Epilepsy Foundation

If Gabrielle Giffords Were The Saint of Congressional Approval

Would she inspire a War on Bad Behavior?

Congressional job approval has reached an all-time low. According to a Gallup poll released on February 8, 2012, only 10% of Americans approve of Congress. With former United State Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Tuscon, Arizona leaving Congress, how low will job approval ratings drop? Gabby may have been the only member of Congress that Americans liked. Even fellow politicians liked her.


At the 2012 State of the Union address, politicians from both parties chanted her name. The President hugged her. It seemed that every politician praised her ability to inspire bipartisanship. After she retired, the US Navy named a warship after her. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus called Giffords "inspired." Gabby inspired politicians to be better. She inspired solutions and the ability to see. Unfortunately, she created new problems. Health care became personal, maybe too personal. 


Gabby's story follows a common script. "Inspirational" is just another word for good-bye. 



Since Gabby Giffords retired on January 25, 2012, political discourse around health care has become more tense. Some members have used the term, "war on women's health." More people are talking about the "war on religion now." Even the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which had been the model for non-profit non-partisanship, found itself in a heated argument with Planned Parenthood. Maybe politicians always talk this way, and I am just more sensitive to it, because I hoped for more after Giffords' departure.

Our unpopular politicians fight often. They start armed conflicts without declaring war, but they launch Wars of Incivility days after honoring Gabby Giffords. We do not need any more politicians who want to fight each other. We need more people who will fight to get along.

Originally I posted this on Saint Valentine's Day. (I am editing on February 16) St. Valentine is the patron saint of epilepsy. He is also the saint of bee keepers and lovers. Is there any room in his quiver to be the patron saint of "Good Congressional Behavior?"

Or do we need a new saint?

Views: 498


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Comment by Shawn West on February 18, 2012 at 9:36am

This is exactly what I have been trying for over a year to tell everyone! No one cares about "US". They just want "US" to go away. Fade back into the nowhere where "THEY" think we came from. In "GABBYS" case, what else could she doe? She would no longer be the person she was, She will just be "that congress woman who got shot in the head". When terrible things happen to people society wants to block it out, it's to hard to think of.

Whats worse is when society takes active steps to surpress and do away with people who have had a what they see as a problem. They don't want the reacurring pain that may be brought about by the thoughts that our system may be flawed.

As epileptics, we scare the average person, so when something horrible happens either to us or because of us, they block it out, cover it up and just make it go away in general.

There is NO WAY that if what happened to me would have happened to what "THEY" consider a "normal person" they would have gotten away with it. I was beaten, tassered and thrown in jail with 6 charges on my name. I have beaten the criminal charges, but they are still on my record. It still shows up that I assaulted a police officer and that I had a gun! Even though, neither happened! Do you think they would charge a "normal person" with "posession of a firearm" if they DID NOT HAVE ONE! This was also only done to make things much harder for me to get out of jail and to get my life back into some kind of reasonable shape.

They dragged out the court procedings, ruined my name in the papers and completely drained my bank accounts. And what is my recourse? Exactly what they knew it was, NOTHING!

No one cares about "US", just crush "US" and have us fall back into the nowhere that we came from.

I have lauched my first of many to come lawsuits against Officer Pamella Neff and The Virginia State Police for their complete lack of common sense and horrible treatment of a disabled person. They knew I was having a seizure! First officer on the scene stated that in his report. He knew I was having a seizure when he first approached my truck. Really?

Where is the justice? Where is the Epilepsy Foundation? What exactly do you people do, other then collect money and write things on the internet?

Keep watching me, I'll show you all how to "take it to the man". After all, my life is ruined now, all I got is time.

Comment by LaQuida Monea' Jackson on February 17, 2012 at 2:27pm

@bryan you are welcome!

Comment by bryan farley on February 17, 2012 at 11:53am

Thank you to everyone who has read and shared the post. There are many people at the official epilepsy foundation facebook page who are also reading and sharing too.

As for Gabby Giffords, I believe she inspired many people, so I do not want to devalue that part of the last year plus. Since change happens slowly, her image might have a long term benefit for those of us with some type of health problem. I also did not want to question her for leaving. It was her definitely her choice. I just hope she felt supported.

There is something strange that happens when someone becomes disabled or sick. I think our general population wants these folks to disappear. There is an expectation that disabled people disappear. We have similar expectations for grieving people. When a person who was previously not disabled develops epilepsy or some other illness, sickness, or disability, the person retreats.

I do not know if this happened in Gabby Giffords situation, but it happens in other cases. I also heard enough people compliment Giffords. They liked her strength and her ability to make friends. She was the only Congress person to be married to active military personnel. If she were so valuable, why didn't more people fight to keep her in Congress?

Comment by ejl1558 on February 17, 2012 at 7:14am

Politicians are narrow-minded and looking for the best way to help themselves first then the people who supported them monetarily.  Since people with epilepsy is a small percentage of their supporters, we may have a problem encouraging them to support us.  All we can do is send a message at their next election, vote them out and show thwm we don't put up with your lack of intelligence.

Comment by EDIE WISE on February 16, 2012 at 11:44pm

I feel that they are trying  to help us  out  with people that have Epilepsy and I want them to know that I have Epilepsy all my live so please help others that have it we need your help to stop Epiepsy it is no fun haveing it so please help us you help others so help us.

Comment by LaQuida Monea' Jackson on February 16, 2012 at 11:27pm

The policitians are no good. They should care about our health.  

@ Monica I agree with you on the policitians.

Comment by Monica on February 16, 2012 at 10:01pm
Wow...179 views and no comments?? Cmon! Someone else has something to say besides me!
So my messaged reply to Bryan was "Simple, they suck! All the politicians care about is spending $$ and fighting amongst themselves"
As far as Gabby, I wish there were more like her but I have a feeling those get bullied out of office for being too soft.
I love being employed because it fuels my independence. However I use it to fundraise and support awareness at the same time. A few of my co workers have helped me with voting and donating to my epilepsy projects.

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