a lot on education and who will treat our kids like human beings instead of numbers. So I lean more toward Hillary and Sanders with what they’re saying in this regards. My only worry with Hillary is that she has so much baggage that she’ll spend most of her presidency fighting that. With Sanders, I just don’t think he can pull off what he’s promising because Congress would never go for it. Not sure if Trump has said anything on this. Probably only that he’d be ‘the best President for education and we’ll be so tired of his greatest for education’. (Couldn’t resist.)

  3. From the outside world looking in I (even as an old atheist) am tempted to pray that Trump (a man ‘challenged’ on many facets of humanity, plus a compulsive liar when it comes to ‘facts’) looses – indeed is blown away for ever by Ms Clinton. That the leader of the free world might be Trump is an horrific thought.

  4. I don’t talk politics in public these days. It all gets so disappointing to me. This year I want a mulligan with a whole new slate of candidates. I think we should choose politicians like jury duty. You get selected, you serve. It really couldn’t be any worse than what we have now. Throw some real people into the House and Senate and see how they do without the cliques and lobbyists who helped them get elected.

  5. Oh wow, that’s crazy and I’m so sorry you had to go through that. On the other hand, maybe I should consider a career change. Babysitting is more lucrative than I thought!!

  6. Fantastic story, Rachel. And I used to agree about the wrong and right way to spell the name, as my daughter’s is spelt the same way as yours. But now I have a step-daughter called Rachael, it does help to distinguish between the two!

  7. I have always respected Hillary and feel many stories could be told negatively about any candidate. When I hear the list of grievances against Hillary Clinton, I cringe and I pounce, too. “Would you say these same things about a man?”

    Rachel, thank you for sharing this caring, sensitive side of Hillary Clinton. 🙂

    My Mom, sister in law, brother and I are Hillary dedicated voters. I have a younger daughter who literally scares me of her thoughts about Trump. My son and his wife (I think) are Clinton and Sanders voters. My oldest daughter wishes that Hillary would win, but is afraid she won’t win. I remind her to vote anyway!

  8. It’s great to hear that your voice was heard Rachel and that Rachael R. was prevented from continuing on with her abuse to other children. I don’t follow politics too closely so it’s nice to hear personal stories of the positive things candidates do 🙂

  9. I absolutely hate it that people are choosing candidates without having a reason. I think Donald Trump will be a very poor choice to lead this country, and while I don’t agree with Clinton’s stances on issues, she does have more experience and the ability to lead a country… I think I might end up voting for a third-party candidate this year.
    Do you mind if I use this as an example to stir up all the Bernie supporters? I’m just playing the Devil’s Advocate to be annoying to all the people out there who’ve been picking on me for expressing a balanced political opinion 😉

  10. I’m glad you got the helpful assistance you needed from Hillary, Rachel, at your time of need. Sorry you had such a bummer of a time in Central New York back then. Ouch! Yes, I look at the issues and the stances before I cast my vote, always. And I register as an independent so I’m not wedded to any particular party stance solely, either.

  11. What an amazing story. Government officials have never responded like that to any of my letters. I’m autistic and I suffered in school and in after-school programs too. I hope your son was able to move on and recover fully from all those awful experiences!

  12. I saw a comment you made on Victo’s blog and had to check you out. So glad to have found you! As for the hideous decision of where to vote … I wish I had your confidence in Mrs Clinton, and I must admit your story gives me some hope … but I really don’t like or trust her. I know the press is often not a trustworthy source of information, but I’m satisfied that she’s made some extremely questionable choices, and my perception is that she considers herself above the law. On the other hand … Trump … Oy! The big problem with both of them is they want the job too much. Have you ever read Samuel Butler’s “Erewhon”? One of the opinions he offers is that political office is a responsibility that all citizens should accept – but anyone who actually wants it should be automatically disqualified.

    I’m independent and vote according to what I think of individual candidates. Their stance on issues is part of that, but I also look at their experience and performance both in and out of the political forum. The Clintons’ business dealings (Whitewater, specifically) are, again, questionable. Trump brags about being a great success, but you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that he’s a litigious and bullying serial bankrupt. So I can’t choose either of them … I’m going for Gary Johnson. I would LOVE to see the two-party system end, and the rise of a viable third party. This year seems to me enough voters are disgusted enough with both R and D that it could actually happen. Not likely … but not impossible either.

    • That’s definitely an interesting alternative. If I didn’t have so much passion for Hillary as I did for her hubby, I’d definitely follow suit. I remember one year I was so disgusted with either choice, I wrote in Jon Bon Jovi. LOL Of course, that was years ago when I was much younger. OIn more recent elections, I’ve sometimes taken my chance and voted against who I didn’t want when there was no one I could accept wholeheartedly.

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