Why America Doesn't Like Joe Biden

Joe Biden
June 11, 2024 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Blog Brand: Politics Tags: U.S. PoliticsJoe Biden2024 ElectionDonald TrumpU.S. Economy

Why America Doesn't Like Joe Biden

Joe Biden is historically unpopular because, in part, he is a bedrock figure in the Washington status quo, and because his efforts to please everyone, have upset just about everyone.


Summary and Key Points 3 Key Points You Need to Know: President Joe Biden's approval rating is historically low at 41%, despite the economy being stable.

-This unpopularity stems from his embodiment of the Washington status quo, which many Americans distrust and view as inefficient or corrupt.


-Efforts to please both conservatives and progressives have backfired, alienating both groups. Conservatives are put off by his progressive social rhetoric, while progressives are disappointed by his moderate policies and support for Israel. Biden's long political career and association with mainstream politics further contribute to his lack of appeal in a political climate that favors change and new leadership.

Why Joe Biden's Approval Rating Remains Low Despite a Stable Economy

Why don’t Americans like Joe Biden?

The President’s approval rating is historically low, currently sitting at just 41 percent, yet, as some pundits are noting, the economy, and the general circumstances of the country, aren’t so bad.

So, if not for an economic downturn, why aren’t Americans enthused about their president? I have a few ideas.

Representative of the Status Quo

Biden is the physical embodiment of the status quo.

Although not as iconic as a Clinton, Bush, or Kennedy, Biden is a first-rung Washington insider. And until recently, being a Washington insider was an asset.

But lately, in the last decade or so, being a Washington insider can be perceived as a bad thing. Many Americans have become imbued with a sense that their federal government is inefficient and/or self-centered and/or corrupt. Faith in government is low, as Trump’s election in 2016 on promises of ‘draining the Swamp,’ (the Swamp being Washington), made clear.

Basically, large swaths of the population have come to view “mainstream” politicians, i.e., Joe Biden who has been in elected office for fifty years, as standing in categorical opposition to the interests of the people. Accordingly, people want something new – more so now than at any point since Nixon, perhaps – and Biden is most decidedly not new.

You Can’t Make Everyone Happy

Ironically, efforts to make everyone happy often have the inverse result: you upset everyone. Biden arguably has suffered from a similar effect through his efforts to triangulate and please the masses and has instead alienated both the right and left.

The right was never Biden’s to win. Well, not the hard-right, anyways. The moderate right was perhaps amenable to a Biden presidency. But Biden’s efforts to virtue signal leftist/woke values are a red flag for your average conservative.

Granted, Biden is an octogenarian who probably doesn’t believe a word of the trendy social jargon he promotes (the guy used to hang out with segregationists), but it’s enough to discourage conservatives who, like their liberal counterparts, often align with candidates based on culture war-related rhetoric.

The left was always skeptical of Biden, too – he wasn’t their candidate; they wanted Sanders or Warren or someone legitimately progressive. No one thinks Biden is a progressive. Biden helped craft Delaware into the most business-friendly tax haven in the country. Biden crafted the 1994 Crime Bill, a direct contributor to America’s rampant incarceration rate. But Biden, marketed as the only guy who could beat Trump in 2020, was deemed close enough, and progressives made their peace, hoping that once in office, liberal social pressure would push Biden to the left.

That hasn’t really happened, however. Predictably. Biden has a fifty-year history of being not progressive. He wasn’t going to execute an about-face the moment he achieved the office he had sought, using moderate policies, for half a century.

Many progressives could have perhaps continued to turn a blind eye, giving Biden the benefit of the doubt as long as paid lip service to progressive values while keeping Trump out of the White House. But Biden’s support of Israel, and Netanyahu’s hardline response to Hamas’s October 7th attacks, is a mortal sin in the eyes of American progressives.

In sum, Joe Biden is historically unpopular because, in part, he is a bedrock figure in the Washington status quo, and because his efforts to please everyone, have upset just about everyone.  

About the Author: Harrison Kass

Harrison Kass is a defense and national security writer with over 1,000 total pieces on issues involving global affairs. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.

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