President Biden is being tested. This is normal. It's usually what happens to new American presidents in their first year. But Biden’s work load and our challenges are greater and more complex than for any President in our history as a republic. The times are not normal.
Imagine that YOU are the American president now.
China is rattling its sabers with regard to Taiwan which is one of democracy’s most important trading partners. They provide the hardware that runs civilization. The US continues its delicate dance. One wrong move and there will be an invasion of a democratic republic by Chinese communists. For you as President, the situation is quite complex. Your potential foe in such a conflict controls the production of lithium and other essential components of the batteries that power everything including the new electric vehicles you are encouraging the expansion of. Xi doesn’t know how much resolve you have.
Russia is on the move beating the anti-democracy drum by sending thousands of troops to threaten Ukraine. Putin is assisting the dictator Lukashenko of Belarus in his attempts to destabilize Europe – literally importing immigrants and forcing them into Poland. Russian internet hackers are creating havoc with American businesses and threaten to undermine our infrastructure. Putin wants to see how far he can push you. If you are distracted by Xi and his Taiwan ambitions, he may see an opening.
As President, you would be battling a pandemic while millions are still zombie like anti-vaxxers who may catch the virus, offer it safe harbor for mutations and spread it further to all of us - especially threatening the vulnerable. That is taxing hospital systems and that is depriving others of urgent care. Your calls for all to get vaccinated are still ignored by those who buy the lies of the radical right. You are blamed for rising case numbers because you are President – by the very fools who are the cause of the mess. But you continue to employ a positive encouraging approach. Some appreciate that. Others attack you for being too lax. Vaccine and mask mandates are condemned and demanded.
You, as President, are blamed for rising inflation. Why? Not because anything you have done has had any impact on prices. But because your enemies want to blame you for any unfortunate things that happen on your watch. Everyone knows that Presidents don’t cause prices to rise, but facts are lost on the haters. You re-appoint Powell as Chair of the Fed angering economic progressives.
An insurrection needs to be vigorously prosecuted. Yet you stand behind the idea of an independent Department of Justice - unlike your predecessor that used it as a personal law firm. This is not popular with those on the left and you are now assailed by those who voted for you.
The GQP is restricting voting with new laws that limit access. And by using gerrymandering, the radical right is stacking the deck for the next election cycle. Partisan redistricting based on the recent census threaten democracy itself. The fear that Congress will become a Republican instrument of disaster following the 2022 elections adds another layer of extreme pressure to accomplish whatever is possible before that happens. As President in 2023, your time may be spent just vetoing legislation that threatens your accomplishments.
The Supreme Court is about to eviscerate women's reproductive rights and allow insane people to pack concealed weapons. The Federalist Society has groomed and guided justices to be appointed by a President who catered to the Oligarchs. The pressure grows on you as President, to expand the court to include judges that are a true representation of American’s desire to keep the government from controlling women's bodies and to employ some sensible gun control laws. The trials of white supremacist murderers bring to light the fact that gun ownership as allowed by the court’s twisted inventive interpretation of the Constitution has created a new “wild west” of chaos and needless death. You hear chants of “Pack the Court, Joe!”
Oh, lest we forget, the really big one: the horrific impacts of the Climate Crisis are forcing people to adapt, migrate or die. The “radical right” still denies that it exists. The “greens” of the left think you are doing too little. Nobody is happy with you no matter what you do. The fate of the planet is at stake. Just a little pressure. You almost wish that asteroid would hit and end the agony.
Joseph Biden may be the most challenged President in American history. Look at Biden's list of daily concerns. Our concerns. He needs our support. That doesn’t mean a lack of criticism. It does mean respect and support for his overarching goals. Our hopes of retaining and strengthening democracy are under attack in ways that are not unlike those of the 1860’s. Biden is our Lincoln. He can be our FDR as well. Let us stand with him.
If you support President Biden’s efforts, tell him so. Send a note to the White House. It’s easy: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
For a really smart assessment of Biden’s presidency and the many accomplishments so far, please read this edition of Letters from an American by Professor Heather Cox Richardson.
For an excellent review of the days events from a politically astute writer with a legal background, please read Robert Hubbell’s “Today’s Edition”. It is fact filled, realistic and offers opportunities for optimism and and action plans.
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