The 2024 presidential election is shaping up to be a rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. But while the candidates may be the same, the circumstances surrounding this contest are vastly different from four years ago.
In 2020, Trump was still operating within the broad confines of democratic norms, even as he pushed against their boundaries. But since his defeat, he has fully embraced the authoritarian playbook, transforming the Republican Party into a vehicle for his extreme agenda.
Trump’s actions after the 2020 election were unprecedented in American history. As Heather Cox Richardson writes in her March 13, 2024 blog post:
“Trump then refused to step aside for his successor as all of his predecessors had done, and has continued to push the Big Lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen”.
This rejection of the peaceful transfer of power was just the beginning. In 2023, Trump was indicted on felony charges for mishandling classified documents. He has purged the Republican National Committee of anyone not fully loyal to him. His allies in Congress have paralyzed the legislative process with their extremist demands.
Trump’s vision for a second term is even more radical than his first. According to Richardson:
“Trump has promised that if he returns to office, he will purge the nonpartisan civil service we have had since 1883, replacing career employees with his own loyalists. He has called for weaponizing the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense, and his advisors say he will round up and put into camps 10 million people currently living in the U.S”.
This is not a normal party platform; it is a blueprint for authoritarian rule.
In contrast, Biden and the Democrats have spent the past two years demonstrating that government can work for ordinary people. With slim Congressional majorities, they passed landmark legislation investing in infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy, and more. They have worked to strengthen civil rights and America’s democratic alliances abroad.
As Vice President Kamala Harris put it:
“With his State of the Union speech last week, President Biden passionately presented our alternative vision. We will reduce costs for families, make housing more affordable, and raise the minimum wage. We will restore Roe, protect voting rights, and finally address our gun violence epidemic”.
The choice in 2024 could not be more stark. It is a choice between a flawed but functioning democracy and an authoritarian threat; between a vision of inclusion and a nativist nightmare.
In 2020, many voters may have seen Trump as distasteful but still within normal political bounds. In 2024, no one can claim ignorance of the danger he poses. The differences between Biden and Trump, and between their visions for America, are now impossible to ignore.
Categories: Politics

Abe Mazliach

I am passionate about Justice and Freedom for all people.


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