Jim Crawford: Joe’s popularity takes a hit

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 22, 2021

President Joe Biden is not very popular right now.

Recent polling shows his approval to be at about 41 percent, higher than his predecessor at the same point in his presidency, but lower than other recent presidents.

Of course, Joe’s presidency did not start very smoothly, given a worldwide pandemic raging out of control, an economy in freefall and an ex-president denying the election outcome.

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Biden took all of that in stride and set out to defeat the virus, producing millions upon millions of shots and restoring the economy by making it safe again to go to work. Most people liked that effort but for those who decided that their personal freedoms were more sacred than their lives.

Then came the Delta variant, a more potent and faster spreading version of COVID-19, and early successes in beating the virus were reversed by new hospitalizations, mostly of the unvaccinated.

The Biden administration worked to offset the ongoing economic crisis with a $1.9 trillion relief act that protected workers still at risk and protected industries like the airlines while still threatened by the spread of the virus. Republicans, for their part, would not vote for this bill, but it became law while they sat upon their hands, looking away.

Since then, Biden has worked, sometimes too quietly, for programs and changes that benefit the American people. Biden got us out of Afghanistan, a forever war with no possible path to success. Biden’s vaccine diplomacy leads the world with over 600 million vaccines donated to poorer countries and more promised.

The American Rescue Plan has cut child poverty in half. Over 5 million jobs have been added since Biden became president, more than any previous president. Unemployment has consistently fallen, currently at 4.6 percent, lower than all projections. The stock markets have performed well, and GDP increased 6.5 percent in the second quarter, better than any quarter of the previous administration.

We have rejoined the Paris Climate Accords and taken a leadership role in addressing the environmental crisis. U.S. respect internationally has risen from the low points of the previous president, and relationships with our allies have been re-established.

Just last week, President Biden signed a bill into law most political pundits thought impossible, a bipartisan act to re-build our aging national infrastructure, a law that will create new good-paying jobs, make our transportation system safer and more efficient, and provide broadband access across the nation.

But Joe is not popular because inflation is nibbling at economic growth, gas prices are higher and the chaos of Trump will not go away as we all hoped.

Democrats, as always worried about the next election, should stop cowering in fear and start telling the American people about all that has already been accomplished and what is yet to come in the Build Back Better Act now before Congress.

Democrats should also point to what Republicans offer the American people, cartoons killing elected officials, attacks on Big Bird, nasty attacks around Let’s Go Brandon and attempts to punish their members for voting for the popular and needed infrastructure bill.

While the entire Republican Party, minus Liz Cheney, cower in fear of the disgraced and defeated ex-president, the Democrats work to govern.

Jim Crawford is a retired educator, political enthusiast and award-winning columnist living here in the Tri-State.