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Election of the next American President

The election of the next American president may depend on a campaign promise 

We are in an unstable period. The majority of Americans expected peace after the pandemic’s chaos and the Trump administration’s uncertainty, but reality is still bumpy and unpredictable. 

Since taking office, President Joseph Biden has had to deal with many extremely challenging situations. Russia launched a brutal battle against Ukraine, and the US committed significant resources to Kiev’s defense. The economy has been having trouble, and analysts have frequently warned of a possible recession. Although job growth is still strong, inflation has been a problem, making it more expensive for many Americans to do things like buy groceries and heat their homes. 

In order to combat inflation, the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates, which in turn led to sharp swings in the stock market and a downturn in the housing market. Also, it was a factor in the recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank, which shook global trust and prompted the US government to step in to quell the growing financial panic. 

The ongoing culture war arguments, notably those involving school curricula on race and identity and moves to restrict transgender rights, have caused turmoil and animosity, which have heightened tension (and for some, deep dread) in communities across the nation. 

The fact that Americans claim to be pessimistic about the future may not come as a surprise. A Gallup survey conducted in January revealed that 90% of Americans believed 2023 would be a year of political unrest, 85% projected unrest abroad, and around 80% predicted economic difficulties and higher taxes in the US. The 2024 presidential election will take place in this foreboding environment, barring a significant change. I’d imagine that the majority of Americans would like to be able to avoid this kind of toxic concentration and focus on their daily lives, despite the fact that some spend their days yelling at their screens out of political aggravation. The promise of restoring stability will undoubtedly be a major concern in 2024 given what seem to be several, interconnected issues. 

Although it may be difficult to imagine now, there have been elections in the past without the kind of unrest we experience right now. The economy was growing and the government budget was in excess in 2000. Despite the collapse of the dot com boom, the US saw its longest economic expansion in the 1990s, which ended in 2000. The economy was at historic highs, and the United States was not embroiled in any significant international conflicts. 

Al Gore, the vice president, and George W. Bush, the governor of Texas, each waged campaigns portraying himself as the candidate most equipped to maintain the good times despite impending unrest at home and abroad. The campaign was generally quiet, whether it was Gore’s pledge to strengthen Social Security or Bush putting up his concept of compassionate conservatism as a means of closing educational inequities (before election night, of course, and the ensuing fight over the results in Florida). 

There are other elections as well, such as the one in 1980, where difficulty is the name of the game. Instability was a major concern as President Jimmy Carter competed for reelection against former California Governor Ronald Reagan. An energy crisis, inflation, and high unemployment all struck at once, wrecking the economy. As this was going on, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and Americans were being held captive in Iran. While Reagan’s promise of a stronger and more secure future resonated to a sizable portion of the population, many people thought Carter had been outmatched. Even though Carter was quietly attempting to liberate the hostages, the image of him locked up in the White Office epitomized the opposite of what many Americans were searching for in a president. 

Reagan ignited a discussion over the appropriateness of his word choice when he referred to the state of the economy as a “Carter Depression” and blamed the president for it. Yet, the strategy worked, and Reagan expanded on it when he remarked, “Let it show on the record that when the American people screamed out for economic help, Jimmy Carter took refuge behind a dictionary,” in September 1980. I’ll offer him a definition if he requests one, though. When your neighbor loses his job, there is a recession. Depression results from losing yours. When Jimmy Carter loses his, recovery occurs. 

A comparable dynamic is most likely to be established in the 2024 presidential election. It will be crucial for Biden to stay away from the Carter look. He and Vice President Kamala Harris must keep track of the several crises that are developing and offer answers before things get out of hand. Carter (and numerous Presidents before and after him) discovered that doing so is difficult since voters frequently attribute current issues to the person occupying the White House, whether that is correct or not. It helps that Biden has made a name for himself in American politics as a serious leader who cares about leading. 

Republicans have a different challenge. While a rising Reagan promised a rightward agenda and the capacity to govern more successfully than Carter, this will be a heavier burden for Republicans today given that the party failed to introduce a new party platform in 2020 and has come to be known more for its disruptive style of politics than its capacity for governing. For many voters, the appeal of the Trump period was choosing people who were prepared to wreak havoc on behalf of their followers, many of whom felt abandoned by and wary of large government. Donald Trump, a former president, personified this party’s image. If Trump is the Republican nominee in 2024, he will only serve to remind Voters of the instability of his first term and the potential consequences of a second. Trump is still the subject of numerous investigations. And while Gov. Ron DeSantis will undoubtedly stress his accomplishments as the governor of Florida if he decides to run for president, early indications indicate he will emphasize his forays into the volatile culture wars. 

The candidate with the best chance of persuading voters that they can handle any crisis that arises and restore stability will be the overwhelming favorite to win. At this point in Our history, the need for stability is critical, and people will be seeking for the candidate who can usher in a better era.

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