An Interview with Dr. Lou Brown
Political compromise: Who gets to leave first and who may never get to leave
Produced in 1987
Ed Skarnulis: Lou, in that case, isn't that really a matter of political compromise? Isn't it possible to go ahead and get the bill passed this year with whatever flaws there might be and then go back next year and make changes.
Dr. Lou Brown: If you want to talk about realistic, legitimate, I mean, in our society of political compromise, fine. But now who's selling who down the river? Who's saying these people are going to have to stay here? And you know who it's going to be. It's going to be the oldest people who are going to have to stay there. Live out their lives there. They're never going to get to smell the roses and see the sunset. It's going to be the people with the most physical disabilities. You know that, they're always left until last. And the people with autism.
So now in the process of... now you're switching... you're switching titles on me now. We're talking about what I believe is good for people, and now you're talking about political compromise. To me, the people who are making the political compromise, however appropriate, real, justifiable, what have you, are the ones, to me, that are selling these people down the river, are denying them the right to live in the community.
The second point. Let's get it all out, no one says it's better for these people to live in the community...better for these people to be on the institution ward. That's not what people are saying. They're saying we have a union who is active politically and gives money to the governor's campaign and the legislator's campaign and we want to save jobs. So we want to keep these people here so we can have our jobs. We're talking about people who in the local economy of their little town in the rural areas where they put these places. Gee, these people... If you close that institution, it's like closing a military base. We may not need the military base, but try closing it. You see?
Now there are differences, though. I think you should go ahead, if you want to spend the money, give the money to the people in the town and let the politicians be happy and let the people who sell food to the institution be happy, and (unintelligible). Go ahead, but get the people out. You see? Because what's happening in the process of the political compromises is that, yeah, these people need jobs in little towns. I understand that. And legislators have commitments to their constituents. I understand that. But look at the treatment that people are getting in the process. So if you take that out, fine, go ahead.