By Maggie Stalnecker
As an American, perhaps the most disheartening occurrence at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral last week was watching President Joe Biden seated in the 14th row of the Westminster Abbey and his refusal to offer any public condolences to her family ahead of the event. His actions in the past two weeks are a reminder of how far he has caused the United States to decline as a world power since taking office almost two years ago.
Mr. Biden damaged our reputation internationally after his sloppy withdrawal of our country’s troops from Afghanistan last year. Not to mention, his forced vaccine mandates for federal employees and mask requirements on public transportation as a response to the coronavirus pandemic threatened our freedoms and put some people’s wellbeing at risk. Both instances very publicly represent the poor leadership and decision making skills that our president possesses. We are little more than a joke to the rest of the world.
Historically, the United States has supported democracy and freedom internationally due to our strong position as a country. We have been a forceful influence abroad and have supported other countries when appropriate. Domestically, we used to put the safety and security of our country first, focusing on our well-being as a nation before anything else. However, Mr. Biden has been doing the opposite.
Instead of proposing common sense solutions for issues, such as record-high inflation, the border, and the homelessness crisis, Mr. Biden decided that it was appropriate to send billions of dollars overseas, only further involving us in foreign conflicts and affairs.
In a recent speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Biden addressed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons. While this address would have been a perfect opportunity to stand up to a bully and positively reposition the United States, Mr. Biden spent a majority of his speech talking about the money the United States is going to send abroad for climate reform.
Mr. Biden’s predecessor, former president Donald Trump, was also a great divider in politics, causing even those within his own political party to fight and disagree. His presidency, along with the polarizing influence of the media, led to rifts within families and ended friendships, but we were able to feel physically safe and secure within our borders with Mr. Trump as our Commander-in-chief.
We had the ability to voice our opinions, protest, and freely demonstrate our beliefs because we live in a free country and had a leader whose priority was protecting those freedoms. He displayed countless times that he prioritized Americans’ safety and wellbeing, such as when he secured the border and offered major tax cuts to corporations. He demonstrated that he took the interests of our nation seriously. Additionally, his “America First” policies of focusing on our own interests, updating our outdated treaties with other countries, and implementing financial policies to help put us on the path to compete with China showed that he cared about putting the United States first. We took a stronger stance against China and the Communist party, provided support for Taiwan, and continued to push back against the Taliban’s tyrannical rule in areas between Iraq and Syria, maintaining respect and igniting fear in our enemies. These are actions that promote democracy and encourage freedom around the world. But, most of all, Trump reminded us that, despite our faults, we are the greatest country in the world and should believe nothing less.
If the United States is to regain respect and its place as a leader and influencer in the world, we need a leader who protects our interests, keeps our borders secure, and promotes the well being of the American economy. We need a leader that makes moves and implements policies that support democracy and freedom. We need a president who can speak coherently and present ideas clearly, rather than the absent-minded, embarrassing president we have now.
Ms. Stalnecker is a senior at Chapman University. She is majoring in accounting.