The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

2024 election points toward disappointing repeat of history

Gage Skidmore, Shealah Craighead via WikiMedia Commons
President Biden and former President Trump are expected to be the frontrunners once again for next year’s presidential election. That scenario could leave many voters feeling forced to choose between two undesirable candidates.

If you followed the 2020 presidential election, you may find yourself experiencing some unpleasant déjà vu next year.

We are almost a year away from the 2024 presidential election and many current college students have only voted for a president once before. Others may be first-time voters or not yet old enough to vote next November. Whatever your age and wherever you are in your life, it’s becoming harder to deny that we may have to choose between two candidates whose behavior should concern us.

Voting is one of the main ways you can make your voice heard, even if you feel like it won’t make a difference. It can be even harder to feel like your vote will have an impact when there isn’t a frontrunner whom you strongly support. This happens to be the case for many Americans when it comes to Joe Biden and Donald Trump. 

Biden is running for re-election next year, and if he wins, he will be the oldest president in U.S. history. This is a red flag for those who are dissatisfied with his style of leadership. I fit into this category, as I have noticed several peculiar moments where Biden has stumbled over his words. 

On the other hand, Trump is the current frontrunner for the Republican Party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential election. The average person who keeps up with major news will know that he has had his fair share of publicized controversy. Most recently, Trump has been found liable by a New York judge for fraud and failed to show up to the first two GOP presidential debates.

One way that we as Americans can avoid having to settle for one of these two unpromising candidates is by banding together to support one who breaks the pattern. For example, women plan on running for both the Democrat and Republican presidential nominations. We have yet to see a woman president in this country, although Kamala Harris did make history as the first female vice president in the last election. 

Perhaps electing a woman to this role could be a positive change for our politics and demonstrate a commitment to being progressive. Why not back Democrat Mariamme Williamson, or Republican Nikki Haley, a daughter of Indian immigrants? Putting party affiliation to the side, this could be a big accomplishment. 

While this sounds exciting in theory, it would take a lot of grassroots work to prevent Biden and Trump from facing off for a second time. They both have very large numbers of supporters nationwide, and it is easier for them to lead successful campaigns due to their power as experienced wealthy white men. It would not be surprising if Biden were elected as president for two consecutive terms like Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and others. 

Another aspect that further adds to the lack of promise about next year’s election is the sheer number of Republican candidates compared to Democrats. The New York Times identified a whopping 13 Republicans and three Democrats as of Sept. 15. Of course, Trump is leading the other 12 Republicans at the moment, despite public criticisms from the likes of Chris Christie and Ron Desantis.

I believe we as Americans have allowed the two-party system to continue to dominate the political sphere by falling into the same trends every year. It is typical for candidates with extreme views in America to attract many voters with those same or similar views, leaving voters with more moderate views underrepresented at the polls. If we were to encourage each other to be aware of our individual values and beliefs rather than prescribing to the “either or” of it all, perhaps then we could begin to see some real changes take place. 

Right now, it feels like I can only imagine a world where bipartisanship wouldn’t be necessary because we’d have more options than our current two-party system. People are more complex than our current political situation leads us to believe, and it’s far from ideal that we have to rely on others to make decisions for us. I acknowledge that it may seem unlikely, but we have just over a year to hope for improvement and contribute to causes that we believe deserve our support.

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