Americans aren’t keen on “nothing fundamentally changing” at this time, and the polls reflect that.
Following the fever-dream Trump presidency and Jan. 6 insurrection, Joseph R. Biden was inaugurated as President on Jan. 20, 2021. One year later, Biden’s presidency is best described as a total disaster.
According to FiveThirtyEight, Biden has a disapproval rating of 53%, compared to an approval rating of 41%. The President’s approval drastically fell in recent months, and much of that can be blamed on one promise he actually kept: “nothing will fundamentally change.”
While Trump was responsible for the country’s failed COVID-19 response, Biden’s death count dwarfs Trump’s. The U.S. still champions the world’s highest COVID-19 fatalities.
Biden seemingly lacks control of his own party. For nearly one year, Senators Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema have been de facto leaders of Democratic Party decision-making. No raises for minimum-wage workers, no meaningful investment in the American people, nothing. Even the child-tax credits, which Biden championed as having eliminated half of childhood poverty in the U.S., expired on Dec. 31, 2021.
Biden also faced severe criticism for how he handled withdrawing from Afghanistan. The war lasted far too long, and the people of Afghanistan already suffered tremendously. Despite this, the Biden administration seized $7 billion in federal reserve assets from the massively impoverished people of Afghanistan. This year, up to 97% of the Afghanistan population could fall into poverty. This isn’t merely a failure on Biden’s behalf, it’s unspeakably cruel.
Biden was elected on a plethora of promises, and it was unlikely he could actually keep them. What could he realistically accomplish with so many problems inherited from the previous administration? Nevertheless, Biden worsened many of those existing problems. One only needs to turn on CNN and listen to Russia-war coverage as thousands of Americans die from the pandemic daily to see this.
White nationalism continues to rise in the U.S., and the far-right is solidifying itself as a threat to what little is left, or ever existed, of American democracy. The last thing we need is for Biden to hand the reins back to Trump, or someone like him.
I don’t know why I thought Biden was joking when he said “nothing would fundamentally change.” Perhaps, like many eager to see Trump removed from office, I believed Trump’s absence would be a net positive by default. Now, Biden’s first year in office is defined by inflation, warmongering, division and far too many avoidable COVID-19 deaths.
Biden plans to run again in 2024, which might be the greatest crime of his first year. Whether or not the Biden administration will improve over the next three years has yet to be seen. However, Americans aren’t keen on “nothing fundamentally changing” at this time, and the polls reflect that.