The Last Few Days Show Promise on Many Fronts
Public Perceptions Count
It seemed as though two thought patterns kind of ran through the country over the last few months.
One has been dissatisfaction with Biden, which in turn led to even worse than normal forecasts for the president’s party in the upcoming midterm elections. The other has been a general national grumpiness, post pandemic peak, which we have commented on in this space before. People, in their eagerness for normalcy, are in something of a bad mood generally, and that reflects back on politicians.
These two mindsets reinforce each other.
The Media Role in All This
I have often noted that Biden’s low ratings really do not make sense to me. He was not even close to being my first choice for president, but in fact has done a much better job than I had any hopes of seeing. His priorities, actions, and especially staffing choices have been excellent. More on that shortly.
The media has been a disappointing part of the skewed perceptions over the last few months. They have often participated in the measuring of the horse race rather than the substance of governance. If there was ever a time we needed serious journalism rather than an element that ran with whatever the national mood was, it is now. We generally are not getting that.
A few weeks ago, it was all bad news in framing discussions about Biden. Now he is on a good results streak and suddenly they are all about how strong the Democrats look. Neither view is quite right. How about just settling down and helping us keep track of results? Not too much to ask, is it?
Running Up the Score in Recent Days
It is true that a lot of good news has broken of late that Biden should get credit for from us all. It is equally true that the Republicans may have finally angered enough people with their heavy hand of government approach to everything to make these midterms come out much, much better in the coming general elections. For example:
- After an 11 year search, the leader of Al Qaida was found an killed. This further weakens a terrorist element, validates Biden’s over the horizon tracking and engagement process, and puts the Taliban on notice that as promised, we will not tolerate harboring known terrorists.
- The assistance we have led in the West providing Ukraine is having a major effect, across the board. The war seems to be shifting to the South now and could go on for a long time yet, but it is clear that the Russians are paying a terrible price in so many ways for their miscalculation.
- NATO is stronger than ever, after being nearly unravelled by Trump. Two important new member countries are about to join and the alliance is holding together against Russia, as is the European Union, for the most part.
- Inflation continues, but signs are growing that it is slowing. With a bit of luck, it will cool off without a recession, but time will tell. Overall, we are in about the middle of the pack among advanced countries in measuring inflation rates. There are real limits as to what the government and the Federal Reserve can do. So far, they are doing all the right things
- Gas prices are coming down quite a bit. Gas in the US is cheaper than in any other industrialized country. Yeah, still too high, but definitely getting better. Would be nice if this led to more hybrid/EV purchases and a look at energy company price gouging.
As this is written, the lasts version of Bidens’ Build Back Better program is about to pass into law. Even greatly reduced, it is a huge win for America and will have major, positive impact on millions of people>
The List Continues…
- The Justice Department appears to be moving much quicker and in the right direction on civil rights and pursuing the crimes of Trump and company. Let’s hear it for justice and accountability.
- Speaking of accountability, Alex Jones appears about to lose $45 million for his misbehavior. We will see if the total stands, but it is a great message that such behavior carries responsibilities. And the One America network, which is even worse than Fox, is about to go belly up. Trump’s effort at establishing a social media entity has gone nowhere.
- Trump is bumping up against justice in cases in NY and GA, and perhaps at the federal level. The January 6 committee is having an effect nationally and is doing a great job of making clear the threat that was and still is facing America.
- Kansas voters set the political world on fire by overwhelming rejecting the forced birth agenda. If this is a portal for national results, and I think it likely is, the Republicans will pay a price for their extremism.
- Neither the latest COVID variant nor Monkey Pox are gone, but both appear to be largely at manageable levels. COVID is mostly hitting hardest those who still – remarkably- refuse to get vaccinated.
- Extremists and Trump backed candidates in the midterms had mixed results at best. It will be most interesting to see how Arizona voters react to the 100% nuts slate.
All in all, not a bad report card.
What Effects in November?
Who knows?! We still have the better part of three months until election day and a million things could happen between now and then. But the trend looks positive towards people doing the right thing for the right reasons. We still have major problems and risks for sure, but the future looks orders of magnitude more positive now than it did just a few weeks ago. Keep your fingers crossed.
Is This Part of a General Correction?
It may well be just such a shifting. I have noted that throughout our history, the country tends to veer too far right or left, and the citizenry gets to a point wherein they enforce a correction, most often through elections. We may be approaching one of those times.
People may agree with any number of Trump or Desantis positions per se, but are figuring out they really don’t want the government in the doctor’s office when a woman needs to make a decision, don’t really think book banning or burning are good ideas, and actually do not think a bunch of old guys in state capitols should be dictating what schools teach.
May it be so.
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