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  • Eliot Fuller

The Blame Game - Why the Chaos Overseas Isn't All on Biden


If you turn on Fox News this week, you’re probably going to hear a popular GOP talking point: All of the chaos overseas, from the Middle East to Eastern Europe, is President Biden’s fault. It’s frequently argued that Biden’s age and occasional cognitive mishaps have damaged America’s reputation on the global stage, and sure, this claim might seem logical at first glance. It’s certainly not a good look for a country when your president appears to doze off at a United Nations summit or trip three times walking up the staircase to Air Force One. But hey, it happens to the best of us. We’ve all had our moments.


This notion that Biden has weakened America’s image and actively emboldens foreign adversaries to act in extreme ways seems quite exaggerated, and it certainly isn’t new. First, we heard it after the President decided to pull US troops out of Afghanistan in August 2021. Then we heard it again when Russia invaded Ukraine at the beginning of 2022. Most recently, we heard it after Hamas attacked Israel earlier this month.


To be fair, America’s reputation on the global stage has taken a hit over the past few years. Republicans aren't wrong to make that claim. This regression can’t just be primarily traced back to Joe Biden. The idea that other countries are taking advantage of us now because our president messes up his words from time to time simply isn’t realistic, no matter how sloppy his speeches get.


The United States is still regarded by many far and wide as a global superpower, and we’re often considered to have the strongest military in the world. We stand firm alongside NATO allies and often act with conviction overseas. Vladimir Putin isn’t sitting around watching a “Joe Biden Top 10 Worst Gaffes” compilation on YouTube and realizing that now is his best chance to invade Ukraine. Instead, he and many other world leaders are looking at the state of our democracy and the amount of internal division that’s plaguing our nation while assessing our vulnerability from an outside perspective.


Our enemies are looking back to January 6th, 2021, when our democracy got dangerously close to being toppled by its own citizens in a violent attack. Of course, this was all after a defeated president perpetrated a widely-disproven claim in an attempt to hold onto power, which also doesn’t bode well for our reputation.


Other countries are considering the fact that, after this attack, America was downgraded to a “backsliding democracy” by a popular European think tank. Maybe they’re laughing at us for failing to elect a House Speaker for three consecutive weeks because Republicans in Congress can’t agree on anyone for the role. They might even be intrigued by our attempts to re-elect a leader with 91 felony charges to his name.


The point is, the United States looks weaker than we’ve looked in a while. It’s true. Republicans are right. But we only look weak because we’re weakening ourselves from within, and a lot of this damage took place before Biden even took office.


If you’re upset that America isn’t being taken very seriously right now, blame the man who turned a mob of his own supporters against our government. Spoiler alert: That man is not Joe Biden. If you think our foreign adversaries view us as a banana republic democracy, I can easily point to the main reason why they might think this.


I’m sure that most of us, regardless of party, can agree that the United States needs to reboot its image on the global stage. There are plenty of ways to do this, but one thing is for sure: we don’t need to start with our current commander-in-chief.

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