Another American is exercising his freedom of speech in a way that cannot be censored — plastering it on billboards along Pennsylvania’s Interstate 83. A former Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate paid for a dozen billboards across central Pennsylvania to express exactly how he and many others feel about the situation in Afghanistan. He wrote, “The pull-out rushed through by President Biden had made us the laughing stock of the world. The Taliban are openly stating that they ran the United States out of Afghanistan – they are now very emboldened.”
After the Biden administration’s atrocious withdrawal from Afghanistan, many Americans feel angry as the situation could’ve been handled significantly better.
During his 2018 run for governor, Scott Wagner spent time listening to the heartbreaking stories of veterans who put their lives on the line and lost their fellow men and women in war. He met with those who had sacrificed their bodies, who are now wounded both physically and mentally, having lost limbs and their mental health in the course of their service to a government that doesn’t seem to care. So as Wagner watched the horrendous events unfold, he wondered what could be said to those who felt like all their hard work was for naught. He felt a duty to do something as he believes the pullout “is an absolute mess and a tragedy.”
He told Fox News, “What do we say to families who lost loved ones in the Middle East – the country these people served and died for left Afghanistan with its tail between its legs. It seems that President Biden was hell-bent on rushing out of Afghanistan – his ego and lack [of] information is going to prove to be very bad for the United States.” He’s not one to shy away from the spotlight. Wagner selected a provocative image and had it placed on 12 different billboards across central Pennsylvania.
The billboard plays off the infamous MAGA slogan and reads, “Make the Taliban Great Again!” The words are accompanied by a picture of Joe Biden dressed as a Taliban member, holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher (RPG). Biden’s face was previously placed on a pile of poo on a Maryland billboard back in May by a separate, unrelated person.
He shares sentiments with many Americans that although former President Donald Trump set the plan to leave Afghanistan, Biden’s handling was subpar at best. Wagner claims that even if Trump had been in Biden’s shoes, he still would’ve put his face on the billboards, too.
“If Trump had done the same thing,” said Wagner, “he’d be looking the same way.”
Though the internet censors whatever it doesn’t like, billboards maintain their First Amendment sovereignty. Pennsylvania has already been around that block in 2019 with its billboards. Trine Outdoor Advertising Vice President Brian Scott said they don’t get in the politics of things. He said, “As long as ads meet certain standards of decency. If someone wants us to put something up, we put it up.”
He assures they have no bias, “We try to stay in the middle. … If someone wants to put up a billboard praising Joe Biden, we’ll do that.”