A Bloomberg Poll released on November 19th found that a majority of Republican voters believe the unemployment has risen during Barack Obama’s presidency. According to the poll, 53 percent of Republican voters erroneously think the unemployment rate is higher now than when Barack Obama was first inaugurated in January of 2009. Only 38 percent of Republican voters correctly understood that the unemployment has dropped during Obama’s presidency.
The unemployment rate has not only dropped since Obama took office, it has dropped dramatically. When Barack Obama took the oath of office in January 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. It rose to 10.0 percent by October of that year, as the full impact of the 2008 economic crisis took hold and caused massive job losses in the U.S. economy.
However, since October of 2009, the unemployment rate has dropped sharply, and by October 2015 it had fallen to 5.0 percent. After the Bush economy fell flat on its face, Barack Obama has put Americans back to work again, and the nation has enjoyed a modest recovery.
Republican voters however, live in an alternate reality. They are so resistant to the idea that America isn’t on the road to ruin, that they refuse to see any good news so long as Barack Obama remains in the White House. Their frustration with the current president however is rooted in ideology not in genuine suffering. Republicans can believe what they want to believe, but they should never confuse their beliefs with the truth.
With the GOP base so detached from reality, it is little wonder that they have rallied behind Donald Trump’s “make America great again” slogan. Republican voters have lost sight that Barack Obama is already making America great again, rebuilding it from the economic destruction wrought by the policies of George W. Bush.
The GOP refuses to accept reality. They want to believe Barack Obama is a terrible president who has caused Americans untold suffering. They want to believe that unemployment has risen with Obama at the helm. However, this nightmare is a figment of Republican voters’ collective imaginations. The unemployment rate has dropped under Obama’s leadership, and even if Republicans can’t acknowledge that reality, the rest of us know its the truth.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.