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It’s a stutter.

I had a bad stutter for years,

From mid-seventh grade up thru high school I struggled mightily to get the words out, to avoid humiliation, laughter, scorn and – worst of all – pity.

As a formerly eloquent speaker and school play actor I had no idea what happened, why, how to fix it, and whether I’d ever be able to stand up in front of people and just…say   my   name.

It came and went for years after high school…I have a very painful recollection of  stuttering badly while giving a talk about exercise physiology during graduate school, watching the group suffer along with me.

Over the years I forced myself into situations again and again as I tried to overcome stuttering…for reasons unknown my stutter eventually faded into a distant if very painful memory.

I relate this because I am appalled by the media’s laziness, stupidity, crassness, and total lack of empathy all on full display when discussing President Biden’s occasional word stumbles. He’s not going thru dementia, nor does he have Alzheimer’s, and he’s not suffering the after-effects of a stroke.

Nope, he’s got a stutter.

Unlike me, the President has not fully conquered his stutter, yet he puts himself out there every day, knowing all too well he’s going to be laughed at, mocked, and demeaned because he stutters.

The meme-makers, mockers and insulters are pathetic indeed, seeking to drag down a person because of a sometimes-disabling condition, to use Biden’s condition to make them feel better about themselves, to get a cheap laugh from equally-pathetic barroom morons.

As for the media, I am furious with TV anchors, pundits, reporters, and editors for failing to address this consistently, fairly and completely. No, these superficial “personalities” would much rather parrot the “he’s old, see he can’t finish a sentence, mixes up his words, mumbles at times, and veers off track…” idiocy.

Well, you idiots masquerading as media those are ALL STRATEGIES STUTTERERS USE TO TRY TO GET THE WORDS OUT.

Mumbling hides stutters.

Mixing up words happens when you are desperately trying to find a word to use instead of the word that’s stuck in your throat.

Not finishing a sentence is because you can’t get the last words out without stuttering.

Going off track – same..

What does this mean for you?

How would you feel if you stuttered? Couldn’t communicate verbally? Got laughed at for something you can’t control?

I thought so.    So don’t be a jerk.


10 thoughts on “It’s a stutter.”

  1. This makes me crazy too, Joe. Thank you for sharing your own experience. I recently made a simple one-line statement on an Instagram post that Mika Brzezinski made on her “Know Your Value” handle about this same issue. She pointed out the very same things you did and proceeded to identify all the things Biden has accomplished as a senile old man with dementia as president. I said, “Thank you, Mika! The bullying is unbelievable.” And you can’t imagine the vile and horrible things people are commenting “at” me. It’s a good thing I have a strong mind, but sheesh. Here is one of the best gems…”Low-information voters like yourself are f’ing up this country and, subsequently, the world. I hold you and everyone else that voted for and supports this senile pos (with a poop emoji) responsible for the strife we see in this country. How many children will be sold into sexual slavery today because of your vote? How many Ukranians and Russians will perish today because of your vote? How many single parents will see their children be hungry today because of your vote? Elections have consequences. White ignorant liberal women like you are the bane of this country.” So far, there are 77 comments “at” me, not one of them supportive or nice, and most of them derogatory. They are still coming. The guy who made that post identifies himself as “Jake” from Alaska on his Insta handle and his profile pic shows him with a semi automatic rifle and a freshly killed Dall Sheep (big curly horns). I told my husband I wonder how he treats the women near him. Stats of violence of men toward women in Alaska is the worst in our country. My daughters pleaded with me never to comment on a political post again. And, of course, that will be a problem for me. I rarely post about politics since the first election with Biden and Trump, but I occasionally feel the need to make a statement. I have a hard time wrapping my head around why so many people are willing to openly criticize, bully, ridicule, hate and catastrophize. It makes me wonder like Black Eyed Peas say in their song, “Where is the love?” I encourage everyone to listen to it today… it was released 21 years ago, but the words are still relevant. I refuse to believe we can’t turn it around. Peace y’all ✌️

    1. Hey Yvonne – so sorry to hear about the vile bullying you’ve encountered. I get trolled a good bit, usually by anonymous cowards, but nothing like that.

      One wonders why Jake from Alaska holds you accountable for divisiveness yet doesn’t seem to see his role causing strife.

      Folks like Jake are best ignored or blocked, while others who may disagree but do so on a principled, fact-based basis should be engaged. We can all learn from others.

      Hang in there Yvonne…and get off facebook!

      be well Joe

  2. I always consider the source Joe. Attacking is the strategy of those who don’t have the credentials to win without attacking. The Republican nominee attacks anyone and everyone until they line up with him, and then he loves and uses them. President Biden’s messages are clear even when the delivery isn’t perfect. By the way, none of us are perfect.

    1. Thanks for the note David.

      I would agree that almost none of us are perfect…grandkids are!

      be well Joe

  3. Ha! I do not do Facebook at all anymore, Joe — I post but do not “consume” it; I was perusing Instagram (curated), and I do block/manage the trolls. I still find it interesting when I pause to take a peek. Thank you.

  4. 10 year olds make fun of physical disabilities or things people can’t help.
    We should all consider that.

    1. Laura – thanks for the observation. I’d just add that those kids then are taught to be kind.
      At least most are.
      Be well Joe

  5. Thanks Joe for sharing! Agree completely. As far as disabilities go, “you can’t fix stupid”…

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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