Biden and Stuttering

The Democratic National Convention came to a rousing end last night. Biden’s speech was forceful and encompassing. He reached within and stirred by his strengths invited us all to join in the effort to unite the nation, and to move forward with confidence to address the wrongs that afflict us.

And though he didn’t voice Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous words, Biden’s call to join arms in the struggle for a better America was all about that, ‘There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.’

Biden’s has been a life dedicated to public service.

The contrast with Trump is clear. When did Mr Trump ever think of working for the public good except for when he decided to run for President?

That the nation chose to ignore the importance of assessing the person’s track record in selecting a leader, will forever mark the period leading up to the 2016 election as one during which the nation suspended its critical powers and settled for superficial charm, bells and whistles, at the expense of substance.

Sadly, none of Trump’s contenders at the time had the wisdom to denounce the charade as it was unfolding and vigorously fight to expose it.

Mr Trump’s performance has set the nation back enormously, not only in loss of lives from CoVid 19 but in the deterioration of our economy and our position in the world.

So where does stuttering come in?

Biden has suffered with the condition since childhood and has overcome it. To our surprise, last night, in the final day of the convention, just before he makes his closing speech, Biden gives a young boy struggling with stuttering a precious moment of airtime. Facing the nation, the boy stammers and sometimes halts, unable to push out the words, but he does.

When he felt blocked, the child paused, gathered confidence and moved ahead, each and every time. In the tense silent moments when words did not come – moments filled with awkward uncertainty – it occurred to me that maybe it hadn’t been a good idea to give the child such prominent airtime. But I was wrong.

Biden’s instincts didn’t fail him. The segment was probably prerecorded but it didn’t matter. Even if it had been recorded live, one is left with the sense that the child would’ve gathered the gumption to pull through.

That moment, that child, that condition, was emblematic of the nation.

Our nation will stutter, will even doubt itself, even make grievous mistakes, but in the end will find the strength to push ahead and do what is right for its people and those nations that choose to be open to what we stand for.

The spirit of what Biden brings to the fight to assert what is best for the nation was evident throughout the convention.

He will exclude no one, not Trump’s supporters, not those consumed by racial hatred, and instead reach out to attempt to persuade, reach out and ask everyone to join him in overcoming the blocks that keep us from contributing to the strengthening of America.

Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation. Available on Amazon.

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