A billboard in Maryland featuring negative caricatures of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris has caught the attention of many and sparked a heated debate. The sign, located in Huntington in Calvert County, displays cartoon images of the president and vice president surrounded by piles of cartoon feces. Accompanying the images is a message that reads, “DON’T BLAME TRUMP! YOU ARE STUCK WITH THESE TWO (expletive) HEADS!!!”
While some individuals find the sign amusing, many Maryland residents, especially those who hold different political views, find it offensive. Jeanette Flaim, Chair of the Calvert County Democratic Central Committee, has taken a stand against the billboard and hopes to have it removed. Flaim argues that the sign is vulgar and inappropriate for public display, especially considering that children pass by it on their way to school.
However, removing the sign may prove to be difficult due to a Supreme Court decision in 2015. The Reed v. Town of Gilbert case ruled in favor of free speech, allowing signs with potentially offensive language to remain as long as they are deemed legal. Buddy Hance, President of the Board of County Commissioners, acknowledges the limitations on governmental intervention, stating, “There is nothing that we as county government can do for language that’s on a legal sign. This country was built on the foundation of free speech, and sometimes we like what that free speech says, and sometimes we don’t.”
Undeterred, Flaim plans to continue her efforts to have the billboard removed or replaced with something less vulgar and controversial. She wants to emphasize that she is not opposed to signs expressing a pro-Trump agenda, but she believes the current sign crosses a line that can negatively impact residents, regardless of their political affiliation. Flaim hopes that by exerting public pressure, the individuals responsible for the sign will reconsider its offensive messaging.
While the person behind the sign has not responded to requests for comment, it raises the question of why they chose this method of expression. Are they avoiding public scrutiny, or do they intend to let the sign speak for itself?
As we reflect on the 2020 general election and the divisive atmosphere surrounding it, it is essential to consider the impact of such controversial displays. It is crucial to engage in constructive conversations about the boundaries of free speech and what is deemed appropriate for public consumption.
What is your opinion on this billboard? Do you believe it should be allowed to remain? Let us know your thoughts.