Douglas Andrews / Jan. 21, 2021

Here’s What Awaits Joe Biden

The nation that our 46th president now leads is, more than anything else, a deeply divided one.

To say that the nation Joe Biden now leads is older, polarized, and financially insecure isn’t particularly insightful. We already know those things. Still, it’s helpful to review some of the data and to contemplate just what he and Kamala Harris have gotten themselves into.

“Key metrics of financial and social well-being show the challenges Mr. Biden faces as he moves into the White House on Wednesday,” write Paul Overberg and Janet Adamy in The Wall Street Journal. “The coronavirus pandemic halted the 11-year economic expansion and drove up unemployment just as the typical American household was starting to enjoy sustained income growth. Americans were living longer — an improvement from a period when the opioid crisis eroded life expectancy — until the pandemic exacted a swift, deadly toll. One government official said life expectancy could decline by the largest amount since World War II once the government completes last year’s mortality figures.”

As Biden correctly noted in his brief inaugural address, “A once-in-a-century virus silently stalks the country. It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed.”

That pretty much sums up the serious part of the speech. He would utter the word “jobs” just twice more, and the word “economy” didn’t cross his lips even once.

As the Journal article notes, the stock market bequeathed to Biden by Donald Trump is at record highs, but only half the nation is in the market and reaping the rewards. Consumer debt is surging. And, thanks to a temporarily tanked economy and profligate coronavirus relief spending, our national debt, as compared with the size of the economy, “reached its highest point since the end of World War II.”

These are the realities that folks are feeling, but Biden gave them short shrift. Instead, perhaps just two minutes into his address, our 46th president landed on what he thinks are the most pressing issues we face: “A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making. … A cry of survival comes from the planet itself, a cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear. And now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, and domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.”

If Joe Biden thinks passing the Green New Deal and cracking down on those 19 white supremacists will cure what ails us, we’re in for a rough four years.

Yes, we’re more racially diverse, as the Journal article notes. The nation’s non-Hispanic white population has shrunk, while its Hispanic, black, and Asian populations continue to grow. Our fastest-growing demographic is people of two or more races, which would seem to augur well for race relations. But it’s clear that we’re also racially polarized — which is what a country gets when its media beats an incessant drum about inequality, white supremacy, and police brutality, and gushes adoringly and uncritically about a Marxist pressure group called Black Lives Matter.

We’re a deeply fractured nation — there’s no getting around it. As the Journal reports, “The share of Americans who identify as conservative or liberal hasn’t changed much over the past decade. But within the parties, there has been a slight movement toward the more ardent corners of each ideology. Among GOP registered voters, 37% identified as very conservative in 2020, up from 33% in 2010. … Among Democratic registered voters, 25% considered themselves very liberal in 2020, up from 16% in 2010.”

As conservative author Conrad Black recently put it, “American democracy is at the lowest point in its post-segregation history: corrupt elections, abdicated courts, cowardly legislators, dishonest media, a prosecutocracy that terrorizes the whole country and wins 99 percent of its cases (95 percent without a trial), crumbling standards of education, skyrocketing crime rates, and a president-elect who looks and sounds like a waxworks dummy who has in his over-long career faced in all four directions on every major issue.”

“We need to come together as one nation,” a seemingly undeterred Joe Biden said yesterday. It was the most platitudinous of platitudes. A child could’ve written it.

“Unity, unity,” he preached, as if trying to one-up himself. But what he and his party and their Big Tech censors and corporate cancelers really want is uniformity. Good luck with that.

Joe Biden always wanted to be president. To him we say, Bless your heart. And to his hard-left agenda we say, Fail early and often.

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