OPINION: Do Americans really want another term with Joe Biden?

For many, a vote for Joe Biden in 2020 was a plea for normalcy. Placed next to Donald Trump, Biden looked like a saving grace.

Cue 2022, the Biden administration continues to disappoint its voters. Record the Covid-19 numbers, the highest inflation rates since before my life and surprisingly low approval rate are a few toppings to the long list of Biden administration failures.

One obvious gap at the top of Biden’s first year in office is his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, establishing a better grip on the pandemic was a priority for his campaign. However, with the register a high number of positive cases under Biden, Americans are wondering: what did this administration do in response to Covid-19?

Biden encouraged people to get vaccinated from the start, and the administration celebrated a big win of 200 million people receiving at least their first vaccine in Biden’s first 100 days. Yet millions of Americans are still unvaccinated, making herd immunity in the United States far from a reality. We now know that a supplement wakeup call is the most effective in protecting against the Omicron variant, but only 35 percent of Americans received their recall.

The rise in Covid-19 cases has left many Americans feeling unsafe. Last year, Biden announced that those vaccinated should “enjoy your holidays,though Omicron rears its ugly head across the country. Many DePaul students, myself included, can attest that Covid-19 was everywhere — even in many fully vaccinated homes — during the holiday season.

The lack of accessible and affordable home Covid-19 test kits has only compounded the problem that Biden has encouraged. Americans can now order four free home test kits per household via USPS. Thus, my household of five is entitled to four tests. Thank you Joe Biden.

Despite Biden’s impending pledge of 500 million test kits and new insurance coverage for expensive test kits, I argue his response has been too little, too late. Experts say that many places in the United States, including Chicago, peaked. While these home tests are crucial for Social Security going forward, they are way overdue. Where were they when Americans needed them most?

Wayne Steger, a political science professor at DePaul, argues that the economy is a dominant factor in determining whether Biden will run for re-election in 2024.

“On the one hand, economic growth has exceeded expectations, unemployment is low, wage gains are solid,” Steger said. “The other [hand], inequality continues to rise. The bigger problem, for more voters, is inflation, which erodes the standard of living for people whose incomes are not growing as fast as inflation.

However, Steger argues that it’s still too early and too complicated to determine what 2024 will look like.

With the highest inflation rates the country has seen in over 30 years, Americans are in conflict: Whose fault is it? Critics of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) have noted that if passed, inflation rates would rise. Their argument, as described in the Economic Policy Institute, was that ARPA would significantly affect the fiscal impulse, causing the output gap go from negative to positive. Thus, triggering inflation.

This does not happen. The output gap remained negative. So, despite the administration bill, why has the inflation rate increased? Economic Policy Institute blames pandemic – ‘Covid-19 never went away’. The administration’s failures in handling the pandemic have resulted in record positive cases, overwhelmed hospitals and dramatic financial burdens for Americans.

Kyle Asta, president of the DePaul College Democrats, wonders: “Is it [Biden] going to be able to deliver for voters? in 2024.

Biden has yet to do that in this term. Biden promised voters on his campaign trail that he would at least cancel $10,000 in student debt per person. Here we are in January 2022, with no progress towards debt cancellation, and Biden completely avoids questions on the subject.

Biden recent failures in the Supreme Court further highlights his failed commitments to the American people. Its vaccine mandate failed in a 7-2 vote earlier this month, except for vaccine mandates for healthcare workers at facilities that accept federal funding.

While Biden expressed disappointment in the High Court for ending “common sense” and “saving lives” policies, that shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The overreach of the government in its policy was more than evident. His efforts should go toward cooperation across the aisle, rather than coming up with bills and laws that will be knowingly killed.

Last year, Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was not only disastrous, but also highlighted the priorities of this administration. Biden withdrew troops without a clear plan to evacuate American citizens and American allies – forcing troops to be sent back to Afghanistan. Despite the re-engagement of troops in Afghanistan, not everyone could be evacuated. Biden left Americans in Afghanistan.

Whether or not the fight against global terrorism remains an American priority, I assure you that enabling terrorist organizations is in no American interest. Once the soldiers left Afghanistan, a little less $10 million in weapons were left behind – ultimately for Taliban use. Going against the advice of military officials, Biden’s chilling decision to pull out of Afghanistan leaves room for speculation and concern about the future of US military activity.

A creeping concern from another term with Biden is his age. If Biden were to serve another term, he would be 86 when his presidency ends. “Biden’s age creates a huge unknown,” Steger added.

An 86-year-old cannot accurately represent America, where a significant number of his constituents would be decades younger than him.

America should be concerned about Biden’s health. This opinion does not stem from ageism, but rather from genuine concern. Biden is already 10 years after the Average life expectancy. The anxiety around his health is not far-fetched. Although his health is a private and individual matter, I would argue that it is a bigger issue than him. This affects Americans and should therefore remain a factor when questioning a second term for Biden.

Asta says the biggest concern among DePaul College Democrats in 2024 is Biden’s health.

“Mental health and physical health are what we’re looking at over the next two years,” he said. “If he doesn’t do well in those categories, we’ll consider supporting someone else.”

The most important argument regarding Biden’s age is his competence. The prejudice and ridicule of his stuttering should not be entertained; his abilities are distinct from his speech stumbles.

Biden’s public addresses proved not only a bit slow, but also difficult to follow. During the 2019 and 2020 Democratic debates, he often forgot questions, went off on tangents, and overall didn’t always make sense. A single example of the The ABC Presidential Debate, Biden was asked about the legacy of slavery in America, but he kind of ended his answer by talking about record players. A competent, cohesive face of America is imperative — and Biden has proven to fall short of those standards. Four more years would be a mistake.

The Numbers Don’t Lie – Just America does not approve of the Biden administration. A re-election campaign would not be a guaranteed victory for the Democrats. Asta said Biden is currently not doing “a great job within his party on some issues,” but a re-election bid is still worth considering. He cited former President Barack Obama’s presidency as he suffered significant losses in his first half terms and emerged to win a second term. Even so, Obama’s approval rating never sank as low as Biden’s first year in office.

The 2016 elections are not new; should we forget what happens when Democrats don’t like their candidate? Biden running for re-election would be far too risky for Democrats. Biden’s re-election would be far too risky for America.

Steger is also tired of it. “Democrats, especially progressive Democrats, are unhappy with the lack of progress on a relatively liberal agenda,” he said.

While not as low as Trump’s, Biden’s approval rating after his first year in office sits at a disappointing 42%. Biden “beating” Trump’s approval rating is simply the bare minimum and the American people deserve better. In fact, we deserve any president we want – no lesser of two evils.

Biden broke his promises. As a politician, this is not uncommon. However, Biden’s first year in office is more than just broken promises. It’s more than politics. He campaigned to lift America out of one of the most horrific and tragic years of the last century. He took advantage of vulnerable voters. He saw an opportunity, and he seized it at America’s expense.

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