Biden was meant to unite America – but it’s more divided than ever - by Freddy Gray & Rozina Sabur
We continue to monitor events on the other side of the Atlantic.
As a corollary to Joe Kotkin’s article which we published last week (See Politics - Is this the end of progressive America?), we provide an in-depth report by the Telegraph’s Washington Editors, Freddy Gray and Rozina Sabur on life on the ground in a post-Trump America.
Joe Biden’s pledge to heal the country’s wounds appears to be an empty one. If anything, things seem to have got worse:
"At the dawn of 2022, the country faces a winter of even greater peril than it did 12 months ago. Almost nothing has been repaired, restored or healed. In fact, violent crime has risen to terrifyingly high levels, inflation is worse than it has been in four decades, Covid remains rampant, and the culture war is raging ever more wildly."
On the ground, the collapse of law and order appear to be the first thing one notices:
"The murder rate, which did jump in the last year of Trump, has soared under Biden. At least 12 cities experienced all-time highs in violence last year. There were 797 homicides in Chicago in 2019, 299 more than in 2019. In Los Angeles, gun violence reached a 15-year high and nearly 400 people were murdered. Portland, Oregon – once ranked America’s most livable city – experienced 90 murders, comfortably outstripping its 1987 peak of 66.
George Floyd’s murder last year has left a devastating legacy in its wake in which:
"Defund the Police went from being an edgy slogan to an essential part of the Democratic policy platform. Across the country, hundreds of millions of dollars were redistributed from law and order programmes into more fashionable schemes for helping poor minorities. This forced police departments to make severe cuts to their crime-fighting budgets, which in turn caused a sharp decline in law enforcement."
And not just in the big cities. The effects on the smaller towns is also being felt:
Take Burlington, Vermont, a formerly sleepy university town of 44,000 residents, near the Canadian border. In recent years, the local political scene has been hijacked by left-wing radicals.
The popular local Progressive Party passed a measure to cut the police force by some 30 per cent. The idea was to introduce the reduction gradually, but a large number of police officers were disgusted at the lack of political support and quit. Now, Burlington’s business owners report staff no longer feel safe working after 6pm.”
Education is another policy area where Biden’s failure to stand up to the more extreme elements within his own party are disappointing many of his more moderate and independent supporters:
“In Virginia, for instance, it became clear that voters were furious about the imposition of critical race theory in schools. Rather than trying to neutralise the issue, however, the Democratic Governor insisted that teachers, not parents, should decide what their children learn.
The National Schools Board Association went even further and demanded that protesting parents should be investigated for “domestic terrorism”. The local issue then became a nationalised political battle between American families and the provisional progressive wing of Biden’s party. The families won by ejecting the governor in the November election and handing a slate of victories to Republicans in the state.”
The parallels with Boris Johnson on this side of the Atlantic are uncanny. Both have been attacked in their response to Covid, and like Johnson, Biden’s titanic spending commitments threaten to tip the country into a vortex of debt and spiralling inflation from which it cannot escape:
“The US inflation rate has jumped to 6.8 per cent, its highest point since 1982. Team Biden insisted for much of last year that inflation was “transient”, but that made the White House sound aloof and out of touch as consumers struggled to pay for essential goods. The Federal Reserve is now being forced to curtail its massive bond buying programme and threatens a triple interest rate hike in an effort to bring the problem under control. But that has sent US and global stock markets tumbling.”
But it is foreign affairs and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan which has come to define Biden's first year in office. He was seen as a safe pair of hands after Trump, his commitment to bring the troops home widely welcomed:
“But the military’s exit was so spectacularly botched that even the president’s most ardent media apologists were forced to concede what it was – a shameful moment in American history.”
The immediate future doesn’t look all that bright either:
“As things stand, the most likely scenario is that 2024 will be an even more geriatric version of the American horror movie that was the 2020 election: Biden vs Trump II, only this time it’s more awful.”
The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it: