One Year Later – America in Decline

Record inflation. Escalating crime. Our kids are falling behind. Unsustainable government spending. Immoral government debt. Rick Turnquist shares his thoughts about Biden’s public policies in his Op-Ed One Year In - America In Decline.
A look back at Joe Biden's disastrous first year as President.

“You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.” – Presidential candidate Joe Biden (D), responding to a voter’s question at a New Hampshire campaign event

It’s been a year and a few days since Joe “The Big Guy” Biden (D) took the oath of office and became the 46th President of the United States, the same office once held by such legends as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

It’s been a year and a few days since the American people, in their infinite wisdom, decided to give the Democratic Party full control of two branches of the federal government. As a real-world test of Democratic governance, we have objective, actual results to look at over the past year.

I don’t think anyone had high expectations for Joe Biden as president. For many – the Republican Never-Trumpers, the progressive Left and the unaffiliated voters – he presented an alternative to a president they loathed, who despite intense opposition was able to produce a lot of good results during his time in office.

Now, one year later, poll numbers show that the American people are disgusted with the current president and his party. Let’s take a look at some of the failures over the past year.

Foreign Policy

Because America and her leaders are so focused on domestic issues, the world grows more dangerous by the day. Starting off the list of foreign policy failures is the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in September 2021.

I don’t think that our country’s leaders ever developed a coherent strategy regarding Afghanistan. With having troops in country for over 20 years, it had turned into a long-term commitment. While there were strong arguments for and against leaving the country, the way the Biden administration handled America’s departure from Afghanistan was a huge failure.

America first went into Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power and take away a safe refuge for various terror groups like al-Qaeda. It arguably enhanced our national security and provided benefits for the people of Afghanistan, such as not having to live under sharia law, with equal rights for women.

The disastrous pullout from Afghanistan resulted in thousands of Afghan people trying to flee the country, even holding on to airplanes taking off. A terror attack by ISIS killed 13 American service members. The U.S. responded with drone strikes, which killed several civilians including children.

With the U.S. pullout, the Taliban has re-established control over that unfortunate slice of the planet, to the detriment of the Afghan people and the degradation of our national security. History will show that this was one of the biggest foreign policy failures in years.

China, the country that gave the world COVID-19, continues to be a grave threat to national and world security. China intends to supplant the U.S. as the world’s foremost superpower, and they pose a multi-pronged threat. Indeed, in a speech delivered  at the Hudson Institute in July 2020, FBI director Christopher Wray said “The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality, is the counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China. It’s a threat to our economic security – and by extension, to our national security.” He went on “It’s the people of the United States who are the victims of what amounts to Chinese theft on a scale so massive that it represents one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history. If you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data.”

Joe Biden, in his prime, probably did not have the intellectual heft to understand and manage this threat. Now, as an elderly man very likely suffering from dementia and/or senility, he is supremely incapable of effectively leading America’s response to this threat and standing firm against China. That nation, under these circumstances will continue its efforts to undermine our country and its people.

Russia, under strongman Vladimir Putin, is now threatening the peace of the European continent by building up his forces around Ukraine (the country whose natural gas company paid presidential son Hunter Biden $83,333 per month during 2014 and 2015 for “consulting services”). President Biden, on the first anniversary of his inauguration, gave a press conference wherein he “effectively invited” Putin to make a “minor incursion” into Ukraine. The Wall Street Journal reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sharply rebuked President Biden for his remarks, saying “We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations.”

Twice during the 20th century, belligerent nations started land wars in Europe. While they may not have been preventable by anything America could have done, both wars started while a Democrat was president. Now, with an incompetent administration run by Democrats, the threat of a European land war is the highest it’s been since the end of the Cold War.

Part of the reason that America’s foreign policy is in disarray is because the “progressives” who are running the Democratic Party don’t want to deal with foreign policy unless it’s to combat climate change or undermine Israel.

COVID-19

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that was unleashed upon the world by China in late 2019 has been a world-changing event. Though the virus supposedly started in the bat population in Wuhan, China there is also the possibility it was engineered in a laboratory. Regardless of origin the virus has become a global calamity. It was also a great chance to see how governments the world over used the virus as an excuse to expand their powers, shutting down whole sectors of the global and local economies as well as introducing quarantine, vaccination and mask mandates.

Joe Biden, on the campaign trail, pledged to “shut down the virus”, as if such a thing were possible. (And how naïve for anyone to believe it!)

For those who don’t remember, the vaccine was developed under the aegis of the Trump administration in Operation Warp Speed. Under Joe Biden and the Democrats, the vaccine has become politicized with the threat of mandates and vaccine passports.

Instead of being “shut down”, COVID has surged again recently, taxing hospital systems across the country, contributing to supply chain failures and bare store shelves. More people have died from COVID since Biden became president than under Donald Trump.

Now, Biden has changed his tune, acknowledging what we’ve known all along: there is no “federal solution” to the pandemic (though the Left was screaming for one while Trump was president). His tyrannical vaccine mandate has been struck down by the courts and his administration continues to fail in this key area.

Immigration and Crime

The southern U.S. border is another failure for the Biden administration. The issue of immigration is one that has been problematic for decades, under presidents of both parties. One of the enduring attacks by the Left during the Trump administration was “kids in cages” at the southern border. Nevermind that “kids in cages” was a practice that started during the Obama administration (of which Joe Biden was part), the crisis is even worse under the Biden administration. By broadcasting to the world that the federal government would not be enforcing federal immigration laws, the Democrats have incentivized thousands of migrants to try to flee their countries and come to the Unites States, sparking a humanitarian crisis that is largely ignored by the mainstream media.

