In The Politics of Autism, I write: "Support from the general public will be an important political asset for autistic people. Another will be their sheer numbers, since a larger population of identified autistic adults will mean more autistic voters and activists"
A Washington state candidate running to succeed retiring Rep. Denny Heck revealed he is autistic Wednesday, citing teen climate activist Greta Thunberg as inspiration.
I've spent a long time thinking about whether I would talk publicly about this. I'm running for Congress & I know people will judge me for it. But I've seen how much @GretaThunberg has helped the conversation around it & I've decided to be open about it too. I'm autistic.— Joshua 4 Congress (@Joshua4Congress) December 17, 2019
Collins, a 26-year-old truck driver, is currently the only declared Democratic candidate in the race for the state’s 10th District. The Democratic primary is set for Aug. 4, 2020.
Collins, a self-identified socialist, says on his campaign site that his experience as a trucker and navigating a complex, insufficient safety net shaped his views.
“[A] decade in the workforce has made the truth clear: our lives are made difficult on purpose. This system has been created and maintained by the people who own basically everything to protect their power,” he writes. “If we’re well-paid, secure in our housing, and educated, we demand a far bigger share.”
Although speculation abounds that historical statespeople who predate the modern understanding of autism, such as Thomas Jefferson, may have been on the spectrum, Collins would be the first openly autistic member of Congress.