We all remember the chaotic election four years ago, as then-incumbent Donald Trump faced former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. With the nation divided more deeply than ever while also suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump proved to be an ineffective leader, and with the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, he proved to be an authoritarian seeking to destroy democracy through violent abuse of power. Now, as we seem to be close to a rematch between Trump and Biden in this year’s election, we must address the failures of the Republican and Democratic parties to nominate leaders that voters actually want to be in office.
The Republican Party clearly has an infatuation with Donald Trump. Even as high-ranking and prominent leaders in the party, such as Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney, have antagonized Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, most Republican voters and leaders continue to support Trump. No matter what the motive is behind supporting Trump, what his supporters cannot see is just how brainwashed they have become into believing everything that he says, and that he is actively trying to undermine our democracy to cling onto any shred of power that he can.
While Trump threatens our democracy, President Biden’s age continues to be a problem for the Democratic Party and the leadership of our nation. Biden is currently 81 years old, making him the oldest president in history — he would be 85 at the end of his next term if he is to win re-election this year. During events and speeches, Biden is often criticized for appearing confused and unable to answer a question without the answer being scripted by his staff.
Biden’s age clearly harms the United States, as a weak leader projects an image of a weaker nation to the rest of the world. At a time when the world is facing numerous wars, threats from climate change and social unrest, the United States, as a leader on the world stage, needs to project strength and power to show that we can tackle these problems.
But it is not just Biden that is too old for office; Trump is 77 years old, meaning he would be 82 at the end of his next term if he wins the election. We all know that many representatives and senators in Congress are too old to be serving, as they represent the interests of a past generation not set on improving the future of our nation for younger Americans, such as failing to address climate change. As college students, it is our responsibility to ensure that we have a successful future by electing politicians representative of our interests. We need leaders that are willing to work with our generation, so turning to younger candidates could be a step towards our interests being better represented.
The primaries have passed here in New Hampshire, and even though Trump and Biden secured their respective party’s victories, we still need to understand that these two men are too old and ineffective to be our president. A rematch between Trump and Biden is an election battle that no American should want to see, and Americans do actually feel this way, especially after the volatility of the 2020 election. The Republican and Democratic parties need to think less about what helps them win and more about what helps the country prosper. Nominating Trump as the Republican nominee may be most popular among Republican voters, but Republicans need to be aware of the danger he poses to our democracy. Even if Trump is not the nominee, many Republican voters will still vote for whoever is the Republican nominee. Republican leaders need to see that it is time to push Trump out of power and give voters a larger pool of candidates, who will still gain the support from Republican voters.
On the other side of the aisle, Democratic leadership must understand that failing to provide more presidential candidates limits their chances of victory. Many registered Democrats are fed up with the nation’s problems under Biden, such as inflation. Even if he is not completely to blame for this, he continues to be criticized for it. Democrats should be worried this election year, as their lack of candidates and subsequent nomination of Biden will cause tired Americans to forget about Trump’s past actions simply because they want a different president.
Democratic leaders must be aware that voters feel that Biden’s age is getting in the way of his leadership, meaning that Democratic voters want more candidates to choose from, so that they are not conflicted between the Republican and Democratic nominee. Right now, Trump is leading Biden in voter polls by 46% to 43%, showing that some voters are so fed up with Biden that they would allow the country to return to an authoritative president who has sought to destroy democracy. Therefore, the two political parties must make room for a younger generation of leaders and avoid the perils of another Trump presidency.