Inflation hit a 40-year record. Gas prices broke through five bucks a gallon. The South Street shooting has left the City of Brotherly Love shaken by fear. And Congress is investigating a riot on Capitol Hill that shook the nation.
All those issues and more await President Joe Biden when he comes to Philadelphia Tuesday to attend the AFL-CIO’s Constitutional Convention.
It is no secret the president is underwater in the polls, including here in his native Pennsylvania. The latest national average has Biden at a record low: Just 38.9 percent of Americans approve of how he’s doing his job.
So, what would local residents like to ask the president while he is in town? What thoughts would you like to share? We put that question to politicos, pundits, and just plain folks across the Delaware Valley.
Retired cantor Elliott Tessler, a Philadelphia resident, was not subtle. He said would ask, “Have you had your cognition tested any time recently?”
“Mr. President, I’ve followed your career ever since you were first elected to office when I was in the 6th grade,” said Christine Flowers, a conservative pundit. “The nuns at Merion Mercy pointed out the good Catholic senators from our area, and you were one of them. I always held that image of you, and always believed you followed the principles of our faith, in doing no harm and valuing all human life.
“But I have seen your support for abortion rights, and as an asylum specialist, I watched in horror as the Taliban were allowed to recapture Afghanistan,” said Flowers. “I want to know how you square your support for abortion and the debacle which has now caused untold harm to women abroad, with those principles that the good Mercy sisters told me (and that I believed) you held?”
Fred Dascenzo, of Newtown, said he would tell Biden, “Stop blaming inflation on the war in Ukraine. Stop blaming the oil companies for high gas prices when you declared war on the oil companies. Stop the millions of illegal immigrants from crossing our open borders. Stop blaming the transport companies for the high cost of delivery. Stop blaming Putin for inflation. All of this started the day you took office. Also, learn how to read a teleprompter and increase your Prevagen (a memory drug). And look in the mirror. That’s what I would like to say to Biden.”
A recent FiveThirtyEight poll asked 2,000 Americans to name the most important issue facing the nation. More than half chose inflation, while another 29 percent said political divisions and discord. Issues like election security and abortion were in the single digits, yet another sign voters are focused on the economy.
On Facebook, Bensalem resident Rob Saresky said he would ask Biden, “Why are you so hell-bent on destroying the middle class?”
Levittown resident Tom Chipp, also on Facebook, said, “How much do we have to give Hunter to get you to support the USA?”
Others have a positive view of the president.
“Sir, I am so grateful for your life of service,” said Rabbi Shai Cherry, of Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Elkins Park. “You were the one who could and did marginalize Trump. You are the one who can, by not running again, help propel a younger leader to the Oval Office. Please, consider being the patriotic, one-term president that America needs.”
“Thank you for Pennsylvania’s hard-working families and for restoring decency and compassion to the White House. We are counting on you more than ever,” said Charlotte Valyo, chair of the Chester County Democratic Committee.
Towamencin resident Eugene Luciw said he would thank Biden for helping Ukraine.
“Thank you so much for standing with Ukraine,” said Luciw, the president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America’s Philadelphia branch. “And sending the necessary military, economic and humanitarian aid.” He would mention Biden’s own words, saying the “genocidal, inhumane and indeed barbaric attack by the Russians and their obvious effort to destroy Ukraine and its national identity, and their efforts to take over Ukraine in this manner.”
However, “Ukraine requires much more and ongoing assistance,” Luciw added. “And we ask you to continue to provide vital assistance.”
On Friday, Luciw and a group of teenagers with the Youth Civics Club of the Ukrainian Heritage School that meets at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Abington were talking with senators and Congress members in Washington, D.C., including both Pennsylvania Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, and Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, along with Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery), Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia), and others from several states.