President Biden will address the nation tonight in the annual State of the Union speech. He will attempt to rally the nation at time of particular division and uncertainty.
I certainly don't envy him.
He has the monumental task of outlining the factual state of the nation, the achievements of his administration, and his plan for the remainder of this term, in an environment where perception is greater than reality.
The country and its representatives have generally made up their mind already about the state of the nation. Polls are not in Biden's favor. Only 42% of Americans find Biden generally trustworthy. This is down from 60% when he took office. His approval ratings remain likewise below half, trending at around 43-44% approving of his performance in office.
It's interesting, as this is in direct contrast to the results of his policies. Economic numbers are generally trending positively. Unemployment is at its lowest rate in more than half a century. Twelve million new jobs have been created in his first two years of office.
No matter the numbers, it's not impacting the people. The country is still feeling inflation, recession, shortages, supply chain issues, staffing impacts. The country is changing, and it remains to be seen as to what.
Perception creates reality.
And it's that perception Biden has to overcome and change. He has to improve reality to make it felt.
I don't know if that is possible. For any president.
I pray he does make policy choices that can get the country to start feeling positive changes in the economy and environment. I pray they do take hold over the next couple of years. I'm not optimistic for his odds, but I pray they do work.
To create a more united state of our union.