2016 had Harambe, 2020 had Kanye, 2024 will have Donald Trump
“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”
Shockingly, these words weren’t said in 2015, but last night. But it is unsurprising that Trump has decided to run again. As a man who clung to the idea that the concept of him losing an election was a result of corruption, there isn’t much else that America could expect from him. But despite the crowds of people attending his rallies, the bigger picture is that Trump won’t do much good for the right wing of America. Here’s why.
First of all, Trump’s impact on marginalised people cannot be ignored or forgotten the next time Americans go to the voting booths. His impact on reproductive rights was focused on even during the recent midterms, as many voters focused on the recent overturning of Roe v Wade. Without Donald Trump’s appointment of three anti-abortion Supreme Court Justices during his term, Roe v Wade could still be in place. As for his impact on people of colour, after his branding of COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” in 2020, hate crimes went up by nearly 150% compared to the number in 2019. And for the LGBTQ+ community, on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting which targeted LGBTQ+ people, Trump reversed healthcare discrimination protection for transgender people. Needless to say, these actions make it impossible for voters who care about reproductive rights and social equality to consider giving Trump a second term.
But on the other side of the political spectrum, among those who don’t focus on these issues as much, rather on the economy, the second amendment, and personal liberty, Trump also isn’t so popular. This is despite his past victories among Republicans, and particularly those on the right who didn’t engage in mainstream politics. Trump’s job approval rating during his last month in the White House was 34%. For comparison, Biden’s approval rating, which is often referenced by Republicans, has never reached lower than 38%. Republicans seem to be turning to other, fresher candidates for 2024, who don’t have as much baggage attached to them.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who brought on controversy by signing into law the infamous “don’t say gay bill”, has become a potential competitor for Trump, as whilst he hasn’t formally announced his run for president, his more conventional approach to conservative politics seems just right enough that it attracts more radical right-wing voters, but his cleaner image won’t push away more moderate Republicans. He was recently re-elected as governor, and takes pride in his past approach to handling COVID-19 in Florida, where mask mandates were near non-existent and vaccines were not enforced for healthcare workers.
Overall, there is a general understanding in the states that Donald Trump’s run for the presidency could split the right-wing vote. This was reflected in President Joe Biden’s answer to the question: “Who do you think would be the tougher competitor, Ron DeSantis or former president Donald Trump?”. He responded: “It’d be fun watching them take on each other.” Trump is aiming to seek the Republican presidential nomination, and it is likely that DeSantis will be a fierce competitor in this.
It is worth considering the possibility that if this fails, Trump may choose to run as an independent instead, which would more definitely fracture the anti-Joe Biden vote. Trump’s race back to the White House, therefore, will likely prove catastrophic for anyone in America hoping to evict President Biden from the White House. As after all, with Biden’s winning 2020 campaign being named “Settle For Biden”, America voted in their president not because of his own polices, but because he was the best opposition against a second Trump term. If Trump wins the nomination, it is likely that they will do it again.
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash / Jon Tyson
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