President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. The speech came at a moment when the state of the union hasn’t been this bad since President Jimmy Carter delivered his last State of the Union address in January 1980.
At that time, America was dealing with the Iranian hostage crisis, suffocating inflation, energy shortages, and the uncertain feeling of malaise in the air. The Soviet Union had also just invaded Afghanistan the previous month. It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
In fact, Biden’s speech and Carter’s remarks more than four decades ago could almost be used interchangeably.
On that note, here are my five takeaways from Joe Biden’s weak and ineffective first State of the Union address.
Takeaway # 1: Weakness is still the key word
In President Carter’s address, he stated, “but now the Soviet Union has taken a radical and an aggressive new step. It’s using its great military power against a relatively defenseless nation. The implications of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan could pose the most serious threat to the peace since the Second World War.”
Carter wasn’t wrong in his description. And the politicians and experts making similar claims about Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine aren’t wrong either. However, what can’t be ignored is that the reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and Ukraine in 2022 are the same. It all comes back to weakness in the Oval Office.
By the time Soviet tanks rolled into Kabul 42 years ago, Jimmy Carter’s reputation as a weak leader had been well-established and the Communists in Moscow took full advantage of it.
Over the past year, President Biden has cemented an eerily similar image that has yielded the same results — liberty in retreat.
Takeaway #2: The peace through strength doctrine works
Biden’s refusal to get tough with China — in the tradition of the Trump America First agenda — along with his incompetent and impeachable withdrawal from Afghanistan have emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Dictators like Putin only understand strength. And with the absence of strength coming from the current American president, there’s no deterrent to the thugs of the world who wish to do evil things.
Moreover, we’re also seeing that NATO and the United Nations are only as strong as whoever is sitting behind the Resolute Desk.
A peace through strength foreign policy helped propel both Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump to the presidency and put our adversaries on notice.
Conversely, Carter and Biden’s complete inability to project strength puts America at a severe disadvantage.
At this precarious moment for America and the world, mean tweets from a political outsider from New York don’t seem all that bad.
Takeaway #3: Pivoting to foreign policy won’t work
When Jimmy Carter was about to leave office in December 1980, his approval rating stood at 34 percent and his presidency was viewed by many as a dismal failure. Similarly, the first year of the Biden presidency was a failure across the board.
President Biden’s irresponsible and radical leftist policies created a border crisis, a crime crisis, an inflation crisis and an Afghanistan crisis. That’s why his approval rating is clocking in at a dangerously low 37 percent.
In his address to the nation on Tuesday night, Biden’s feeble attempt to rally Americans around a presidency that’s in freefall, by focusing on defending freedom and democracy abroad, will come up short because he’s lost all credibility on the issue already.
Look no further than the fact that Biden is polling underwater on foreign policy matters with 38 percent of Americans approving his leadership and 58 percent disapproving.
The American people will never forget how Biden broke his promise and left Americans behind on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2021.
Takeaway #4: Trump was right on energy policy and Biden is wrong
In his January 1980 address to the nation, President Carter said that “the crises in Iran and Afghanistan have dramatized a very important lesson: Our excessive dependence on foreign oil is a clear and present danger to our nation’s security.”
President Trump understood this and successfully made America energy independent by unleashing our abundant domestic energy resources.
As soon as Joe Biden took office, he caved to the radical left-wing special interests in his party and made our country once again dependent on foreign energy.
Now, instead of admitting his mistake and adopting the successful Trump energy policy for the sake of national security, Biden remains boxed in by his socialist base and the U.S. will continue to buy oil from Russia while lining Putin’s corrupt pockets.
Takeaway #5: Under Biden, America is not strong
Jimmy Carter wasn’t a successful president but he gave it straight to the American people. In his last state of the union speech he told the American people that the “last few months has not been an easy time for any of us.” While President Carter didn’t know how to solve our problems, he didn’t gloss over them.
President Biden by contrast is addicted to telling Americans the lie that his economic and foreign policies are working and that we’re making progress.
Biden has no answer for record inflation or the skyrocketing gas prices that are crushing hardworking American taxpayers.
After a year of out of control spending, no one believes that Biden’s policies will cut the deficit or our ever-growing $30 trillion national debt.
Biden’s decision to double down on his stalled leftist agenda isn’t what struggling Americans wanted to hear. He should have listened to former Obama adviser David Axelrod’s advice: “You simply cannot jawbone Americans into believing that things are better than [how] they feel.”
Biden also made clear that his COVID-19 policy was dictated by politics all along and not science.
History will remember that when it was time to choose between power and science, Democrats chose power. But people see that the sudden shift to a post-COVID mentality is all about the Democrats trying to fight off the coming GOP tidal wave in the 2022 midterms elections.
At the end of the day, President Biden didn’t unite the American people during his first year in office, but instead he chose to further divide us with his rhetoric. Instead of shutting down COVID-19, Biden chose political science over medical science. And now Biden is claiming that he support polices and border security is a farce that no one believes. Why? Because his past words and deeds speak for themselves.
Biden’s 2022 State of the Union address was a huge missed opportunity to change direction and turn the page on a terrible first year that the American people will never get back.
The comparisons to Jimmy Carter will only continue to grow from here.
David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United, a Fox News contributor, the 2016 deputy campaign manager for Donald Trump for President, and the former chief investigator for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform and Oversight during the Clinton administration. He is the co-author with Corey Lewandowski of “Trump: America First: The President Succeeds Against All Odds,” along with “Let Trump Be Trump” and “Trump’s Enemies.”