Joe Biden and the Broken Promise of Normalcy

Last year’s presidential campaign guest some comparisons in the presidential election 100 years earlier in which “normality” was at the heart of the debate.

More than a year after Joe Biden was elected, the same comparison highlights the failed promise of normalcy yesterday and today.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-VA., Recently gripped, “Nobody elected him to be FDR, they elected him to be normal and stop the chaos,” speaking of Biden’s broad agenda.

True or not, Biden was seen as a moderate, compared to Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency. And like 100 years ago, the promise of a return to normalcy seems to have faded.

Public weariness with Trump’s tweets, various investigations (unwarranted or not), and various dramas have turned Biden’s basement campaign of rarely speaking into a viable campaign strategy in 2020. Democrats have dodged it. ball of the nomination of socialist Bernie Sanders and knew that angry resistance and boring awakening would not sell to swing voters who seek calm from Storm Trump.

Biden did not explicitly recycle Warren Harding’s “back to normal” speech, but he called Trump’s presidency an “outlier in time” and said, “We have to remember who we are.”

Today, Americans are facing price hikes at the highest annual level in three decades, a disruption in the supply chain, a border crisis, an unpopular vaccine mandate, an embarrassing withdrawal from Afghanistan and a legislative agenda to first year from Plan of the working group on the Biden-Sanders unit.

While Harding, a Republican, did not challenge an incumbent in 1920, he challenged Woodrow Wilson’s party, whose presidency included World War I, progressive policies accompanied by massive expansion of government, restrictions on civil liberties, a failure to join the League of Nations and a pandemic.

Harding campaigned for a landslide victory over Democratic candidate James Cox by promising “a return to normalcy.” Harding was mocked by Democrats and some in the press who assumed he meant “normalcy.” He did not shy away from the term but felt compelled to explain himself by saying: “By ‘normality’ I do not mean the old order, but a regular and stable order of things.

What Americans got was an economy that did not return to normal as quickly as voters wanted and an administration in the throes of scandals. Republicans lost seats, but not the majority, in the mid-term of 1922. And, Harding’s administration became synonymous with corruption. The biggest scandal was the Tea Pot Dome. There have also been scandals at the Veterans Office and the Department of Justice.

Corruption arose after his death in 1923, but by most accountsHarding was well aware that his appointees were taking advantage of their public service, was distressed by it, but did not want to expose it.

Harding was probably even closer to keeping the promise of a “regular and stable order of things” than Biden, as Americans did not witness crisis after crisis in newspapers and on the radio in the 1920s, as they have it in the cable news today.

At this point, for comparisons on the scandal front, we don’t have anything major in the Biden administration that comes close to what happened in the Harding years. Although Hunter Biden could continue to be a bit of a pain.

As it turned out, it was Harding’s successor Calvin Coolidge who restored some stability to the country, presiding over a strong economy.

Perhaps 2024 will produce a candidate who focuses on skills and normalcy first as a secondary or even lower priority. The promise of a return to normalcy – as a virtue in and of itself – does not seem to have paid off so well in 1920 or 2020.

Fred lucas, author of Abuse of power: As part of the three-year campaign to impeach Donald Trump, has written for The Daily Signal, Fox News, History Magazine Quarterly, Townhall, Newsmax, The American Conservative and other media.

Image: Reuters.

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