Biden vs. Trump: The Battle of Who Could Care Less

Biden vs. Trump: The Battle of Who Could Care Less

Photo Credit: Sangharsh Lohakare

The problem of representation in the 2024 U.S. election

Lauren Sarney, Senior Staff Writer 

“This is America, and we put country before party.” This statement was made on December 14, 2000, by former presidential candidate Al Gore in his concession speech to opponent George W. Bush. The election had been closely contested, with Florida ultimately determining the outcome. In a bewildering turn of events, the margin was so narrow that the decision reached the Supreme Court, which ruled in Bush’s favour. Although Gore expressed disappointment and disagreement with the verdict, he urged his supporters to accept the ruling and avoid descending into anarchy, stating, “we will stand together behind our new president.” 

Every time I open a news app to read about sitting President Joe Biden’s inscrutable promises for his reelection (the most recent being an immense tax hike) or a spiel about former President Donald Trump’s newest buffoonery, seemingly just for the purpose of stirring up controversy (such as his constant mocking of Biden’s stutter), I must remind myself to breathe through it. For just a moment, I envision either candidate in Gore’s position. Would Biden concede with little fight? Perhaps, but it’s unlikely. Would Trump? That’s the only thing I’d venture the U.S. population could agree on, from his staunchest supporters to his biggest critics — not in a million years. 

The United States of 2024 differs significantly from the America Gore once knew, as the nation no longer places its interests above party loyalty. It might even be worse than that: individual interests might now supersede national interests. Is Donald Trump running for president again because he loves his country so much, or because of the people who vote for him? In 2016, Trump was accused during his first bid of not paying hundreds of his workers, from his household staff to his lawyers. His infamous leaked tapes, in which he spoke about women in violent and overtly sexual fashion, somehow pale in comparison to the 26 women who have actively gone on record stating he sexually harassed or assaulted them, including his ex-wife. Donald Trump does not care about the working class; he does not care about women; he cares only about himself. 

Joe Biden, I regret to say, is little better. He has also faced accusations of sexual misconduct, and his failure to address public concerns about climate change, along with his support for Israel while Palestinians in the Gaza Strip suffer disproportionate assaults, have made him an unpopular candidate. 

There is also the issue of age: Trump likes to claim that Joe Biden is too old to be running — coining the terribly savvy “Sleepy Joe” — but he is only four years younger (77 to Biden’s 81). This prompts the question: why are a septuagenarian and an octogenarian duking it out in the first place? We’ve reached the point where anybody might be better, perhaps even Nikki Haley (who is so unfavoured that she lost the Republican primary in Nevada to the “none of these candidates” option on the ballot. Democracy at work.) It seems highly reasonable to argue that two elderly gentlemen who could easily fit in at a retirement home should not be entrusted with leading one of the world’s most powerful and influential nations. It seems highly reasonable to suggest that they step down, step back, and make way for a new leadership that aligns with the desires and needs of the people. But they won’t, and therein lies the issue. This election is not for the people; it’s for satisfying the egos of those at the top.