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Could Biden Rally The Nation On This Issue?

An important talent for a President is to rally the nation during times of crisis or hardship.  The three elements for rallying the people during a period of hardship are (1) to explain what is happening, (2) why it is important that we deal with it in a united fashion and (3) how we can best respond.

We are in such a moment with regard to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  The most obvious sacrifice the American people are making is in the soaring price of gas.

According to polls, more than seventy percent of Americans are willing to accept the higher gas prices if that is what it takes to support the people of Ukraine.  The American people have already gone past the first two steps.  People understand what is happening.  They are already dealing with it in a united fashion.

It is the third element that should be dealt with by President Biden.  He should use the White House pulpit to call on all Americans to not only respond to what they see and hear on the news, but to take positive patriotic actions to mitigate the problem.

Biden should call on all Americans to address the rising gas prices by a voluntary conservation program aimed at reducing the consumption of gas.  The elements of the plan would be to allow their homes to be two five degrees cooler in the north and three degrees warmer in the south.  Not to use heating or air conditioning at all unless it is absolutely necessary.  A sweater will compensate for a slighter lower temperature in doors.  Air conditioners can be shut down on days with moderate temperatures.

Consumption of gasoline can be greatly reduced with a few changes in personal habits.  First and foremost is driving the vehicle as little as possible.  Walk to local stores or restaurants that are a short drive away.  Cut down on the places you go – maybe one dining out per week instead of two or three.   Organize carpools for trips to schools and work.

One of the major ways businesses can help is to go back to working at home.  It is ironic that we should go back to virtual work just as we were starting to get back to the office.   Use virtual doctor appointments whenever possible. (I just changed mine from in-office to telemed.)

With a successful individual fuel conservation problem, America could reduce consumption by 20 percent or more.  That would more than compensate for the oil we are no longer purchasing from Russia.  It would reduce the gas bill for everyone – and to some extent those savings would reverberate throughout the economy. 

It would also be a symbolic message to the people of Ukraine that the American people are willing to make sacrifices in opposition to Putin’s invasions and genocide.

Postscript:  It would also be inspiring if Biden would stop trying to shift the entire blame for the run-away inflation on Putin.  It is still mostly his policies – past and present.    A good start would be to get back to maximizing American drilling and processing.

So, there ‘tis.

Written by CFP Staff Writer

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