An Open Letter To The ‘Biden Has Dementia’ Bullies

There was no scarcity of lies and misinformation the Trump marketing campaign launched towards Joe Biden over the previous a number of months. The disinformation ranged from uninformed, fear-mongering (no, Biden is not really a socialist) to merciless bullying. Among the many extra dangerous and offensive of Trumpers’ lies about Biden: that he has dementia.

Anybody who is aware of somebody with dementia is aware of simply how a lot of a lie that is.

Positive, Biden typically stumbles over his phrases. However this isn’t the results of dementia or psychological decline. To recommend in any other case is simply plain merciless.

At this level, everybody ought to know that Biden overcame a stutter. He’s been open about this wrestle, even mentoring youngsters who’ve the identical challenges.

“I’ve labored my complete life to beat a stutter. And it’s my nice honor to mentor youngsters who’ve skilled the identical. It’s known as empathy. Look it up.”

Is Biden at all times a smooth-as-silk speaker? No. Is he a form and caring and mentally secure human? You wager.

Let me be very clear: In case you’re gonna go there, with these “Sleepy Joe” memes, your “he has dementia” nonsense, and the stutter jokes a la Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you’re fairly merely an asshole.

These feedback about Biden having dementia aren’t simply unsuitable, they’re dangerous and offensive. They’re ableist and imply.

These aren’t simply political distractions both. Cruelty is the entire level. Bear in mind this summer time when Trump bragged about acing the Montreal Cognitive Take a look at (the person-woman-man-camera-tv take a look at)? Nicely, he ought to have aced it. To not “ace” it might be an indication that that Trump himself doubtless has dementia or psychological decline. So no, it wasn’t an indication of psychological superiority.

That take a look at – and its outcomes – are painfully actual for many individuals and their households. Identical to dementia is. Trump parading round about it’s simply one other instance of his cruelty and complete lack of even one ounce of empathy. Accusations that Biden’s speech sample point out cognitive decline solely present an entire and utter lack of compassion on the a part of these making these accusations.

Not solely are these feedback hurtful to these of us coping with dementia in our households, however they’re ableist and offensive to youngsters and households coping with a stutter or different speech situations. Youngsters like Brayden Harrington, the 13-year-old who linked with Biden resulting from their shared stutter.

Based on Good Morning America, Brayden first met Biden on the marketing campaign path in his residence state of New Hampshire in February. “He instructed me we had been members of the identical membership,” Brayden mentioned of their first assembly. “We stutter. It was actually superb to listen to that somebody like me turned vp.”


Biden stayed in contact with Brayden and his household, and even provided suggestions to assist Brayden together with his situation. President-Elect Biden went public together with his speech obstacle in 2015, when he was Vice President, in a letter he wrote to the Stuttering Basis of America. “I personally perceive the horrible concern and frustration of a stutter,” Biden wrote. “My stutter embarrassed me and made me query myself and my talents day by day.”

GMA studies that at this time Biden works with 25 different youngsters who stutter, giving them tips about issues that labored for him as a baby. Amongst these suggestions: studying poems by William Butler Yeats aloud and altering speeches to make the phrases simpler to ship. Brayden instructed GMA he credit the President-Elect Biden for altering his perspective about his stutter.

“Earlier than, my No. 1 concern was my stutter, and that was near the scariest factor in my life, and now… I’ve seen that as a present,” mentioned Brayden. “I’ve seen that as a method to enhance myself mentally and bodily, and I really feel like I’ve actually grown from assembly him.”

That is what kindness seems to be like. That is empathy and compassion. And to twist Biden’s challenges round to make it seem to be he’s mentally unfit for workplace is hurtful to those that stutter, these coping with dementia, and just about anybody with a caring coronary heart.

So no, Biden’s speech patterns do not imply he has dementia. His occasional misstatements and flubbed phrases say completely nothing about his psychological health. However when you’re spreading these lies, it completely does say one thing about you.

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