I’m both excited for and dreading the 2024 election. The excitement comes from the fact that it’s a goldmine of material for The Stark Tank that I’m already taking advantage of. It’s also going to be the first presidential election that I’m eligible to vote in and voice my decision. But how can I make my voice heard when the two options at the top of the ticket are so bad that it discourages me from voting at all? This is the dilemma that many young voters, including myself, are facing going into 2024.
As the race currently stands, 2024 will be a rematch of 2020 between the corpse of Joe Biden and former NFT salesman Donald Trump. Despite being arrested four times and facing a myriad of lawsuits and trials only rivaled by OJ Simpson, Trump is still the odds-on favorite to win the nomination thanks to the absolute disaster that has been Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign – more on that another time. On election day, Trump and Biden will be 78 and 81, respectively. Given the advanced age of the candidates and their habits of making long statements that don’t go anywhere, this election will be the equivalent of two old men yelling “get off my lawn” at each other; only this time, they’re fighting over who has access to the nuclear codes. Trump and Biden should not be running for president – they should be collecting AARP benefits and playing bingo. You know, things that senior citizens do. For younger voters, seeing these two at the top of the ticket isn’t particularly motivating since there’s a chance either one of them could keel over in office given Biden’s never-ending battle with stairs and Trump’s love for fast food.
Now here’s what makes things difficult for young voters. Even though the demographic voted overwhelmingly Democrat in the 2022 midterms, young voters are wary of the aging Biden. A recent poll conducted by The New York Times showed that only 17% of voters aged 18-29 support the renomination of Biden by the Democrats. In a follow-up question, 40% of respondents cited Biden’s age as the main reason they don’t want him as the nominee. For young voters, Biden simply isn’t doing enough to win them over. His gaffes have gotten more severe, his press conferences have become increasingly limited and he’s failed to deliver on popular progressive policies supported by young voters like student debt relief. Young voters are getting tired of him and are dying for an alternative.
But herein lies the problem: there are no legitimate alternatives on the Democratic side this cycle, as it’s highly unlikely that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will continue the Kennedy political dynasty. The only alternative to Biden is Trump, but young voters also disapprove of Trump. The same New York Times poll that showed younger voters being done with Biden showed that an overwhelming majority of 18-29 year old voters believe that Trump has committed serious federal crimes. Given the heavy liberal bent of younger voters, the prospect of a second Trump presidency is something that they definitely wouldn’t want.
Many young voters, including myself, are worried about the ramifications of a second Trump reich, including his continued assault on the press, mass rollbacks of environmental policy and – and this is perhaps the biggest fear – appointing more conservative justices to the increasingly hardline and partisanly weaponized Supreme Court. The court is already standing at a cliff with a 6-3 conservative majority that has made a multitude of disastrous decisions since the wrongful appointment of Amy Coney Barrett in 2020. If Trump returned to office with a Republican Senate majority, an outcome that seems likely given the amount of Democratic seats in red states up for election next year, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, both in their 70s, would likely step down and be replaced with young conservative justices to serve for decades to come. But if Sonia Sotomayor stepped down due to her health concerns with diabetes, Trump would have an opportunity to give the court an obscene 7-2 majority that would cement the court as a partisan tool of the Republican Party for the next 50 years and wreak havoc on the country.
Either presidential option is a crapshoot. Voting for Biden would mean supporting a gaffe-prone senior citizen who hides from the press. Voting for Trump would mean supporting the MAGA agenda and a potential Supreme Court catastrophe. Personally, I’m extremely worried about the prospect of Trump returning to the White House. But I just don’t know if I can bring myself to vote for the rapidly aging Biden. This thought process will continue in my mind and in the minds of other like-minded young voters until judgment day comes in November 2024.