2024 Election: Is divisiveness the norm?

Photo by Garrett Shoemaker Student Publications

If there was one word that could be used to describe the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, it would be nerve-wracking. 

Many liberals were unhappy with all of their prospective candidates. 

Donald Trump supporters pushed against other candidates and rallied heavily for Trump.

Other select conservatives tried to encourage voting for alternative candidates for the Republican nomination. 

But in the end, it came down to Joe Biden and Donald Trump in an extremely close race — a race not only for the presidency but for the freedom and rights of people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, women and other minority groups.

One big issue at hand was the general dislike towards Joe Biden. 

He could only truly be described as an old, wrinkly white man who, at times, was awkwardly fumbling through the candidacy process. 

To many, he was the only and best option, but to others, his past issues and practices during the Obama Administration caused people to distrust him and his ability to lead the United States.

While his administration thus far has been relatively smooth sailing, there is still rampant criticism of some of Biden’s presidential actions. 

For example, take the Supreme Court’s disturbing overturning of Roe v. Wade earlier this year. The Democratic left was infuriated by Biden’s lukewarm initial policy response. While he eventually took some action, liberals understandably still expect more. 

In the upcoming 2024 election, it seems that history might repeat itself in terms of final candidates.

The Republican Party is still overwhelmingly supportive of Trump even defending him during the Jan. 6 insurrection committee hearings. 

His (relatively) metaphorical cult goes as far as to condemn the committee and the FBI for raiding his house and finding damning evidence.

In terms of Democrats, there are no candidates who could garner widespread support, including from across the aisle, and successfully challenge Biden in pursuit of the presidency. 

According to The Washington Post, Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign team sent out a memo suggesting that if Biden does not run, Sanders may run again.

However, this may only serve to split the Democratic Party further, as many liberals and Democratic Socialists no longer identify with the party.

With the radicalization of both parties, it is becoming more and more difficult to unite liberals under a single candidate. 

This is especially true  with the giant spectrum of political beliefs that are attributed to “The Left.”

With the Trump Administration came an era of party divisiveness.

A hand reached over the aisle is now smacked and ridiculed, which only stagnates progress in the context of legislation. 

While this divisiveness is often castigated, it does follow that people of differing parties are struggling to see eye to eye. 

In the past, differences were driven by varying monetary ideologies, taxation, etc.; now, the variation has become a moral dilemma. 

Both sides think of their views as morally driven, so there is no way to stop clashing between the parties.

As Trump runs again for the 2024 election, this party divisiveness will only proliferate. News media gives his bigotry a large platform, even when condemning or criticizing him. 

This only furthers his reach and allows him to expand his following. 

While it seems like Biden may be the only viable opposition for Trump, many Americans are disillusioned by Biden, and blame him for inflation, gas prices and other issues. 

However, according to a PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, more than six in ten Americans do not want Trump to run again. 

Is there a possibility that another Republican candidate has a chance against Trump in the primary? Likely not, since the party continues to be overwhelmingly pro-Trump, at least the outwardly verbal individuals. But, that same bias may be the reason that Trump is defeated in the upcoming election. 

While Biden is not exactly the most ideal candidate, he may be the only person to take down Trump a second time. He has proven his ability to do so, and if it comes down to it, the left will rally around and vote for him. The moderate Democratic candidate may be able to stretch across the ever-widening aisle and garner support for himself, but the cost for both parties, especially the left, may be great.