Michael J. Fox Fires Back at Critics


And I found myself in this unique position of although I'm-- I'm-- I'm-- I'm facing this, and I'm dealing with it, and it's, and it's not what one would pick out of a catalogue. It-- It-- It does provide me an opportunity to make a difference and to do positive things. And for that I have to be grateful and humbled by that circumstance.

It's-- Again, there's so much to be grateful for. And there are so many others that are in this position that don't have what I have, that are saddled with the possibility of losing their insurance and not being able to get insurance, or trying to hide symptoms.

Talk about hiding -- the notion -- this is what struck a nerve. The notion of hiding symptoms is so key to what patients of all kinds of conditions, but particularly Parkinson's, it's the biggest thing we face -- it's hiding. We have to hide.

Don't let anybody see. Don't let them think you're drunk. Don't let them think you're incapable. Don't let them think you're unstable, you're unsteady, you're flawed, you're devalued.

Don't let them see that. Mask it. Hide it. Cover it up.

So that when-- The community, I know, reacted when I came out and said, "You know, I want to make myself comfortable with this the best I can do right now." And that's assailed. It strikes to the very core of who we are as people. And that's whether we have ALS or we have a parent who has Alzheimer's, and we face the prospect of having it ourselves. Or we have a spinal cord injury. Or whatever we have.

The fact that us representing ourselves as who we are, expressing ourselves as our bodies will allow us to, is not good enough. It's suspect. And it's something that doesn't, doesn't want to be faced by society.

And our political aspirations, our goals as participants in society, participants in government, it's somehow less valuable or seen as being flawed by a peculiar ulterior motive or selfishness that precludes us from taking other things into account.

We'd be better to take other things into account. We take our responsibility as citizens very seriously, and our sense of ethics and again, our spirituality and our participation in government, we take it very seriously. It's not-- It's not made sinister by the fact that we have an affliction that may drive us down a certain path of activism.

It's, it's-- You know, it's amazing to-- I can't stress enough. I don't want to react personally to these attacks. It's pointless. It's silly.

It's like getting in a fight with a bully. What's the point? You're not going to change his mind. You're just probably going to get a nose bleed.

So why bother?

But make no mistake, it hurts. And it hurt when-- It hurts to see the president use the one veto of his administration to strike down this legislation.

It passed through both the houses of the Congress. It had a lot of very-- People of very serious conscience thought about it and has in their duty of representatives voted for.

And to see the president: No.

Stephanopoulos: He's got a little over two more years. Do you think there's anything you can say or do?

Fox: We're doing it. This is what we're doing. To try and elect representatives of either stripe, or either party, who will go in there and get us a veto-proof margin.

Let's get on with this. It's what the people want. It's what the people deserve.

Stephanopoulos: And you're campaigning next week.

Fox: Yes, I'll be out there.

Stephanopoulos: Michael, thank you.

Fox: Thank you.

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