The past year 2022 has become a year of serious trials for American politicians. An elderly president, inflation, the Ukrainian conflict, and internal contradictions are just some of the problems the US is facing. About what America is entering 2023 with – in the material of RIA Novosti.
Polls show that most Americans do not want a second term for Joe Biden.
The depressing results of public opinion surveys are commonplace for an American leader. A year ago, he beat anti-records of popularity, sometimes even bypassing his predecessor, Donald Trump.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that not only the traditional opponents of the Democrats, the Republicans, oppose Biden. Members of the same party are also not enthusiastic about his leadership.
The main reason is age. Biden is 80 years old, if he decides to run and become president, then by the end of his second term he will be 86. Even now, American citizens fear for the health of the head of state. He talks every now and then, confuses places and positions, and in general beha-ves not quite adequately.
Therefore, it is obvious that the president’s ratings will continue to fall: people are afraid of deterioration. Biden is trying to win back points with the help of domestic political steps. And to some extent he even succeeds.
The battle against inflation
The main achievement of Biden’s domestic policy can be called the law to reduce inflation, which was passed by both houses of C-ongress in the summer. The act, tied to the climate age-nda, approves measures for the transition of the United States to green energy.
The document provides for subsidizing local suppliers of electric vehicles and batteries. For buyers of cars manufactured entirely in the United States, tax breaks will be introduced.
As planned by the authors, this will reduce the burden on both manufacturers and customers.
In addition, the act includes a reduction in drug prices for Medicare recipients, as well as a significant increase in taxes for corporations and wealthy Americans.
The population liked the law, as evidenced by the slightly increased ratings of the president. Analysts note that Biden and his associates have partially adopted the strategy of former President Donald Trump: “America first.” However, such a reversal caused discontent among the European partners of the United States.
Divorce from the EU
When Biden took office, his message to the European Union sounded hopeful. “America is back!” he said, meaning that US-EU cooperation will return to pre-Trump levels.
After the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, this is exactly what happened. United in the face of a common enemy, America and Europe successfully negotiated sanctions packages.
The first signs of the crisis appeared as winter approached. In the American press, publications about the growing dissatisfaction of Brussels with Washington’s “adventures” began to flicker more and more often. If the United States is relatively independent in energy matters, which the White House also admits, then for the EU, anti-Russian gas and oil sanctions turned out to be painful.
But the last straw that overflowed Europe’s patience was the very anti-inflationary law.
In the EU, Biden’s act was considered protectionist, discriminatory, violating WTO rules and splitting the West. It was with such theses that French President Emmanuel Macron spoke during his visit to Washington at the end of November. We decided to continue negotiations within the framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Technology Council (TTC), Biden’s brainchild, symbolizing America’s unbreakable economic connection with Europe. But even there, Brussels did not get concessions from Washington.
As a result, by 2023 the US and the EU came with contradictions much deeper than under Trump. Given that the anti-inflationary law comes into force in January, and the Europeans did not wait for concessions, the split will obviously only intensify.
All Quiet on the Eastern Front
The fatigue of Europeans from the Ukrainian crisis does not affect the American authorities in any way. Washington is still ready to provide Kyiv with any possible assistance. And in this sense, Biden untied his hands by reviving the lend-lease law of the Second World War in the spring.
Although not without unpleasant incidents. According to the American press, during one of the telephone conversations with Vladimir Zelensky, the President of the United States allegedly raised his voice to the Ukrainian colleague – because of Kyiv’s regular complaints about insufficient support.
But by the end of the year, the heads of state spoke again by phone. According to official reports, they coordinated their positions and reached significant agreements.
What these “agreements” are is still unclear. But what is known is Biden’s clear intention to avoid direct US involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. Therefore, despite Kyiv’s regular promises to join NATO, Washington does not force this issue.
But the main test for the American political establishment was not so much inflation and external crises as the traditional midterm elections.
US citizens in November re-elected the House of Representatives (lower house of Congress) and a third of the members of the Senate (upper house).
The entire 2022 situation was deplorable for the Democrats: they had full control over Congress, but risked losing it entirely. In many ways, the positions of the “donkeys” (Democratic Party) were influenced by Biden’s negative ratings. The “elephants” (Republicans) had every chance for absolute leadership.
However, the triumph of the conservatives did not happen. In the House of Representatives, they won less than two dozen seats, still gaining a majority, and in the Senate they even lost one figure – that is, the leadership there remained with the Democrats.
The new composition of the congress will begin work in January. With the loss of full control over the Democrats, it will be more difficult for Biden to push initiatives through a hostile lower house, but he has room for bargaining in the upper house.
Therefore, the results of the midterm elections for the Democrats are much less painful than for the Republicans, who are now forced to regroup.
Trump didn’t come back
A serious blow to the “elephants” were the criminal cases against Donald Trump. He remains one of the most popular politicians in the US and easily overtakes Biden in the polls. However, the reputation of the ex-president was shattered by an investigation into the removal of secret documents from the White House.
In the congressional elections, Trump provided declarative and even financial support to the majority of Republican candidates. He himself considered the results of the vote positive, but in the party, where more impressive results were expected, they did not hide their disappointment. And hastily began to look for a replacement.
One option is Ron DeSantis, the 44-year-old governor of Florida. He performed well in the midterm elections, and age is on his side, as opposed to the elderly Trump and Biden.
It is DeSantis that can become the main problem for the incumbent president. After all, preparations for the election campaign of 2024 will actually start in 2023, and in it a relatively young candidate has great chances of success. The future of American politics also depends on how Biden, who did not speak too convincingly in the past year, behaves.