REVIEW: Will history repeat itself? | Opinion


In an October 2019 column, I wrote about the future of the two major political parties and reflected on who would be most likely to run for president in 2020. In the article, I focused on the Democrats because I thought President Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination. and ultimately prevailing in that year’s general election contest against former Vice President Joe Biden.

From the start of the campaign, Biden positioned himself as a stabilizing force for Democrats whose primary focus was defeating Trump, not necessarily political initiatives. After a rocky start to the primaries, South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn’s endorsement removed any doubt that Biden would be the eventual Democratic nominee.

Ultimately, the pandemic changed the expectations and focus of the campaign. Biden won a narrow but decisive victory in the general election in November.

According to a 2020 Morning Consult exit poll, voters were asked to leave polling stations why they voted for their choice. A majority of Biden voters surveyed said they voted against Trump, not Biden.

However, in 2024, at over 80, a second term for Biden is not certain. Some within his own party are beginning to wonder if the president is capable of repeating his previous success in a grueling, conventional campaign.

According to multiple reports, progressives are growing increasingly frustrated with the administration’s perceived lack of support for their agenda. There has been open speculation that someone might challenge the incumbent president for the Democratic nomination in 2024. Others are floating names of potential replacements should Biden decide not to run again.

Some argue that big fields and big challenges strengthen an eventual winner. I do not subscribe to this theory.

I haven’t been impressed with President Biden’s performance since taking office in 2021, however, a main challenge in 2023 could condemn the Democrats to a fate similar to that which befell them in 1968.

Spurred on by the fight for racial equality and the Vietnam War, politically hobbled incumbent President Lyndon Johnson announced in March that he would not seek his party’s nomination for a second term as president.

Johnson hoped his preemptive action would give Democrats time to find a standard bearer to carry a message of unity. He did not succeed. The 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago has been remembered for little more than chaos.

After RFK’s death and other losses in Southeast Asia, party unity was a pipe dream.

Disputes within the party normally stem from ideological differences or a sense of weakness. Several other instances of bickering within the two camps had similar results; prolonged primaries decrease an incumbent’s chances of re-election.

President Biden faces economic headwinds and foreign and domestic challenges that affect the morale and bottom line of millions of Americans. His chances of being re-elected are shrinking day by day.

Biden must successfully fend off a challenge from the progressive wing within his own party if he has any hope of winning in 2024, or history will almost certainly repeat itself.

Mark Archibald is a freelance journalist and columnist. His opinion column, On the Mark, recently won first place in the writing column of the North and East Texas Press Association’s Texas Better Newspaper Contest, an annual contest for member newspapers that recognizes the best content published in the year. former. Feel free to send feedback to [email protected]


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