Why The ‘Biden Has Dementia’ Lie Is So Harmful And Offensive

Scary Mommy and Leigh Vogel/Getty

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

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

Sure, Biden typically stumbles over his phrases. But this isn’t the results of dementia or psychological decline. To counsel 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 battle, even mentoring children who’ve the identical challenges.

“I’ve worked my whole life to overcome a stutter. And it’s my great honor to mentor kids who have experienced the same. It’s called empathy. Look it up.”

Is Biden all the time a smooth-as-silk speaker? No. Is he a sort and caring and mentally steady human? You wager.

Let me be very clear: If 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 might be fairly merely an asshole.

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

These aren’t simply political distractions both. Cruelty is the entire level. Remember this summer time when Trump bragged about acing the Montreal Cognitive Test (the person-woman-man-camera-tv check)? Well, he ought to have aced it. To not “ace” it will be an indication that that Trump himself probably has dementia or psychological decline. So no, it wasn’t an indication of psychological superiority.

That check – and its outcomes – are painfully actual for many individuals and their households. Just like dementia is. Trump parading round about it’s simply one other instance of his cruelty and whole lack of even one ounce of empathy. Accusations that Biden’s speech sample point out cognitive decline solely present a whole 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 children and households coping with a stutter or different speech situations. Kids like Brayden Harrington, the 13-year-old who linked with Biden attributable to their shared stutter.

According to Good Morning America, Brayden first met Biden on the marketing campaign path in his dwelling state of New Hampshire in February. “He told me we were members of the same club,” Brayden stated of their first assembly. “We stutter. It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became vice president.”


Biden stayed in contact with Brayden and his household, and even provided suggestions to assist Brayden along with his situation. President-Elect Biden went public along with his speech obstacle in 2015, when he was Vice President, in a letter he wrote to the Stuttering Foundation of America. “I personally understand the terrible fear and frustration of a stutter,” Biden wrote. “My stutter embarrassed me and made me question myself and my abilities daily.”

GMA stories that at the moment Biden works with 25 different children who stutter, giving them recommendations on issues that labored for him as a baby. Among these suggestions: studying poems by William Butler Yeats aloud and altering speeches to make the phrases simpler to ship. Brayden informed GMA he credit the President-Elect Biden for altering his perspective about his stutter.

“Before, my No. 1 fear was my stutter, and that was close to the scariest thing in my life, and now… I’ve seen that as a gift,” stated Brayden. “I have seen that as a way to improve myself mentally and physically, and I feel like I’ve really grown from meeting him.”

This is what kindness appears like. This 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. But should you’re spreading these lies, it completely does say one thing about you.

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