Steve August 21, 2020
imagine-a-future-president-who-inspires-kids-instead-of-ridiculing-them

Imagine having a fundamentally decent president who meets a kid with the same disability he has, and instead of mimicking and ridiculing him, talks to him and encourages him.

That was Brayden Harrington’s story, and he thought it was so important, he had to tell the whole nation last night. Imagine the courage that took — because, like Joe Biden, Brayden has a severe stutter.

Washington (CNN)Thirteen-year-old Brayden Harrington spoke on the final night of the Democratic National Convention about how the party’s presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has made him feel more confident about his stutter.

“He told me that we were members of the same club: We stutter. It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became vice president,” Brayden said Thursday night in the video recorded for the convention. Via CNN:

Biden, who has said he still occasionally catches himself stuttering, showed Brayden a copy of the campaign speech he had just delivered in New Hampshire with markings showing where he could take breaks between words.

“He showed me how he marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud. So I did the same thing today,” Brayden said, flipping around the piece of paper he was reading to show the markings on his speech.

“I’m just a regular kid, and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me feel more confident about something that’s bothered me my whole life. Joe Biden cared. Imagine what he could do for all of us. Kids like me are counting on you to elect someone we can all look up to. Someone who cares. Someone who will make our country and the world feel better. We’re counting on you to elect Joe Biden,” Brayden said.

The reactions were so touching. Steve Schmidt revealed his own speech impediment:

I’m an ER doctor and I stutter. When I was young I picked up a book about a doctor that stuttered – it gave me hope. I always knew I could be a doctor. @JoeBiden gives people hope. He’s an amazing human being!

— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) August 21, 2020

I’m still floored by the Brayden thing. My mom is a speech pathologist. She was like *coaching* him through his amazing moment.

And, so, it just wasn’t lost on me that Biden was, even in his greatest moment, also showing Brayden that everything in life is possible for him.

— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) August 21, 2020

Further: Public speaking has always come super easy for me. But because of my mom’s work, I’ve always been attuned to those for whom it does not. And to see a guy like Biden, for whom it is hard, reach these heights tonight….

So many kids, man. SO MANY KIDS are gonna see that.

— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) August 21, 2020

AND THEN, when you think about how Tweety McTreason has spent his whole life denigrating those who are different. MOCKING people with disabilities. Making jokes at their expense like the punk bully he is

To cut all of that with the humanity and decency of Biden. It’s something y’all

— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) August 21, 2020

Speaking is hard for me too, Brayden. But as you know, practice and purpose help. Thank you for your courage and for the great speech! https://t.co/lAkk8tPRXw

— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) August 21, 2020

Remember, there have always been people who remind us why we love America. But when you watch story after story about vicious crackpot politicians and violent nutjobs who attack people for wearing masks, well, sometimes you forget.

Thanks, Brayden, for reminding us.