Anne Mikolay

Anne Mikolay

There’s an effective, startling video making the rounds on Facebook. The digital ad features footage of President Trump, former President Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden. In the ad, images of Trump shakily drinking a glass of water and being assisted down the ramp at West Point after his recent commencement address are interspersed with Obama/Biden easily jogging through the White House and effortlessly raising their glasses afterward. The video ends with the phrase: “Biden, President, He can run and drink water.”

There’s a lot to say about this particular pro-Biden ad. First: IT IS NOT AN OFFICIAL JOE BIDEN CAMPAIGN PRESENTATION. It was produced by a Biden supporter on Twitter (@FindAClearTruth). The video is a polished, highly effective message that has garnered more than a million views; however, I’m not sure the “He can run and drink water” video clip does Biden any favors.

To be clear: At no time did @FindAClearTruth present his video as officially sanctioned by the Biden campaign. The problem lies with the undiscerning among us, those who, despite the era of “fake news”,  have yet to learn to verify their sources and will share the “He can run and drink water” clip as though it came directly from the Biden camp, and thereby spread a false image of Biden as a man comfortable with mockery.

Joe Biden does not deal in vitriol, choosing instead to rightly market his campaign as a “battle for the soul of our nation.” Biden, of course, is far from perfect; he makes gaffes here and there, but he does not engage in mockery. He does not capitalize on another’s weakness for political gain. Promoting Biden for President via a video that pokes fun at the physical imperfections (for lack of a better word) of the opposition flies in the face of Joe Biden’s integrity and all Biden stands for.

@FindAClearTruth’s video leaves me torn. It’s so well done, but it makes me uncomfortable. In less than sixty seconds, @FindAClearTruth accurately conveys the marked difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. One could say, as @FindAClearTruth apparently believes, Trump, arguably the most divisive individual to occupy the Oval Office, deserves to be mocked. Surely, a man who shows no mercy to anyone deserves no mercy for himself. A man who routinely employs mockery and cruelty can’t complain when the same is directed at him. But is it right to engage in public derision? No, it isn’t, and Joe Biden would be the first to say so.

A campaign, like Biden’s, centered around inclusion, equality, and reclaiming the soul of our nation, would likely not sanction any campaign video that deals in mockery and debases another human being. Bear this in mind if you look at @FindAClearTruth’s “He can run and drink water” pro-Biden video. Know that Joe Biden’s campaign did not produce the ad. Joe Biden didn’t do it. A very inventive, expressive young man on twitter did. Please call attention to @FindAClearTruth’s copyright if you share the video. Refraining from doing so presents Biden as a hypocrite and does Biden no favors.

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Anne Mikolay

Anne M. Mikolay joined The Atlantic Highlands Herald as a columnist in 2008. Prior to penning “The Armchair Critic,” Anne wrote feature articles for The Monmouth Journal. Her work has appeared in national...