Opinion: Three reasons the 2024 presidential election is a sign of the times

This combination of pictures shows then-President Donald Trump, left, and Joe Biden during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on Oct. 22, 2020.

This combination of pictures shows then-President Donald Trump, left, and Joe Biden during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on Oct. 22, 2020. Brendan Smialowski and Jim Watson/ AFP via Getty Images/ TNS


Published: 06-19-2024 6:00 AM

A. J. Kierstead is a resident of Concord and the editor and host of The New England Take.

The current collapse of political norms was inevitable. It is apparent the neolib/neocon movement, the lukewarm attempt at “centrism,” has imploded and the parties are unwilling to create leaders with honest ideological standards.

It should surprise no one that many have concerns over possible blackmail party leaders and lobbyists have over the octogenarians in D.C.. Factoring in the internet and how could you not end up with movements like MAGA and the BLM. There are three main symptoms that outline the failures we are seeing in 2024.

First, the Republican party is trapped by populism and exhaustion of the corrupt political system.

Trump is a mirror to the problems of our society. We didn’t end up with the orange middle finger because things were going well. Social media, legacy press, boomers refusing to be mentors and gripping to power, an evolutionary technological period, and a population that lacks purpose brings us here.

He speaks in a way everyone understands, jokes about the craziness of it all, and makes no bones about his “screw you” attitude. A stand-up comedian who understands the system because his family has played in the world of the elites for generations. He is vulgar, upsetting, entertaining, and a product of the times.

Second, Democrats prop up individuals who are empty vessels of the winds of popular opinion and the Democratic party machine.

Biden is the stooge. The last man standing from the old guard. An easy, corrupt target for the MAGA and anti-establishment movement that allows Trump and RFK, Jr. to steal from his lack of momentum. Between his lackluster return to post-COVID normalcy, weak stances around foreign conflicts in Ukraine and Israel, persistent inflation, and obvious physical decline he is no longer able to make the argument that he is the “return to normal.” Stir in familial corruption to just spoil the pot in ways that I can’t be bothered to unwind here.

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Third, hypocrisy is the rule of the day and ideological consistency is dead.

The “shall not be infringed” crowd celebrates Hunter Biden’s conviction while the alleged “anti-gun” crew calls it a miscarriage of justice and abuse of the legal system. The “democracy above all else” gang celebrates Trump getting nailed for a federal charge the feds didn’t charge him with while the “drain the swamp” cult thinks some old rich guy who has funded Democrats for decades is their only hope. Republicans are captured by populism and Democrats by the woke progressives.

What’s next? Anyone who believes black-and-white political stances are going to fix anything at the national level is deeply mistaken. The Overton window in the legacy press has anyone right of AOC as a fascist and online media having anyone left of Ben Shapiro as a socialist. A recentering will take years, if ever. Federalism is the only way out.

We have to recenter politics on the state and local level. The majority of the Granite Staters will not agree with the Golden Stater, let alone the average Angelino. Them crazy Texans can go as crazy pro-gun and pro-life as they want while them New Yorkers can infringe away while their goofy governors promote infanticide.

The great resettlement can continue, so long as the transients understand the culture of their new homeland. The Constitution should return to being the guardrails, something an allegedly conservative SCOTUS should celebrate.

I stand behind the concept that most Americans should not care about what the slime balls in D.C. are up to 99% of the time. It is their job to make the sausage and work with the weirdo on the other side of the aisle you will never agree with and the lobbyist you want to pretend doesn’t exist. It has to happen. Maybe if we took some time to focus on the state house, we could feel like the wheels of democracy aren’t running us over most of the time.

The leaders we vote for at the bottom of the ticket in 2024 are often the future of Concord and D.C. Make sure they have your best interests in mind and not whatever the party establishment tells them to vote for.