I ran into a friend in the grocery store the other day, and he suggested an idea for a column. He said I should just ask this question: “Are you better off today than you were two years ago?”
My immediate thought was that the answer to the question would be too easy to all but the dimmest of bulbs out there, but the more I pondered the question, the less obvious the answer seemed to be.
Of course, the numbers tell us that most Americans think they are worse off now than when Donald Trump left office, even though we were near the height of the COVID pandemic and only a month into the vaccine rollout then, with daily deaths ten times the level that they are now. The proof lies in polling for “Direction of the Country.” Even most Democrats are now saying that America is on the wrong track in the latest polls.
If we stipulate that the above is true, and it is easy enough to check, then why does there remain a sizeable minority of poll respondents who still say they plan to vote Democrat in November?
As of this writing, only 19.5% of Americans think the country is on the right track in the RealClearPolitics poll average, but 43.5% of Americans say they plan to vote for a Democratic candidate in November, according to that same average.
The Democrats own government now and have since Jan. 20, 2021, so you can’t blame Republicans for the train wreck the country has become since then. Is it a case of cognitive dissonance? Perhaps, but there is a much simpler answer: many Americans on the left simply don’t care how badly America is suffering if their party is in power, and this is the No. 1 issue in this and any future election. Let’s explore the question further.
Let’s start at the top. President Joe Biden’s repeated comments on our spiraling inflation, soaring gas prices, and commodity shortages have indicated that he is either oblivious to these problems, or even more disturbing, he doesn’t care about the impact of these things on the American people.
His refusal to answer questions about these problems has brought criticism even from mainstream media in a recent letter of complaint from 68 members of the White House Press Corps.
It is becoming apparent Biden and the Democrats are fine with the mess they’ve created and see it as a necessary part of moving to their leftist vision of a “fundamentally changed America.”
Biden’s National Economic Council Director Brian Deese let the cat out of the bag last week when he was asked how long Americans should have to pay $4.85 a gallon for gas, and he replied, "This is about the future of the Liberal World Order and we have to stand firm." Now, to be fair, he seemed to be referring obliquely to the war in Ukraine, but the fact remains that Biden has been using Ukraine as an excuse for high gas prices, even as he has declared war on American energy independence and domestic fossil fuel production going back to 2019. Even Biden’s Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, has stated that the war wasn’t the reason for inflation.
One can only deduce that the pain we’re going through now is intentional. The left sees our pain as part of achieving their dream of a woke socialist America full of people dependent on government for everything, and that explains the seeming contradiction of someone who acknowledges how mediocre things are while also saying they will vote to maintain the mediocrity.
Of course, we also have the 19.5% who think things are great, made up of those denizens of the left: bureaucrats, academics, liberal media types and the permanent dependent class.
So, where do we stand?
It is very apparent that we live in a sharply divided America. We have about 40% who love America, its history and its heritage and a similar number who really don’t think America is a very good place, as evidenced by a recent poll showing only 39.6% of those surveyed are proud of their country.
Both groups will stand pat on their beliefs come election day. The difference will be made in the middle with those roughly 20% who base their vote on how their lives are going, and right now, things are going badly.
The real issue that confronts those of us who love America is what we will do when we win in November. Victory must be followed with cultural and educational changes that will make sure love of country isn’t just based on economic prosperity, but rests on a permanent foundation.
Dwight Weidman is a resident of Greene Township and is a graduate of Shepherd University. He is retired from the United States Department of Defense, where his career included assignments In Europe, Asia and Central America. He has been in leadership roles for the Republican Party in two states, most recently serving two terms as Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party. Involved in web publishing since 1996, he is the publisher of The Franklin County Journal. He has been an Amateur Radio Operator since 1988, getting his first license in Germany, and is a past volunteer with both Navy and Army MARS, Military Auxiliary Radio Service, and is also a NRA-certified firearms instructor.
This article originally appeared on Chambersburg Public Opinion: The No. 1 issue for the midterm election