The 2024 Election: Our Broken Political System


Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Peter Vahsen, Editor-in-Chief

President Joe Biden’s announcement last month that he will seek reelection in 2024 reflects the broken state of national politics in America.

Biden, who announced his reelection in late April, has long been expected to announce his reelection, having hinted at it multiple times. With no other major Democrat seeking the nomination, he’s all but certain to advance to the general election in November 2024. 

Meanwhile, the Republican party is preparing for a feisty primary, which is thought to eventually become a two-way race between former president Donald Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who has seemingly begun preparing for a presidential bid.

Both Biden, who is currently 80 years old, and Trump, who is 76, reflect just how dominated presidential politics have become by senior politicians. America has generally had older presidents, but Biden is already the oldest president in our nation’s history. If he achieved reelection, he would be 86 by the end of his presidency. Trump, meanwhile, would also be serving into his 80s if he won a second term. 

While there is certainly some benefit in looking to our elders for advice, choosing people as old as Biden or Trump to lead our nation has its issues. Opponents have raised questions about the mental state of both candidates. Also, politicians like Biden and Trump are often seen as out of touch, particularly by younger Americans.

This is reflected by the low approval ratings both Trump and Biden face. Less than 40% of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing as president, recent polls indicate. Meanwhile, Trump’s approval ratings often fell to mid-30%, particularly towards the end of his presidency. Compared to past presidents, these numbers are abysmal. 

Faced with these issues, it would seem logical that both parties sought to nominate other candidates, or at least provide other options to voters. But neither party has shown much interest in this. The Democratic Party already confirmed there will be no debates between candidates, and has fought to keep any other prominent Democrat from running. All of this is seemingly being done to ensure Biden wins the nomination as easily as possible.

On the other hand, Republicans are forced to have a typical primary, given they have no incumbent. However, despite having several candidates more popular than Trump, few Republicans have felt the desire to openly challenge him on his positions. This comes even after the 2022 midterm elections, when almost all candidates backed by Trump in close races lost, despite the above-average performance Republicans expected that year. 

Ultimately, both major American parties seem to have serious issues challenging the status quo in politics. Regardless of political beliefs, voters should have several candidates to choose between in both primary and general elections, especially when the incumbent candidate is generally unpopular with the public. Right now, it seems more so that politicians are being chosen not by the voter, but by the party leadership. And instead of choosing popular candidates, voters are being forced to decide between a few options who, having already been president, bring nothing new to debates over policy.

In this time of bitter divisiveness, it is crucial that Americans be allowed to truly consider a variety of popular options for president. If we continue as is, it seems likely that our country will continue to slide into partisanship, with both bases being forced to support candidates who Americans have little desire to see take the White House.