Like many others, he has come to live with the disability by understanding it and exercising extraordinary perseverance and discipline.
If you know and love a stutterer and you watched the presidential debate last night, within minutes it became obvious what was going on.
Abusive tone of voice, rapid fire interruptions, zigzagging change of topic, personal insult and humiliation, and family pain are all tripwires that scramble a stutterer’s ability to speak.
There was nothing unplanned or spontaneous in the President’s strategy. The bastards did not prep him to attack Joe. They prepped him to attack Joe’s disability hoping that by triggering his stuttering they might deceive an audience unfamiliar with the disability into thinking that Joe was stupid, weak, uncertain, confused, or lost to dementia.
If you have ever gotten in the face of a bully on the playground protecting a stutterer that you love, the game being played last night was nakedly and painfully obvious. If you watched with glee while it happened, then you haven’t made much progress since the playground.
However, the stutterer that I love taught me early on that he did not so much need my protection. He fought back by owning and integrating his disability into who he is. He learned how to stand his ground as master of perseverance, knowledge, and empathy.
Without his example, I would not have recognized the game that was being played last night. I would not have been able to recognize the subtle but intense struggle against the disability that Joe was winning at the same time he was struggling to advance his positions on the issues in the midst of a rhetorical shit storm. But, like the stutterer that I know, Joe didn’t need any help on the playground. I was proud of him.
The President flushed his family fortune down a gold-plated toilet and somehow wants us to believe that he is the poor victim of mean people. Then he tries, and fails, to beat up a kid with a disability on the playground.
I’m done with this, guys. I want my country back.
Note: if anyone knows the author, I would like to update this to give proper credit. Thank you.