In a few days, primaries, which are preliminary party conferences to nominate candidates for the US presidency, will begin in the USA. The election itself will take place on November 5 of this year. In addition to determining the head of state, voters will express their opinions on the members of the House of Representatives, which consists of 435 members, and one-third of the Senate, which has 100 members.
The election campaign is currently underway, marked by candidates making sharp and harsh criticisms and outright attacks on each other. According to the American press, such a significant polarization of social and political life is unprecedented. Formally, neither the Democratic nor Republican parties have officially nominated anyone yet. However, it is widely understood that the main contenders for the highest public office in the United States in 2024 will be the current President, Joe Biden, and the former President, Donald Trump.
It should be recognized that as far back as last year, in 2023, Donald Trump made numerous attacks on Joe Biden, accusing him of various wrongdoings and labeling him as the most incompetent president in the history of the United States. While speaking in New Jersey, he announced that he would appoint “a real special prosecutor to go after the most corrupt president in the history of the United States of America, Joe Biden, and the entire Biden crime family.”
In January 2024, Biden launched his campaign and directed his criticism towards Donald Trump, portraying him as the primary threat to American democracy and the well-being of the United States. It seems that the White House has chosen to pursue this campaign with great vigor, targeting the press that is loyal to the Democratic Party accordingly. For instance, the New York Times stated in an editorial recently: “Mr. Trump’s four years in the White House did lasting damage to the presidency and to the nation. He deepened existing divisions among Americans, leaving the country dangerously polarized; he so demeaned public discourse that many Americans have become inured to lies, insults and personal attacks at the highest levels of leadership. His contempt for the rule of law raised concerns about the long-term stability of American democracy, and his lack of a moral compass threatened to corrode the ideals of national service.”
Donald Trump has been indicted on several dozen charges. In 2023, Colorado and Maine prohibited the former president from participating in the 2024 primary election. The court ruled that Trump was ineligible to be on the state ballot, despite being the favorite to win the Republican Party nomination. The court’s verdict was based on Trump’s alleged involvement in the January 6, 2021, riots at the United States Capitol.
Trump has appealed to the US Supreme Court, arguing that removing his immunity as a former president could set a dangerous precedent and have negative consequences for the current administration.
Based on current polls, Trump appears to have a slight advantage over Biden. The American media anticipates a difficult and ‘virulent’ debate, citing various arguments in favor of each candidate. As the primaries begin in different states, accusations and insults are likely to increase.
It should be noted that some members of the Democratic Party speculate that Biden may be forced to abandon his candidacy for a second term due to health reasons. In such a scenario, the Democrats would need to find a new candidate.
The mutual recriminations between Republicans and Democrats have a negative impact on people in developing countries. For example, on January 9 of this year, the Al Jazeera website published a major article entitled “Biden is no different than Trump. He lies just like him.”
The Turkish Daily Sabah emphasized that the United States is currently experiencing a period of decline. The article noted that the rule-based order promoted by the United States primarily serves to protect the interests of Western countries.
The intense conflict between Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress, particularly regarding the budget, raises questions about the functionality of America’s political system. This is especially true given that the budget for the current fiscal year has yet to be approved. Although the American press indicates that a compromise between the two parties is possible, the United States’ massive public debt of $34 trillion objectively hinders economic development, particularly given the unfavorable forecasts for 2024. The US economy is expected to decelerate in 2024 due to low consumer spending and inflation that remains above the Fed’s target.
Against this backdrop, another scandal erupted in Washington. For over two weeks, the Secretary of Defense was missing, and the White House had no information about his whereabouts. During the president’s absence on vacation, the country lacked effective military leadership. The malfunctioning of the US chain of command was heavily criticized by Republicans. They pointed out that the manpower crisis in the US Army was becoming a serious issue. (Foreign Affairs magazine published a large article on this). A congressman called for the resignation of the Secretary of Defense.
The French press, especially Le Monde, highlighted the United States’ inability to influence Israel’s actions in the Middle East. Israel has been killing Palestinians for three months, and this has been a matter of concern. The idea that increased internal conflict within the United States will harm its foreign policy effectiveness is a common one.
The escalating conflict between Democrats and Republicans is worrisome to America’s allies, who fear a breakdown in governance in the United States. After all, we are talking about a nuclear power.
Vladimir Mashin, Ph.D. in History, a political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.