Negative campaigning to dominate in 2024 US Presidential election

Washington, Jan 4 (IANS): The 2024 US Presidential election is increasingly getting to be a campaign by both Republicans and Democrats to keep incumbent President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump miles away from the White House for specious reasons.

There is no sense of positive vibes in the election campaigns across the aisles as Democrats harp on Trump being a danger to democracy and Republicans claim Biden has failed on all fronts to deliver to the American people from a failed economy to a massive immigration problem on the southern borders to foreign policy initiatives on the Ukraine and Israel Palestine wars, media reports analyse the campaign trends.

Young voters, especially among the educated white youth, black and Hispanic votes are sharply divided on not wanting to vote for either of the candidates Trump or Biden – for different reasons, but common in one, they are too old for the post in White House which guides the world with its policies.

More enraged are the young black and Palestinian voters over what they call the Biden administration's failure to halt the Israel-Hamas war while displaying unwavering loyalty to Israel but failing to prevent the loss of lives of innocent civilians in Gaza by Israel's stepped-up ground invasion, media analysts say.

"Biden has fallen and he can't get up," says one leading newspaper in its commentary on Biden's performance across the political spectrum. It described the deep trouble President Biden is in as he seeks a second term at age 81.

Not only do voters of both parties believe he is too old to continue as the President, but majorities disapprove of virtually everything he has done in the White House, from his handling of the economy to the border to crime to foreign affairs. Even on traditionally strong Democratic issues, such as healthcare and education, Biden's job approval rating is startlingly low, a political analyst wrote in the Washington Examiner on Wednesday.

Wednesday morning began with a number of news organisations reporting that Biden will begin his 2024 campaign with two speeches. One will mark the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riot with an appearance at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The other will take place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white gunman murdered nine black parishioners in 2015.

Biden kicking off the 2024 campaign by focusing on some of the country's darkest moments (Capitol riots allegedly instigated by his predecessor Donald Trump) rather than highlighting his performance in the White House on the economy, education, or foreign policy initiatives, the Examiner said.

"During both events, he will characterize (former President Donald Trump) as a serious threat to the nation's founding principles, arguing that Trump -- who has built a commanding early lead in the Republican presidential primary -- will seek to undermine US democracy should he win a second term," the analyst wrote.

The New York Times pointed out that the Biden campaign is "seeking to frame the contest not as a traditional referendum on the incumbent president and his governance of the nation, but as an existential battle to save the country from a dangerous opponent".

The Washington Post in its analysis of the campaign trends said: "As the 2024 election year kicks off, Biden's actions and rhetoric suggest his campaign has finally settled on a central message -- that American democracy cannot survive another Trump presidency."

With deep voter concerns about his age and his record, Biden simply cannot make the election about himself. That has been clear for quite a while. And so the President has signalled for more than a year that he intends to make the election about what he calls "MAGA extremism".

"Our message is clear and it is simple," Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez told reporters. "We are running a campaign like the fate of our democracy depends on it. Because it does."

Indeed from Biden's campaign managers, it's a simple and straightforward message: "If Trump is re-elected, American democracy will end. You don't want that, do you?" Perhaps Biden can give his campaign a theme: "Midnight in America", Media analysts said in leading newspapers.

Difficult choice for voters:

For voters highly concerned about the "erratic behaviour" of Trump unbefitting a President, "Everything he did after November 3, 2020, Election Day, was a disaster, both for himself and the country", the Examiner columnist said.

At the same time, one could be satisfied with many of the results of Trump's presidency, both in what happened, including a strong pre-Covid economy, solid business deregulation, sound energy policy, and judicial appointments, and in what did not happen.

This is from one of Trump's most indefatigable critics, Robert Kagan: "On Trump's watch, there was no full-scale invasion of Ukraine, no major attack on Israel, no runaway inflation, no disastrous retreat from Afghanistan. It is hard to make the case for Trump's unfitness to anyone who does not already believe it."

The hasty withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan following domestic pressure led to the overrun of Kabul by the Taliban and capture of power overthrowing a democratically-elected government.

The US witnessed a record high inflation of 9 per cent, the worst ever in 40 years (not entirely due to Biden but more to do with the Covid pandemic impact on the economy). The economy has indeed ended on a cheer with inflation down to 2.7 per cent, jobs growing and mortgage rates falling in the housing market, but voters necessarily don't understand the nuances of economics or see the fine print of governance but are swayed by election rhetoric, some pollsters observed.

And on the other side? A man whose infirmities have been visibly increasing, who is now 81 years old, and who seeks to be the President of the US until he is 86. A man who even if he were not too old for office has performed in a way that majorities of voters disapprove. And a man who has decided he has little to offer voters beyond a dystopian vision of the future if his opponent is elected. That is the path Biden has decided to take in 2024, the Examiner analyst said in his column.




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Title: Negative campaigning to dominate in 2024 US Presidential election

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