As a way of enhancing her image, the Biden administration put Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of the border crisis. In typical fashion, this ploy has backfired, revealing Harris to be as incompetent as the man she would replace.

Perhaps related to this border crisis, because many people crossing the border illegally are criminals anyway, crime in America has once again reached crisis proportions. As I wrote about in Exactly Wrong – Democrats and Crime, violent crime nationally and in Colorado in particular has been increasing to levels not seen in decades. The total cost of crime in Colorado in 2020 was over $27 billion, borne primarily by the victims. Across the nation, major cities (run by Democrats for decades) are experiencing record homicides.

In 2020, Colorado had the highest auto theft rate in the nation with 524.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The cost of these crimes gets passed on to everyone who pays car insurance. This is not a victimless crime. Everybody pays.

The Economy

“It’s the economy, stupid”. These immortal words from Democratic strategist James Carville sum up what is truly important to American voters. And when it comes to local, regional and the national economies, the Democrats have clearly failed.

I’m old enough to remember the raging inflation of the 1970’s, when progressive presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter were in charge. I remember 21% prime rates and gas lines. I remember as an accounting student learning how to restate financial statements for the effects of inflation.

After electing a conservative Republican – Ronald Reagan – in 1980 the ship of state was righted. Reagan’s tax cuts and deregulation fueled a 40-year state of growth in the American economy that all of his successors – Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump have taken credit for. And under Trump, the economy did grow substantially.

Now, a year later, fueled by the extreme spending bills passed by the Congress and signed into law – $1.9 trillion for the “American Rescue Plan”, $570 billion in stimulus checks, $79 billion in child tax credit payments – the inflation rate in America has hit a 40-year high of almost 7%.

A large contributor to the problem of inflation is the Biden administration’s hostility – indeed the whole Democratic Party’s hostility – to U.S energy producers. According to Newsweek magazine – hardly a right-wing publication itself – “A principal cause of the current inflation is high energy prices—the product of Biden’s energy policies. Upon assuming office, Biden immediately canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have employed some 11,000 people. The oil that would have come through the pipeline will still come in, though by costlier and more polluting means (trucks and rail). At the same time, Biden gave his approval for the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany. At the same time he was restricting domestic oil and gas production, leading to higher gas and heating prices, Biden called on OPEC and Russia to supply more oil and gas in order to reduce those prices.”

And indeed, according to www.eia.gov, on January 18, 2021 the U.S. average price for retail gasoline was $2.29 per gallon. On January 7, 2022 it had risen to $3.18/gallon, an increase of 39%. Inflation hits lower income workers the hardest, erasing wage increases and stretching family budgets to the limit.

Because free markets and limited government are anathema to Democrats, all of their policy positions will have adverse impacts on our economy and standards of living. See The Pillars of Modern Life for more on how the Left hates our modern life and the three pillars that make it possible: fossil fuels, limited government and free-market capitalism.

Moral Failures

Finally, the Biden administration is a moral failure, led by a man of doubtful morality. I’m amazed that anyone voted for him in the first place, given the obvious corruption shown by him and his family. While the mainstream media played up every potential conflict of interest by Trump and his family, they are stunningly silent about Joe Biden and his family – enriched by cronyism, selling influence and undermining U.S. interests.

Telling this story is far beyond the scope of this blog post. There’s an excellent 26-minute video on YouTube that does a deep dive into the story of the Ukraine and the Hunter Biden/Joe Biden corruption story. It’s worth the watch.

There are dozens of pictures on the internet of Joe Biden creepily if not inappropriately touching women and girls, and in some you can clearly see the discomfort on their faces. (Google “joe biden pictures with women and girls”). I’m not accusing anyone of anything here. I am merely pointing out what anyone can see if they look.

In addition, against the backdrop of #MeToo and many prominent public figures being accused of sexual harassment and rape (think Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh or former governor Mario Cuomo) a woman came forward during the presidential campaign and accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her while she was a staff assistant in his office in 1993. What’s interesting about this is how quickly the mainstream media and the Biden campaign buried the story. Instead of “believe all women” which is the standard when a Republican is accused of sexual misdeeds, Tara Reade was accused of being a liar. Various media outlets declined to write about the story, with some stating that they couldn’t get enough corroborating evidence. Of course, this wasn’t a problem during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

The media double standard is so evident it’s impossible to miss – like staring straight into the noon sun. The media, during 4 years of Donald Trump, blasted him for every single “mean tweet” while ignoring all the successes of his administration. If any Republican man had been accused of the things that Joe Biden has been documented doing or been accused of, they would hound him mercilessly until he was no longer in public life.

Unfit To Govern

This is a mid-term election year. Given President Biden’s abysmal approval ratings, the results of recent special elections and the clear failures of Democratic governance across the land, I expect a “red tsunami” in November, with Republicans taking control of the United States Congress and picking up more state legislative seats and governorships.

The purpose and goal of my writing these days is to point out the many disadvantages of voting for Democrats in the hope that people will toss them from office and elect principled Republicans who will stand for limited government, less regulation, less taxation, and more freedom.

America is in decline. It’s up to us to elect people to reclaim our country from the progressive Left and re-affirm the timeless principles upon which the United States of America was founded. It’s the dark before dawn. Let’s create a new morning in America.

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