Monday, July 26, 2021

Bye, Bye American Optimism

You probably noticed, but the advent of the Biden presidency produced a wave of good old American optimism. For the first three months of Biden Americans expressed far more optimism than they had during the Trump years.

Now, no one knows exactly why this happened. Some people assumed that Biden election would serve as the definitive cure for Trump derangement syndrome, malady that had been running rampant through the minds of America’s best and brightest.

Some people even believed that peace and harmony would descend on America's streets. If Trump was responsible for last year's nationwide riots, then the absence of Trump would naturally cause America's blue cities to calm down.

Others believed that America had tired of the Trump show and that we were all craving some good old boring politics. Trump’s showmanship may have won him the presidency, but his lack of decorum lost it. A man who mocked those, even from within his administration, who advised him to be more presidential, paid the price.

And obviously, those who despised Trump believed that God had sent the coronavirus in order to punish America for its vote. They believed that the pandemic would magically disappear as soon as Trump left office. Dare we say, as we have noted before, that Trump did not handle the virus very well-- especially by making himself the face of the anti-virus effort.

Don’t give press briefings about subjects you know nothing about. And do not do it when the press is unremittingly hostile toward you.

People who believed that hair-sniffing Joe Biden would restore decency were smoking the wrong kinds of cigarettes. People who were expecting empathy to reign supreme had failed to understand that a certain segment of the population would feel empathy for the harassment that Donald Trump had endured. If Mark Penn and Andrew Cuomo both suggest that they have never seen anything like the media attacks on an American president, then you can be fairly confident that America's ills were coming from both ends of the political spectrum.

Whatever the reasons-- and there is plenty of blame to share-- the Biden presidency began with America in a pretty good mood. But now, the mood has soured and America is becoming markedly pessimistic about the future.

Dare I say, I have certainly been sufficiently pessimistic myself. One might be inclined to attribute this to being a cranky old guy, but it seems also to have been a reasonably accurate reading of the national mood.

As it happened, the past six months has seen American optimism collapse. A new poll tales the sad story:

As President Joe Biden completed 100 days in office, the country was optimistic about the coming year, but now, just after hitting the six-month mark, Americans' optimism about the direction of the country has plummeted nearly 20 points, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds.

A majority -- 55% -- of the public say they are pessimistic about the direction of the country, a marked change from the roughly one-third (36%) that said the same in an ABC News/Ipsos poll published May 2. In the early May survey, Americans were more optimistic than pessimistic by a 28-percentage point margin. Optimism is now under water by 10 points. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, fewer than half -- 45% -- now report feeling optimistic about the way things are going, a significant drop from about two-thirds (64%) in the May poll.

The decline in optimism has occurred across the board among Democrats, Republicans and independents. Optimism is down about 20 points among Democrats and Republicans and down 26 points among independents.

 Among Democrats, about 7 in 10 (71%) now say they are optimistic about the direction of the country over the next 12 months. That's much lower than the near universal (93%) approval from Democrats on Biden's handling of the pandemic. In politics today, partisans usually are more unified in their support or opposition to particular issues or people.

The optimism-pessimism flip comes as Americans give Biden his lowest approval rating for his handling of the pandemic yet in ABC News/Ipsos polling. A little over 6 in 10 (63%) approve of the president's response to the coronavirus, according to the poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' KnowledgePanel.

For some reason the nation had bought the idea that Joe Biden would be a virus killer. By now a majority of the nation has figured out that Joe is cognitively impaired. Such a realization makes people believe that they were conned.

As for the virus, many people were convinced that eliminating the Trump presidency would cure the virus. Yes, I know, it’s a silly thought, unworthy of your serious mind, but still, as long as Trump was portrayed as the Devil Incarnate, the root of all political and cultural evil, large segments of the American people came to suspect that electing Biden would end the pandemic.

And then there are other issues, issues on which Biden seems to be floundering. In truth, people must have imagined that Biden, given his decades of political experience, would naturally be able to deal with important issues.

As of yet this has not been the case:

Fewer than 4 in 10 Americans approve of the president's handling of immigration and the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, crime and gun violence. Republicans have hounded Biden and Democrats over all three, as border crossings and violent crime rates, especially in Democrat-run U.S. cities nationwide, surge. That's reflected in Republicans' high level of disapproval -- ranging between 86% and 92% -- of the president's handling of the three issues, according to this poll.

So, crime in the streets of America's blue cities. Immigration out of the control. And, let's not forget, America's public schools have been infested with critical race theory. Parents may have voted for Joe Biden, but they did not vote to have their children indoctrinated in anti-racism ideology. They certainly did not vote to have their children miss out on math and science instruction, even to the point of not reading great literature or studying great thinkers-- because their educations have been taken over by a band of ideological zealots whose goal is to produce anti-racist groupthink.

Keep in mind, this is happening in the face of a media lovefest with the Biden presidency. The mainstream media has done it best to make Biden look good and to cheerlead his performance. And yet, as noted here last week, Joe Biden's CNN public forum was so bad that there is little chance that he will do another one. Note that, the CNN show of Biden mumbling received very bad ratings, indeed.

Have Americans abandoned all hope in Joe Biden? Time will tell.


urbane legend said...

Anyone who listened to Biden talk in the last six months and come away optimistic has a serious problem with reality. Even the most staunch dem should have recognized that the party had no business running a man so impaired for President.

370H55V said...

I guess the moon isn't in the seventh house. Either that or Jupiter hasn't aligned with Mars.

lynney62 said...

I have found throughout my life, yes, I'm old, that if a person grew up as a Democrat, they tend to hold close to "Party" no matter what the reality of the day is. The country they live in every day may be going down the Marxism tube, they might even agree to 1 or 2 points of reality, but, in the end, they will vote "PARTY FIRST". I have no idea why, the brain such a weird organ that it can't change?

Randomizer said...

"did not vote to have their children indoctrinated in anti-racism ideology. "

Why do you accept their Leftist nomenclature? I visit this blog regularly, and it seems like we all get that CRT is racist indoctrination. The CRT people brazenly call it "anti-racism", but we don't have to go along.

I just retired from teaching high school. In class, when we had some extra time, I'd chat with my students about topics unrelated to the content to help them understand how the world works. One of my Asian students asked me if I thought that Ivy League schools practiced reverse discrimination against Asian students. I told him there is no such thing as reverse discrimination. There is just discrimination, and they've been discriminating against Asians for years.

Anti-racism is just racist and Antifa is fascist.

markedup2 said...

Good point, Randomizer.

The Left is very good at framing the debate. Don't fall for it - but it's difficult not to due the pervasiveness.

Sam L. said...

"You probably noticed, but the advent of the Biden presidency produced a wave of good old American optimism. For the first three months of Biden Americans expressed far more optimism than they had during the Trump years."

Why, no, I didn't! But then I live in a rural area, and don't watch TV "news".