AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris
With voters in several states heading to the ballot box, Tuesday’s elections mark the final slate of major contests before a vitally important presidential showdown. While every race for the White House is high stakes, several factors like a struggling economy, alarming developments around the world, and the growing radicalism of the Biden administration make 2024 feel particularly momentous.
After Joe Biden became the oldest person ever elected president at 77, even many Democrats believed that he would be a one-term president. But in April, Biden announced that he would indeed be running for re-election. Although there is still some speculation that Biden could drop out of the race late, as of now he is undoubtedly the odds-on favorite to be the Democrat nominee.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump has similarly defied predictions that he would not be the nominee – although for precisely the opposite reasons. While the media and Democrat establishment have propped up Biden in spite of the fact that most Democrat voters want someone else, Trump has dominated GOP primary polling in spite of the media and the Republican establishment doing everything they can to tear him down.
In the latest CBS News poll published on Sunday, Biden trailed Trump by three points in a general election matchup. When it comes to overall favorability, the RealClearPolitics polling average currently has Trump at a slight 0.9 percent edge over Biden. (Trump never led in the averages in either 2020 or 2016.) Trump also leads in five of six critical swing states, according to a recent New York Times/Siena College poll.
It’s easy to see why Biden is struggling. Persistent inflation means many Americans have fallen behind financially and have little chance of catching up. A recent Associated Press/NORC poll found that two-thirds of Americans say costs have risen over the past year, while only one-fourth say their income has gone up. Less than 30 percent surveyed described their financial situation as “very good.”
Meanwhile, Biden has refused to curb his excessive spending and has even tried to sell hundreds of billions of dollars in “green” subsidies as an “inflation reduction” bill. Without a change in leadership, it seems inevitable that inflation will continue to eat into Americans’ paychecks.
The country also faces a number of other serious threats created or exacerbated by Biden that it will have a chance to address in 2024.
Three years in, the border crisis that began almost the day Biden took office has only gotten worse. FY 2023 was the worst year on record for illegal immigration – followed closely by FY 2022. September of this year was the worst single month at the border on record, with more than 270,000 illegal crossings.
In addition to jeopardizing American national security at the border, Biden has also undermined U.S. interests abroad. It is no coincidence that Putin felt emboldened to invade Ukraine just months after Biden’s Afghanistan debacle, and that Hamas launched its attack on Israel shortly after Biden released $6 billion in seized Iranian funds. Biden has alienated American allies like France, while China has grown more aggressive throughout the world.
Now, the chaos that has gripped the rest of the world is even spreading to the United States. Although it went virtually unreported in the mainstream media, a mob of pro-Hamas rioters vandalized monuments in Washington, D.C. this past weekend and attempted to climb the White House security fence.
While failing to punish these and other lawbreakers, Biden and his allies have also repeatedly weaponized the federal government against their political enemies – including Biden’s likely opponent in 2024, Donald Trump. Biden’s FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in August of 2022 was followed one month later by a raid on the home of pro-life activist Mark Houck. In 2021, the FBI labeled parents who spoke out at school board meetings with domestic terrorism “threat tags,” and earlier this year circulated a memo describing traditionalist Catholics as a potential “violent extremist” threat.
Biden’s tenure has also been defined by a slate of radical left-wing social policies that are far out of step with what most Americans believe. Last year, for instance, the White House threatened to withhold federal lunch money from schools that refused to go along with the administration’s policy allowing biological males who identify as girls to use female restroom and shower facilities. Biden has embraced the left’s belief that America is “systemically racist” and sacrificed American energy production for the sake of his “green” agenda.
Because 2024 is shaping up to be a rematch of Trump and Biden, voters will be in the unique position of deciding which vision of the country they prefer after four years of each. Perhaps no other presidential election in history has offered such a clear-cut choice for the future direction of the nation. Regardless of what voters decide, it seems indisputable that the country is at a crossroads.
Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on X at @ShaneHarris513.