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This blog may make you mad. It’s not my intention, but it is what it is. I say that because of the fundamental question I think we need to confront, especially given the mess we’re in as a country.

Is it possible that we Americans, including myself, are too spoiled to appreciate how good our individual lives are, and that our spoil-ness is playing a major role in the political conflicts and divisions we are experiencing as a nation?

One meaning of the word “spoiled” is “having a character that has been harmed by pampering.” The word “pampered” means to be overly indulged.

Put together, to be a spoiled person is to have been overly indulged to the point where we get upset when things don’t go our way or when things become harder than we want them to be.

I wonder if the way the majority of Americans view the job Joe Biden is doing is a sign that we have become a spoiled nation.

Here’s the reason I ask the question. After a little over two years in office, here are the accomplishments President Biden has racked up:

He has gotten passed the most significant economic legislation since FDR…
the most important infrastructure initiative since Eisenhower…
the most important health care work since LBJ, second only to Obamacare…
guided the nation to an economic recovery after the first pandemic in a century…
doing all of this while trying to deal with the first land war in Europe since Truman and facing the slimmest governing majority in Congress in a hundred years…
the deficit has been reduced by $1.7 trillion dollars, more than any president in history…
overall unemployment is at 3.4%, the lowest in 54 years and unemployment for black men is the lowest ever…
12 million jobs have been created, more in two years than any previous president has done in four.

Yet, in spite of these stunning achievements in a little over two years in office, more Americans disapprove than approve of the job he’s doing.

I’m not talking about how voters feel about Biden running for a second-term. I’m talking about their assessment of his presidency up to this point. According the FiveThirtyEight, 42% of the country approves of the job he’s done and 54% disapprove.

Only President Roosevelt who was facing a devastating world-wide depression achieved what Biden has done, and after one term FDR was rewarded with a second-term landslide re-election.

In his first term, Ronald Reagan did nothing for ordinary American families and had no major achievements in comparison to Biden’s first two years, yet when he ran for re-election in 1984 his poll numbers were the opposite of Joe Biden’s current numbers.

What is the difference between then and now?

What has changed? The first answer you might think of is that the presidents changed, and that is true. But is that the reason Biden’s poll numbers are down and the others were up?

I don’t think so. While who is president has changed, I suggest so have the American people, and those of us living now have become a bit soft, accustomed to an ease of life previous generations never enjoyed. Comfort is now the norm rather than the exception, as are exotic vacations, homes twice as large as they used to be, and income levels past Americans never dreamed were possible.

Perhaps the real difference between the job Biden is doing compared to Reagan or FDR, or any of his predecessors for that matter, is not Biden, but us, the American people.

Certainly, many Americans, too many, in fact, have not prospered since the Great Depression as the majority of us have, but, all things considered, life has become relatively easy for most of us, to the point where we look for someone to blame when life becomes the least bit hard or economically stressed.

I don’t think any of us can dispute that the facts say unequivocally that President Biden has done what he promised to do and provided the kind of stabilizing leadership the nation needed after the disastrous Trump years. What is more, he is a decent, honest man who believes reasonable compromise is the key to political effectiveness and who has raised America’s standing in the world with his international diplomacy.

Yet, more people disapprove of his leadership than approve.

Biden is not a perfect president, mainly because no such person exists. There may be reasons why you or I may not like him. But none of that is what matters. What does matter is evaluating how well President Biden is doing his job based on a fact-based standard that will yield a fair and accurate result.

If we rate him low, the question we should ask is if that assessment is about us or about him? At this point I would argue that the facts leave no doubt that the answer is the former rather than the latter.

In other words, what the majority of Americans say about Joe Biden as President says less about him and more about them than most of us have taken the time to consider.

That can’t be good for the country, especially in light of the possible alternatives. So maybe for the sake of the country, that ought to change.

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