Biden v. America
President Biden’s approval numbers have been declining since the day he took office. To be sure, there are challenges, like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that are beyond his control. But dealing with the unexpected is one of the things that is expected of a president. Still, the president’s biggest challenges are not the things beyond his control but the disconnect between his priorities and the priorities of the American people.
In May, the polling group FiveThirtyEight asked Americans what issues were most important to them. Unsurprisingly, inflation was the top concern. The most recent numbers show inflation growing at a record 8.6%, but even that feels understated. After all, gas prices have increased 75% since President Biden took office, which is affecting the price of everything.
Biden’s attempts to address the problem feel a bit like putting down sandbags right after you blow up a dam. The effort to mitigate the damage doesn’t get the respect you want when people see you as the one who created the problem — and even most Democrats blame Biden for inflation. Everything he’s done now feels a bit like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube when people still haven’t gotten over why you created the mess in the first place.
In a desperate but sincere attempt to put a positive spin on the situation, President Biden is now framing the energy crisis as an opportunity to go green. People won’t care about gas prices when everyone is driving an electric vehicle, and we’ll save the planet in the process. Or so the story goes. The American public, it seems, is unconvinced. Only 16% of Americans and 30% of Democrats, believe climate change is one of the most important issues facing the country.
Immigration is another priority issue for the public, but 59% of Americans disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the issue. In May, we saw him break more records for illegal border crossings as well as set a historic high for detainees on the terror watch lists. These aren’t the kind of records you want to be setting. Meanwhile, steel that the Trump administration was using to build the border wall continues to lay on the desert floor where it has been since the day Biden took office.
Crime and gun violence is another priority issue for the public, but only 38% of Americans approve of the way President Biden is handling this issue. Escalating crime rates in the wake of the defund police movement are not only impacting the daily lives of Americans but the political mood of the country as well.
Instead of focusing on the issues the American people care about, the White House seems more interested in trying to persuade Americans to care about other issues, like the riots in Washington, D.C. Not the riots where Antifa and Black Lives Matter destroyed buildings and lit things on fire for days. Those were the good ones. The one you’re supposed to be outraged by is the riot on January 6th. Inflation may be bad, but you should mostly be concerned about Republicans.
Another thing you’re supposed to be outraged by is the possibility that a counselor might help a child who experiences gender dysphoria become comfortable with the body God gave them. While the public wants to see an end to high prices, the Biden administration’s Pride Month celebrations made clear that he’s doing everything he can about so-called “conversion therapy.” This followed the White House’s recognition of the “Transgender Day of Visibility” where President Biden announced a new “X” gender marker on U.S. passport applications and gender-neutral scanners for the Transportation Security Administration. Visitors to the White House will soon be able to select an “X” on their gender marker for background checks as well.
The Biden administration is also working feverishly to protect unborn baby killing now that Roe v. Wade is overturned. Reportedly, the White House may declare a public health emergency in places where abortion would be illegal to take away the right of states to make their own decisions on this matter. This would only worsen the second most important issue for Americans — political polarization.
When your house is burning down, you find little comfort in hearing the fire department has updated their sprinkler regulations. America’s house is on fire in many ways, and President Biden seems to think we should be impressed by fancy new rainbow decor. But the numbers indicate we aren’t. One of the best ways to show you don’t care about someone is to spend all your time on things they don’t care about. President Biden couldn’t do that more effectively if he tried.
Joseph Backholm is Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council.