It’s hard to believe it’s almost time for another “Most Important Election of Our Lives.” Democrats and Republicans alike have adopted a fevered rhetoric this cycle. Liberals are pointing to democratic backsliding, continued rollbacks of basic rights by the Supreme Court, and the renewed threat of psychotic transphobia in power, while Republicans are talking about Hunter Biden’s penis and finally excising the deep state or something. 

This election is especially important for Democrats, many of whom believe — thanks to the specter of the “2025 Project,” a planned right-wing makeover of the federal government — that if they lose now, they may never contest another legitimate election. Combine that with the continued possibility of a merciful God slaying a Supreme Court Justice that looms over every presidential administration, and 2024 is bound to be a stressful one.

Democrats should take heart though. They defied historical precedent during the 2022 midterms; despite very poor expectations, they picked up a U.S. Senate seat and almost held the House. Abortion loomed large over this election, with the Democratic victory coming from persuasion of Independents and Republicans over this issue rather than the turnout of their core base –– an advantage that seems unlikely to dissipate. They are also running against Donald J. Trump, a weak, old, stupid, and scandal-plagued former losing candidate. Elected in 2016 only because he was matched against the historic electoral choke artist Hillary Clinton, Trump has since led the GOP in a direction that is unpalatable to the many voters that they desperately need. The fundamentals of the race are favorable; Democrats have every opportunity to spike this contest and enjoy four more years of power.

Only one man stands in their way — Joe Robinette Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Democrats need a ringer, and Biden is one of the worst candidates they could possibly field. This wasn’t always the case, however; in 2016, Joe Biden was broadly popular and would absolutely have defeated Trump in a general election (nearly any candidate other than Clinton would have). In 2020, he was able to campaign as an elder statesman who would restore competency and order to the executive branch. This appeal worked, as his association with Barack Obama once again paid big dividends.

Three years later, that pitch is much harder to make. Biden has been sitting consistently at double digit disapproval since the beginning of 2022. His dogged support for Israel and its military actions has alienated large parts of his base, particularly young people, Arab Americans, and Muslim Americans. His team has centered economic growth in their reelection campaign, but polls have consistently shown that people just don’t think the economy is that good. He has made bizarre public statements about his ambivalence on abortion, an issue that is such an important electoral asset to Democrats that they’re probably drafting thank-you notes to Thomas Dobbs.

Also quite frustrating is Biden’s tendency to embrace right-wing policies in an attempt to stick it to Republicans. In pursuit of military aid for Israel and Ukraine, the Biden administration not only supported a bill that requires the border be “shut down” after a certain number of people cross a day, but also provided more funding for deportations and detention. The President decried the “border crisis” in a public statement and promised he’d shut down the border the day the bill in question was passed. After the House GOP sunk the legislation for not going far enough, White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates stated, “Will the House GOP vote with the Border Patrol to secure the border, or for more fentanyl and Donald Trump?” This gives credence to right-wing hysterics about evil immigrants smuggling fentanyl into the country to cause harm. In embracing the rhetoric of Trumpism, the Biden administration only legitimizes their policies and worldview, platforming an issue that Trump polls better than Biden on and undermining Democrats’ case for election. 

Secondary to all of these considerations is another crucial issue: voters think Biden is too old to be President. They also tend to think that Trump is too old to be president, but even more so about Biden. Indeed, it is hard not to agree with them. During recent remarks, Biden referred to Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, as Mitterand, the former president who died in 1996. Biden also mixed up former German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Helmut Kohl, who died in 2017. Democratic spin doctors have stated again and again that the President is entirely mentally fit and that these are just minor mistakes, but they become easy fodder for attacks against an 81-year-old man who, frankly, looks like death. Biden’s halting, mumbling style makes him sound like your grandpa who complains that someone is stealing his medication, not the leader of a country and robust political movement.

Trump is also incredibly old and missing some screws. He rants about low flush toilets at rallies, once repeatedly referred to Nancy Pelosi as Nikki Haley, and appeared to think Obama was still in office. However, because Democrats are nominating a man who was a teenager when Civil War vets were still alive, they cannot point any of this out. 

Voters have consistently indicated that they don’t want either of these candidates. A generic Democrat consistently beats Trump in polling, and a generic Republican thumps Biden. Because Republicans have a cultish commitment to Trump, their nominee is certain, no matter how much of a liability he is. Democrats, however, have numerous candidates who are electoral powerhouses, like swing state governors Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) and Josh Shapiro (D-PA ’95), who are young, popular, and appealing to broad swathes of the Democratic base. Whitmer in particular has shown an outstanding ability as a party builder, guiding pro-union, gay rights, and pro-abortion bills through a very slim congressional majority, thus having clear accomplishments on big Democratic priorities that she can easily campaign on.

The upcoming presidential election is obviously hugely important in the future of U.S. politics. Another Trump term would deepen reactionary currents and hasten the destruction of the regulatory and welfare states. Democrats must win the White House if they want to preserve what is left of this country. 

And, if Democrats are really serious about winning, it’s time for Grandpa Joe to step aside and let someone else run.

UR Baseball beats Hamilton and RIT

Yellowjackets baseball beat Hamilton College on Tuesday and RIT on Friday to the scores of 11–4 and 7–4, respectively.

Colin’s Review Rundown: Future and Metro Boomin, Lizzy McAlpine, Benson Boone, Civerous

Is it bad? Definitely not! But I found myself continually checking my phone to see how many tracks were left.

Notes by Nadia: The myth of summer vacation

Summer vacation is no longer a vacation.