The mood across the country is palpable. While it’s a totally unfamiliar feeling to some, it’s a feeling that many older Americans never wanted to have again. It’s dreary and uncertain, like a system of dark clouds has parked itself over the country.
I’ve been around long enough to remember the so-called misery index from the Jimmy Carter presidency during the late 1970s. At the time, the misery index was simply the rate of inflation added to the rate of unemployment. But to a country searching for its national identity and a return to peace and prosperity after the assassinations of the 1960s, Watergate and the Vietnam War, it meant much more than that.
Similar to today’s gloomy headlines about the Consumer Price Index jumping 6.2% over the past year – its highest point in 30 years – and reports that a record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September, it’s just a sliver of the entire story.
Carter used the misery index to defeat President Gerald Ford in the 1976 presidential election and then Ronald Reagan saddled Carter with it in 1980 on his own way to victory. It was a perfect term to use as a political cudgel against your opponents because it described a depression in the American psyche that was negatively impacting the lives of tens of millions of hardworking families.
Sure, there was stagflation, high inflation, high unemployment and high interest rates. But it was also the long gas lines, Iranian hostage crisis, high crime in our cities, energy rationing, and the unmistakable feeling of malaise around us.
President Carter was right when he said in July 1979 that our country was suffering from a crisis of confidence. It took Reagan’s sunny optimism, pro-growth agenda and an outsider’s way of doing things to bring us back to a feeling that America’s best days are still ahead.
Fast-forward to today and leave it to the grossly incompetent Joe Biden – the 78-year old career politician who had a front row seat to the Carter debacle as a U.S. senator – to bring back the misery index and inject it with steroids.
Yes, more than 40 years later, Biden has ushered in another crisis of confidence, but this one is further in reach and much more dangerous. After all, Carter wasn’t trying to fundamentally transform our beloved constitutional republic into a phony socialist utopia – Joe Biden is.
Due to supply chain disruptions, unconstitutional vaccine mandates and the fear of prolonged hyperinflation, Americans are being told to lower expectations for the future. The radicals on the left who are hellbent on bringing socialism to our shores want us to just get used to the bumpy transition to Marxism-Leninism.
In addition to our anemic economy and the return of a debilitating culture of government dependency, our streets are far less safe, our heroic police are less respected, our border is wide open for any violent criminal or deadly drug runner seeking entry, entitlement programs are on the brink of insolvency, Americans are stranded in Afghanistan, and instead of addressing these problems, Joe Biden doesn’t seem the least bit concerned.
Even on the heels of their shocking loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race, President Biden’s approval rating sitting at a dismal 38%, and the generic congressional ballot favoring Republicans by a whopping 46% to 38%, radical Democrats look prepared to double down on their failures over the past 10 months and add to our misery.
Indeed, President Biden is threatening to raise taxes, dramatically increase wasteful spending, expand the welfare state, fire doctors, nurses, police officers and firefighters who refuse the vaccine, pay illegal immigrants hundreds of thousands of dollars for breaking the law, and make America dependent on foreign energy again.
This is the Biden misery index and it makes the Carter years feel like the good old days.
It comes as no surprise that a recent poll found that 58% think President Biden isn’t adequately focused on the nation’s most pressing problems. But it’s actually much worse than that because Biden is flat out ignoring the crises he created – on purpose.
There’s a crisis at the border, but instead of fixing the problem, Biden is fanning the flames. Our national debt is nearing $29 trillion, but Biden is spending like a drunken sailor. Gas prices are through the roof, but Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm thinks doing something about it is a “hilarious” notion.
The 2021 election results in Virginia, New Jersey and various other regions of the country gave us lots of clues about the current mood of the country, but the main takeaway was obvious.
The American people want Biden and the Democrats to stop what they’re doing and change direction without delay. And the longer they resist this demand, the bigger their losses will be in 2022.
David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United, a Fox News contributor, the 2016 deputy campaign manager for Donald Trump for President, and the former chief investigator for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform and Oversight during the Clinton administration. He is the co-author with Corey Lewandowski of “Trump: America First: The President Succeeds Against All Odds,” along with “Let Trump Be Trump” and “Trump’s Enemies.”