In Huntington, Maryland, in Calvert County, a billboard signed as being from “all your deplorable in Calvert County” is turning heads and stirring up deeply heated and divided opinions. It pictures President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as caricatured heads atop two piles of human excrement. The text makes it clear that the billboard is intended as a pro-Trump message: “DON’T BLAME TRUMP! YOU ARE STUCK WITH THESE SH*THEADS!!!” As stated earlier, the billboard has sparked both applause and outrage, as citizens of Calvert County debate what to do about the sign.
Jeanette Flaim, the chair of the Democratic Central Committee of Calvert County, has lobbied the media for help in getting rid of the sign. According to her, the sign is vulgar and unfit for public display. She does not want kids to see it, or for parents to have to explain to their children what the sign means and why it is being displayed. However, according to two local newspapers, the Calvert Record and the Southern Maryland news, have noted that the county commissioners might have no choice but to allow the billboard to stay up. A 2015 Supreme Court Decision, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, sided with the person who had been accused of putting up an offensive message in public, citing the person’s constitutional right to freedom of speech. The president of the Board of County Commissioners, Buddy Hance, has said that there is nothing for the county to do. The sign, which is up legally, is an example of free speech according to Hance, who notes that the United States was founded on the principle of free speech.
Flaim, however, is not ready to give up on her crusade against the sign. She is convinced that the vulgarity of the sign makes it unfit for public display. She does not have any problems with the sign being pro-Trump. According to her, she has never complained about any other signs, only this one for being so vulgar. She is trying to appeal publicly to the creator of the sign to make changes to the sign or to replace it with one that is far less offensive. She believes that the presence of the sign is damaging to everyone in the county, including Independents and Republicans. The creator of the sign has not made himself/herself known publicly, and they have not responded to Flaim’s request to either eliminate the offensive elements of the current billboard or to replace the billboard entirely. Whatever the outcome, this episode is a microcosm of the types of political upheaval that has taken hold across America in various states, districts, and counties. The 2020 election was one of the most divisive in recent memory, and it does not appear that healing will occur any time soon.