You just don’t get it. You’re “confused,” says President Joe Biden.
Inflation is at its highest level in three decades. Snarled supply chains mean higher prices and empty shelves. The nation is careening toward another energy crisis. The President’s numbers are in the 30s, and more than 70% of Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.
Since election day, in his unscripted moments, Mr. Biden has taken to the microphone to say some of the most condescending pronouncements ever heard from a President. Like so much that comes from this White House, it’s likely a murky combination of Mr. Biden’s erratic demeanor and a risky calculation by those controlling his far-left agenda. In short - dig in and plow forward with welfare, open borders, race and climate strategy the majority of Americans didn’t vote for and don’t want to pay for.
It’s a grave political risk. Americans know a slap in the face when they feel it.
People are smarter than politicians, academics and the media believe they are. When listening to their Presidents, they historically feel more than they think. They rarely expect Presidents to make wholesale changes in society.
They expect Presidents to respect their intelligence, not treat them like children. They expect Presidents to stoke the fires of national pride and bring people together.
To that point, Mr. Biden’s biggest challenge upon coming into the White House was his biggest promise to the country: Uniting a divided nation. An October Rasmussen poll found 79% of Republicans and 60% of independents said Mr. Biden is doing a “poor” job at uniting the country.
The mid-terms are a long way off, and there’s far too much drape-measuring going on within the Republican party. Still, Mr. Biden is losing whatever emotional connection he had with voters by being a combination of arrogant and demeaning to the electorate.
That’s why Mr. Biden’s tone is so shocking. Most people may not be able to articulate the complexities of public policy. However, through their instincts, gut reactions and feelings, they craft opinions often more astutely than pointy-headed politicos like to admit.
This was Donald Trump’s problem. He frequently dismissed people who bristled at his tone or his intentional lack of Presidential polish. Being contemptuous and condescending in addressing the crises spinning out of control on his watch, Mr. Biden’s tone is even worse.
There’s a lesson to be learned from both personalities.
Doubling down on paying illegal immigrants eight times the average American’s annual salary at a time when people are watching prices for groceries and energy spike is insulting.
Telling people they don’t understand supply chains is offensive.
Focusing on renewable energy when people can’t afford to heat their homes is tone-deaf.
When the President’s Climate Czar, John Kerry, remarks that, “for people like him, it was the only way to travel,” referring to private jets, it’s elitist.
Americans aren’t confused. They’re not confused about critical race theory, defunding the police, firing people over vaccine mandates, raising taxes or perceiving weakness from a president that often appears hobbled and detached. They know one way or another, they are going to pay for the trillions in spending. They’re already paying.
Even Black Americans, long marginalized by the left’s agenda, reject the Biden, Joy Reid, Van Jones, Al Sharpton and Kamala Harris notion of progress. Look at the turnout numbers from earlier this month.
After his shellacking in the 1994 mid-terms, Bill Clinton famously grabbed the Contract with America with both hands and made it his own, virtually assuring that he would win re-election in 1996. But it’s a different Democrat Party now. Mr. Biden’s tone suggests the power brokers behind the curtain will not accept pumping the brakes on the left-wing agenda.
• Tom Basile is the host of “America Right Now” and “Wake Up America Weekend” on Newsmax Television, author and former Bush Administration official.