Opinion: Lost man

Feb 2, 2023

To the editor:

There is a man I’ve never met who needs some help. With maturity. I know this because he has hung a distress signal on the fence next to his house. I pass it daily. It says ‘F**k Biden’. Lest it escape my attention, after the sun goes down the banner is illuminated by a light installed for that purpose. Now this is uncivil, you say, but it’s more than that. This homeowner also has a young boy who takes the school bus daily and, for the kids on the bus, seeing that sign daily is unavoidable. I find this troubling. It’s also extremely crass of course but, like Covid, extremism is something we all live with these days.

Furthermore, wherever anyone’s political affiliation may lie I find it hard to comprehend how an elderly gentleman such as Joe Biden could become a figure of hate. He’s not exactly Pol Pot. I’m not a psychiatrist but I wonder what has motivated this poor man, unable apparently to contain his virulence, to seek attention so publicly? Expressing dissatisfaction with any public figure is not uncommon but in this case the eruption of such naked and determined rage seems more a product of despair than outrage. Anger is generally a reaction to feeling weak and powerless and as Shakespeare said: ‘Nothing is ever good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’ This angry man is a prisoner of his own thinking, if indeed he thinks for himself. But it certainly seems he has not thought, or has merely disregarded, the fact that spreading toxicity, perhaps to afford himself some grim satisfaction, comes with  a cost — to him, his boy, the kids on the bus and the rest of us. I say to this man: ‘I saw your signal. It’s not about Joe Biden. There is a better way.’

Don Cuddy,