Oh boy, were we ready for a change.
Biden and Harris came in with stratospherically high expectations. Lady Gaga sang the national anthem at the inauguration, and a new day was about to begin. Our newly elected White House Democrats were going to replace night for day, chaos for reason, and restructure dystopia with a clear path leading us forward toward order. And they were going to do all of that within their first year in office, if possible (that’s what we dreamed, hoped, thought – okay, what I dreamed, hoped, imagined!) Oh, foolish me. Oh, foolish us. After DT, were we ever ready for change! We were on pins and needles, waiting for our new day to begin. Kamala was dispatched to the Mexican border, and Joe would take care of the rest.
Of course, we were still in the middle of a pandemic, and caught up in pandemic-related worldwide distribution issues that ultimately contributed to an inflation rate not seen in 40 years. Higher gas prices do not happy campers make! Biden didn’t create the pandemic or inflation. Biden didn’t set up Chinese dominance of production and its tumbling dice of ocean misuse to get us our iPhones when we want them. For that, we have to go back through years of policy making and bipartisan culpability in Washington. And yes, we might even have to reassess our love affair with Apple. Perish the thought! But yeah, we just might. Suffice it to say, there is enough inflation blame to go a long way round – and a long way back. Biden just happens to be the President in place right now, so he’s our fall guy.
Biden didn’t create gun violence either. Gun violence came with the job. Gun violence comes with the country that we are. We are consistently deaf to our nation-defining lessons on death by guns and automatic weapons. We are unwilling to leave the curse of our bloody need to kill one another behind us for once and for all. We are, seemingly, just incapable of doing that. We prefer the guns for everybody Don’t Worry Be Happy approach. As Bobby McFerrin once sang:
“In every life we have some trouble
But when you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy.”
And incapable of bringing about real change, we need someone to blame for our morass. That’s why we elect a new President every four years, right?
This time round, we elected Joe Biden.
And surprise, surprise, in an ABC News-Ipsos poll released in December, even though a majority of Americans (53%) still approve of Biden (not a big majority by any means), Biden’s favorability has slipped far from the 72% support that he had just in March. Scapegoat, maybe? And guess what, in recent polls, gun violence, inflation and Covid-response are the major barometers in Biden’s declining poll numbers. Gun violence and inflation, as already mentioned, are beyond any President’s control.
Covid came out of the clear blue sky. Biden’s Covid response is like night and day compared to Trump’s. But a virus is a virus, not controlled by any president anywhere in the world. The delta variant morphed to an omicron variant whether we like it or not. And Biden, despite his power, has no say in that. But yeah, if we’re going to blame someone for the fast-increasing number of Covid infections across the country, let’s blame the guy in office right now. That would be Biden.
Can we fall back on Harris? Not really.
Harris, not often seen or reported on in our media, has percentages that line up pretty much 53% for, and 40% against, not dissimilar to Biden’s. She is not resonating broadly. She faux-pas’s big time recently by saying the delta and omicron variants had caught the current administration off-guard. Fauci, never failing, came to the rescue. Her comments were taken ‘out of context,’ he reassured us.
And so and just because, I thought we might look at how the previous power brokers in the kingdom are doing. They may yet come back to haunt us. A note to Microsoft’s Word’s spellcheck programming people; even now, Word doesn’t recognize Melania as a legitimate name. Come on Microsoft – you’re the most valuable internet-focused company on the planet, get it together and catch up! Melania was here and gone!
Is Melania’s step-daughter, Ivanka, doing so much better than the current occupants of the White House?
I am sad to report that no, she is not.
I found on YouGovAmerica that Ivanka is not doing well at all. The site tells us that Ivanka’s popularity is now at an all-time low of 34%. Welcome to the club, Ivanka! We’re here for you.
How about Melania herself?
It turns out that there is enough disconnect to go round. Melania – unrecognized by Microsoft – left office with the worst final popularity rating for a First Lady ever. But empathy begins from those abandoned en masse by society, so all is not lost. However, after she left the White House, nobody much seemed to care about how our former First Lady was doing. There are no recent poll statistics that I have been able to find on Melania at all.
Melania news was sparse until FoxBusiness recently reported that you can now own a digital watercolor painting of our former First Lady’s eyes in exchange for 1 Solana, a cryptocurrency token. This is not some nutcase hacker trying to make a buck off of Melania. I am not making this up. This is Melania herself selling an NFT. The SOL token involved is, as of this writing, valued at somewhere around $175. Well, you sell a thousand, that’s small change. You sell 50 thousand, you’re looking at almost 9 million dollars! Melania is cashing in. And apparently she is planning to dedicate more of her energy to her new business going forward. According to AlJazeera … Melania Trump will release NFTs “in regular intervals” on her website … with a portion of the proceeds going to foster children. It’s unclear what percentage of the proceeds will be donated, or whether the donations will be given to specific foster child-related charities.
Melania has moved on.
So, there you go!
Oops, not so fast.
Our 45th President, DT, the man himself, seems to think that Melania still has pending, how to put it, responsibilities, duties, (advantages for DT himself?) going forward. He believes that she, despite her current NFT endeavors (she just posted a new one today and is now called crypto queen by London’s Guardian) – , can win the rest of America over for another flyby at the presidency. Well, dreams have to start somewhere.
How is DT, the man himself, doing in the polls these days? As of Dec 15th, FiveThirtyEight tells us that, unfortunately for him and fortunately for us, not so great either. DT had a 52% disapproval rating as of mid-December. The scales seem to have tipped to his detriment. The man lives, still fuming like a discarded cigarette butt, in a luxurious club-like situation in Palm Beach, Florida. He is slow-burning his final years forward, in exile, like some once-upon-a-time Russian oligarch in erstwhile Paris.
So, who wants to be America most? Who loves us the most right now?
Honestly, I don’t know.
Somewhat facetiously, I thought of nominating Lana Del Rey.
Lana Del Rey is a self-made enthusiast for American symbolism and a lover of America’s past. Del Rey, sometimes, knows us better than we know ourselves. She knows our ins and outs, our cultural highs and lows, perhaps more than anybody. She knows our doubts, our inadequacies, our blemishes and our flaws. She knows out inherent attractions, and she understands why we are the country that we are.
Lana knows us like the back of our hand.
Alas, Lana Del Rey is not our answer. She is a singer who has no interest in politics.
So, hurtling on toward November 5, 2024, we are left with the same coterie of names as before, the Kennedys, the Bushes, the Obamas, the Reagans, the Clintons, the Trumps, and now the Bidens.
The Obamas were the breakthrough family on that list. But they have come and gone, just like Melania. The list is getting thinner by the day. There are no new Regans going forward, no new Bushes (that I know of), no Clintons, no new Kennedys and no new Obamas.
But are there still future Trumps out there, lesser or greater Trumps, in our future?
Hell yeah, there are many new future Trumps – sharing his surname or not – just waiting in line, ready to sabotage our democracy all over again. The grand lesson of DT for his acolytes worldwide is that you can lie, bluff, confuse and bluster … and you can get away with it. You can build a fake persona, just like you can build fake news. QED.
Get yourself a bullhorn, align yourself with our most base instincts that negate difference, diversity, multiculturalism, human decency and democracy. And then start to prattle, jabber and vent – the more outrageous and farfetched your positions the better.
Then – and just then – some segments of America may start to believe that you have legitimacy. And just then, some segments of America may begin to believe that you love them most.
That you love America most.