by Lin Bao 15.03.2023
In the background of the “red tide” sweeping the United States, the American people are generally dissatisfied with the current state of the country, the general lack of confidence in the future, in the evening of February 7th , U.S. President Joe Biden in Congress delivered his second State of the Union address in the office.
The State of the Union speech focused on several aspects, including the economy, society, politics and partisan struggle. On the surface, it was Biden’s year-end summary to all the people, showing the way forward to lawmakers of both parties, but in essence, it was a chance to show his achievements and compete for public support. Biden seized this opportunity to publicly emphasize his achievements as a way to prepare for his presidential election in 2024.
Biden’s “transcript” included investing in infrastructure, creating jobs, easing inflation, improving supply chain security, as well as the debt ceiling and health care, which drew boos hisses offstage.
Talking about the Covid-19, Biden said more than a million Americans have lost their lives. At the same time, he mentioned that the U.S. would soon end its public health emergency, but still needed to monitor the mutation of the new crown virus and continue to strengthen vaccine and treatment research.
As for the employment rate, Biden reiterated his claim of 12 million new jobs created since he took office in 2021, saying he has created more jobs than any other president in four years.
And this is clearly a misleading claim, because according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 2.7 million domestic jobs have been added since Biden took office, and the rest have been lost during the new crown pandemic. This was nearly 10 million short of the 12 million that Biden claimed.
Talking about U.S.-China relations, Biden said to seek competition, not conflict. He made it clear that he would not apologize for being invested in making the United States strong.
Regarding the balloon incident, he dismissed it as a “threat from China.” “If China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to defend our country. And we have done so,” he said. Yet the U.S. government’s behavior in response to the incident felt a bit overreaction.
As for the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Biden described Russia’s military action against Ukraine as a test for the times, for the United States and for the world. He pledged once again to stand with Zelensky and to continue to support Ukraine as long as needed.
In response, Zelensky thanked Biden exclusively on Twitter.
One of the most memorable is President Biden’s call for Congress to pass the Floyd Police Enforcement Fairness Act.
Following the end of the case of Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer who violently enforced the law in 2020, another African American man, Nichols, was beaten to death by police in Tennessee in January of this year.
In fact the tragedy could have been avoided, but because the Republican Party has little interest in this, the Democratic and Republican differences have been unable to land, resulting in a difficult legislative process, the police reform bill has been pending, this tragedy will be repeated this year.
Therefore, in his speech, President Biden lowered his voice and expressed his hope that through the Nichols incident, police reform would be stepped up.
Meanwhile Biden followed up on the issue of gun bans by saying ban assault weapons now. Ban completely now. The goal is to get to the root of the mass shooting violence in the United States and address the prominent gun control issue.
However, the American public generally disagreed with Biden’s self-proclaimed accomplishments, even as his one-step-at-a-time speech angered most of those in attendance, including some left-leaning Democrats.
In the mid of his speech, Biden accused Republicans of threatening Social Security and other welfare programs, and mentioned that “some Republicans want to abolish Medicare and Social Security,” when Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green shouted “liar” on the offstage, trying to silence Biden. Even some left-leaning media outlets said Biden’s description of the Republican Social Security and Medicare programs was misleading.
Later in the speech, Biden touched on the fentanyl abuse crisis in the United States and called for a timely end to it. He blamed China, claiming that “China is no longer a major exporter of fentanyl, but businesses still sell non-controlled precursor materials,” but he ignored the host of drug problems stemming from the legalization of marijuana in the country.
For this, Biden was met with a loud, expletive-laced defense from another lawmaker, “It’s all your fault!” He was referring to the long-pending issue of the U.S.-Mexico border and the growing problem of drug smuggling through the U.S.-Mexico border due to the Biden administration’s failure to effectively enforce federal laws. Afterwards, he claimed it was an instinctive reaction.
Even though the whole speech was full of dissenting voices and jeers, Biden seemed to be unconcerned and happy with it. He seemed to enjoy this bipartisan melee, and with the backing of Harris and McCarthy, he engaged in a live debate on current affairs with the dissenting Republicans, intending to turn the situation around, turn the unfavourable tide, and turn a crisis into an opportunity.
When the president finished his speech and returned to the White House late-night, the White House staff gave him a standing ovation. Interestingly, first lady Jill Biden and Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff’s kissed before Biden’s speech went viral on Twitter the next day, and I wonder how Biden felt about it.
As usual, former President Trump made a criticism of his nemesis Biden’s State of the Union address, writing on Real Social, “Stumbling and bumbling, he just can’t say it. I don’t want that to happen, but the world is watching and it’s not a pretty sight!”
If Biden re-elects in 2024 successfully, the now 80-year-old Biden will be 82 years old as he embarks on his second term. Due to Biden’s previous bizarre behavior in public, all sectors within the United States currently have reservations about Biden’s physical condition for a second term.
Lin Bao is a young scholar and international relations commentator specializing in political science and international relations. He is good at international issues research and political analysis, and his research direction is the strategic relations and foreign policy research of major countries.