Work in politics long enough, and you start overthinking it. Who’s the target audience? What’s the key talking point? How do you persuade him or her to support you?
In 2022, Republicans cannot fall into the trap of second-guessing themselves and overcomplicating the talking points. The path forward is simple. All signs point to a “red wave.” Every indicator shows President Biden floundering. His approval rating is stuck in the 30s. Just this week, an ABC News/Ipsos poll revealed only 28% of Americans support Mr. Biden’s handling of inflation.
Republicans are running against Mr. Biden — end of story. That is the answer to all questions. The blueprint is simple: Expose Mr. Biden for his litany of failures since January 2021 — drive the point home, again and again.
Why? Because Mr. Biden is the worst American president in decades. He makes his former boss, President Barack Obama, look like a resounding success by comparison (he wasn’t). Not since the Jimmy Carter era have Americans been “led” by such a stunningly incompetent, utterly ineffectual and downright pitiful administration, and that may be harsh to Mr. Carter (it isn’t).
Whether you support former President Donald Trump or not, good-faith Americans can agree: What we have on our hands now is a national travesty. The Biden administration is a comedy of errors that isn’t funny. Mr. Biden’s first term has not been measured by successes, but rather by record-breaking milestones that were once unimaginable.
Let’s run through the numbers: Americans are most concerned about the U.S. inflation rate, and that rate is at its highest point since 1980. The border crisis is at its worst state in more than two decades. Violent crime is more rampant now than in years past, while record-low numbers of Americans are satisfied with government efforts to address it (24%, to be exact.) Then there’s Afghanistan, where American citizens still remain stranded after one of the most infamous foreign policy blunders in recent memory.
And, on top of that, Mr. Biden has handled the COVID-19 pandemic worse than his predecessor, whose administration ramped up vaccine production and handed Democrats a silver platter. This, after Biden promised to stop the virus and not to mandate vaccines.
Need I go on? On every single metric, the Biden administration is failing. Under Mr. Biden, there is no reason to be optimistic about the economy, illegal immigration, crime, public health or foreign policy. The bread-and-butter issues poll so catastrophically for Biden that gun control is now the latest distraction after the Roe v. Wade hubbub fizzled out. (Brace for another topic change soon.)
But even Americans who don’t watch the news or follow politics cannot ignore Mr. Biden’s blunders. They say so themselves: Nearly 80% of American voters believe their country is currently on the wrong track — 80%. With the economy remaining a top concern, even millions of Democrats are pessimistic about the future. And even in 2010, directly after the Great Recession and right before the Tea Party revolution, more Americans were confident in the future. The same goes for Mr. Trump’s tenure.
We are in uncharted waters. But the journey ahead is clear for Republicans: Make the 2022 election a referendum on Mr. Biden, a president who can’t get out of his own way (when he shows up in public at all). There is no reason to pivot from Mr. Biden’s record — whatever that means. It is the punching bag in 2022, so it’s time to punch away.
By the end of the Carter presidency, Americans were ready for a fresh face, new energy and “morning in America.” Two years into Mr. Obama’s first term, Americans voiced and voted their frustrations with a red wave to wash away all other waves. Until now.
In 2022, Republicans have a chance to make the Tea Party revolution look like a tiny drop in the ocean. On the other side is a hapless, defenseless victim of his own making — the worst American president of the 21st century.