Biden Cursing, Narcissism Booming

For those of you who haven’t already heard, Senator Biden was recently taped cursing at a custard shop owner.  I was going to have some fun with this clip, but I felt so sorry for the Custard Guy when I viewed this that I’m now writing about the importance of empathy.

If you watch this clip closely, you’ll notice how excited the business owner is about Senator Biden’s visit.  This is a milestone moment for him, something that he’ll tell his children and grandchildren about one day.  He is delighted to serve Biden his custard, and rightly so-how many of us can say that the VP has visited our business?

The trouble starts when Biden asks, “how much do I owe you?”  Watch closely as Custard Guy answers.  He doesn’t skip a beat and appears lighthearted and relaxed as he responds, “It’s on the house…just lower our taxes and we’ll call it even”  Custard Guy shows no sign of being 1)rude 2)passive aggressive or 3) angry.  He is simply speaking to the well known fact that many people are against tax increases.  Clearly, this isn’t a new issue.  We’ve been talking about taxes since oh, 1750 or so.

Senator Biden does not respond immediately, but he is clearly pissed.  He walks around a bit in the middle of a small mob of media reporters and locals, all of whom hold recorders or cameras.

Biden then does some posturing, stands squarely facing Custard Guy, and states, “Why don’t you stop being a smartass and say something nice.”  Custard Guy’s excitement (and ego) deflates like a hot air balloon in front of an entire room of people, his town, and the nation.  Bueller?……Bueller??….

Clearly, Biden was aware of the media presence.  His response was not impulsive or reflexive; he gave it some real thought.  In this case, I think it’s fairly obvious that Biden intended to embarrass Custard Guy by making him look like an ass in front of the entire nation of people who watch the playback.

Of course, Custard Guy got some coverage, but are you headed to his store to buy custard today?  My point exactly.  The reality is that this is a small business owner whose taxes will increase dramatically next year, eating up most of his profit.  This could actually put him out of business, as I’m guessing that he isn’t exactly raking it in there.  It is certainly appropriate to mention this to the Vice President of the US.

The point?  I’m disturbed that Senator Biden doesn’t have a little more empathy for this person.  Yes, Biden could be tired, annoyed, hot and irritable, and fed up with pressure related to taxes.  However, Biden is used to being in front of cameras.  He signed up for this, but Custard Guy didn’t.  He was simply running his business just as he does every day, and the VP brought in some real excitement and chaos.

Those who don’t have empathy for the small business owner weren’t raised in families supported by a small business.  That’s all there is to it.

That’s all for today, folks.  It’s a steamy summer day here on the Lowcountry coastline, and I intend to spend most of it in the water with my favorite 3 year old.  Toodles!