Reading between the lines of the reports coming out of the recent engagements between US Government officials and the Arab community in Michigan, it is clear that President Biden has lost a large section of Arab American support. Listening to the political debates in the US about relative support of the presidential candidates, it has been noted that enthusiasm for President Biden in the African American community has weakened considerably. News reports continue to emphasize that the President’s age and declining physical and mental capacities are seen as negative perceptions  The Joe Biden who, a few short years ago, trotted up to a podium to speak and engaged in vigorous debate during the election campaign, has been replaced by a Joe Biden who tumbled off his cycle while riding, fell heavily on a stage, walks with shaky uncertainty and,  in the course of aggressively arguing that nothing is wrong with his memory, refers to the President of Egypt as the President of Mexico. With declining poll numbers, Democrats are clearly concerned.

The most damaging news to have emerged to President Biden over the past week is the report of Special Counsel Robert Tur on classified documents found at premises occupied by President Biden before he became President. The documents relate to the periods when he was a Senator and Vice President. Over seven million documents were collected, and 147 witnesses examined. President Biden was also interviewed. Even though President Biden was aware since 2017 that he had classified documents in his possession, he did not return them. After a 15-month investigation, the Special Counsel recommended that prosecution of President Biden should not be undertaken because he was a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” who was not able to recall to investigators when his son, Beau Biden, died. Hur also stated in his report: “Mr. Biden’s memory also seemed to have significant limitation.” His conversations with his ghost writer as far back as 2017 “are often painfully slow, with Mr. Biden struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries.” It was while angrily refuting these remarks that President Biden referred to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the President of Egypt as the President of Mexico. The reaction of Democrats to this report by a Republican Special Counsel was predictably critical as being politically driven.

President Biden’s continuing, uncritical support for Israeli genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, both diplomatically and with billions of dollars in arms has severely damaged his support among Arab-Americans, particularly in Michigan, where a large Arab American community resides. After rejecting a request for a meeting with President Biden’s re-election officials, the White House sent senior officers to confer with the community. Reports of the meeting, obviously leaked by the Biden officers, indicate that they admitted the “damaging” consequences of “inadequate public accounting” of how much the President and the administration values the lives of Palestinians. President Biden’s belated criticism of Israel of “going over the top” against Gaza, having previously described loss of life resulting from the genocide as the “price of waging war,” is hardly likely to repair the damage.  But it is not only the Arab American community that has been disenchanted. The Administration has “angered young people, Black voters and progressives,” according to the New York Times.

Despite declining inflation, positive growth and employment figures and a successful domestic agenda, including climate and infrastructure legislation and a growing manufacturing sector, which are all likely provide thousands of new jobs, support for President Biden’s support for re-election is weakening among African Americans and Hispanic Americans and increasing for presumptive Republican Candidate Donald Trump. Many are struggling to understand these phenomena. Perhaps not many pundits wish to recall that wages have ceased increasing in tandem with the cost of living since the 1970s and, whenever the Democrats are in office, their half-hearted attempts to redress the balance generally fall victim to corporate interests. What Americans refer to as “the middle class” that has lost out in the competition for its rightful share of US capitalism’s bounty, has had its reverberating effect in the rise of Donald Trump and the unwillingness or inability of the Democratic Party to at least partially unshackle itself from its corporate chains.

It is often said that US foreign policy plays little or no role in electoral outcomes. Maybe the vocal opposition to the Administration’s support for Israeli genocide in Gaza, its bombing of the Houthis in Yemen to protect shipping in the face of Israeli genocide, its bombing of Iraq and Yemen, and now its tepid disapproval of the impending slaughter in Rafah in Gaza, may have little or no effect on outcome of the US elections in November. But the economic condition of the American “middle class” and whether or not the Biden Administration has advanced the aspirations of the African American and Hispanic American sections of it sufficiently to tempt them to turn out in the same numbers as in 2020 to support President Biden, remains to be seen. Many Americans do not want to see a return of Donald Trump but have no enthusiasm for President Biden and may not vote for him. We await the unfolding campaign.   

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