2024 vs. 2020 presidential election: the rematch

By Megan Hite, HiteM@Findlay.edu

For many students at UF, this upcoming 2024 presidential election is the first opportunity for them to vote. However, it’s shaping up to be a repeat of the 2020 election with both former president Donald Trump and President Joe Biden running this year.

“I believe this will be the most polarizing and divided election in modern times,” UF student Aidan Wright said. “Our society has moved toward such an increase in nasty political and media consumption, that it has eroded away almost all of the common ground between the two major sides of our spectrum. Unfortunately, the last time it felt that we had such a divide was during the Civil War era.”

A few UF students also shared their views on if the elections will pose a different outcome. UF student Austin Waxler explained his view.

“There is a chance the election will differ from the previous one; I am not holding my breath, though.” Waxler said. “In all honesty, neither choice is phenomenal, but it is what we are left with because other parties [candidates] are not as well received as the main duo. In any case, whatever the people choose to win is their burden to bear when we lose sight of what is truly important to our country.”

UF student Jada Drees shared her opinion.

“With the 2020 elections, COVID-19 was a huge influence, so I think in that aspect the 2024 elections will be different,” Drees said. “However, the fighting, arguments, tension and messiness from the 2020 election will translate to the 2024 elections. I think right now political tensions and differences are at an all-time high, and the 2024 elections will only escalate this.”

This year, several lawsuits were presented to former president Donald Trump, as well as states wanting to take his name off the ballots. This led to the Supreme Court making a ruling that states are not allowed to take the former president, Donald Trump’s name off the states ballot.

“I agree with the Supreme Court ruling on the issue of states taking Trump off the ballot. Hate or love Trump, he has not been convicted criminally of any crimes that he has been accused of, so states like Colorado have no ‘real reason’ to take a politician’s name off the ballot,” Drees said. “The Supreme Court agrees — they ruled 9-0 on this issue, which further shows that it is not a political issue — states cannot just take a person’s name off the ballot because they do not have similar views.”

While many believe the ruling was fair, Waxler shared his opinion on what others might think.

“Considering this has never occurred in the past, I would find it a sour attempt to keep a long-standing tradition from a fair station; however, due to all the counts against Trump and his multitude of legal problems, it is hard to agree with the court on this issue. As we know, justice and the law do not coincide,” Waxler said.

While discussing the future election, Waxler made the point that Biden will be 82-years-old at the end of his term. If he is reelected and takes office for another four years, the chances of him dying in office is at a higher rate than the average presidents in the past.

“The minimum age is thirty-five; I believe a thoughtful maximum would be age seventy, a thirty-five-year window between the two ages,” Waxler said. “After a quick search, I found that only three presidents over the age of seventy have presided over the country: Ronald Reagan ending his term at 77, Donald Trump at 74, and Joe Biden will be 82 at the end of his term.”

Along with Waxler, UF student Kayla Dykin, shared that she also believes there should be an age restriction at the age of 70 years old.

While many like the idea of an age restriction for our presidents, Wright shared that he believed this age restriction should be across the board for many parts in our government.

“Having an age limit is, in my opinion, the way to go. We need new and fresh ideas, not the same played out, decades-old ‘politics family’ ideas,” Wright said. “This extends to Congress, too, in my opinion. Limit them all.”

Proposing this idea of an age restriction for future presidential candidates may influence younger generations to get more involved in politics.

“I think it is a great idea for the younger generation to be involved in politics. Eventually, the younger generation will turn into the working generation that politics usually target, so it is always good to be informed,” Drees said. “However, the younger generation should be cautious as to where they get their information and what social media sites they use as an outlet. There is a lot of false information and bias in the media, so the younger generation should just double check the information or be aware of potential bias.”

Dykin believes that social media is a problem with getting the younger generation involved in politics.

“I feel like politics are a major part of people’s lives in current times and it is important to be knowledgeable about the world around them,” Dykin said. “However, they need to realize the sources they are gaining information from and be able to receive both sides of the aisle in an appropriate manner.” Dykin said.