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The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Biden Should Not Run in 2024

Illustration by Jonah Block

President Joe Biden should not run in the 2024 Presidential Election.

Biden is old, frail and incompetent. In 2015, the oldest president the U.S. ever had was Ronald Reagan. He was 69 at his inauguration. When Biden was elected in 2020, he was 78. Now, he’s nearly 81, making him older than 97.32% of the U.S. population. If elected, he would be 86 at the end of his second term.

When Biden was elected to the Senate over half a century ago, he was a sharp young man. Back in 2007, at the age of 64, while on the campaign trail with Barack Obama, Biden called President Bush “brain-dead.” Today, Biden has trouble finishing sentences, and as a result, many Republicans call him brain-dead and ‘Sleepy Joe.’

With age comes wisdom. With experience comes knowledge. Biden has both. Some argue that a president should be older and more experienced, and I agree — to an extent. Fluid intelligence, one’s ability to think abstractly or solve problems, peaks around age 20. On the other hand, crystallized intelligence, general knowledge and information one has picked up throughout life, keeps increasing very late into one’s life. According to the Oxford University Press, “this decrease in fluid intelligence results in a net negative effect on wisdom, so that wisdom increases until late middle age and then declines.” A late middle-aged president, encompassing a president in their 40s, 50s or 60s, would have a preferable mix of intelligence and wisdom. Biden, however, is well past that age. He belongs in a pleasant retirement house by the lake — not in the White House.

Furthermore, Biden’s presidential track record is troubling. Although the issues one deals with as president are complex, regardless of their rationales, the consequences of many of Biden’s choices during his time in office are severe and should not be ignored.

After a decades-long war in Afghanistan, he withdrew American troops, just as former President Donald Trump planned to. However, the Taliban quickly took over. Now, the nearly 20 million women in Afghanistan have next to no rights. 

Biden also said he was against fracking, which is a way to drill for oil. Then, he approved the Willow Project, which is a massive oil drilling project in Alaska. Now, a 500-acre project that will produce nearly 200,000 barrels of oil a day is harming Alaska’s pristine wilderness. The 30-year project will produce almost 200,000 tons of carbon emissions each week. These emissions will affect generations to come. Should we really leave this up to an 80-year-old?

Trump — also a poor choice for president — started giving stimulus checks to Americans due to COVID-19. Biden continued these well into his term. These checks led to a post-pandemic spending boom in 2022 and 2023. However, there are now fears of a recession due to a severe increase in inflation — which was caused by the money artificially inserted into the economy by Trump and Biden.

Two-thirds of Democrat-leaning voters report that they don’t want Biden to run. A former advisor to Biden said that if Biden doesn’t run, Harris likely will; the advisor believes she will lose. That is why he believes that Biden should not drop out. However, similarly to how many Democrats don’t want Biden to run, many prefer an alternative who is not Harris. According to a CBS/YouGov poll, nearly 60% of Democrats were enthusiastic about Harris’ VP run in 2020. Today, that number is only 30%.

An October 2023 poll by the New York Times and Siena College found that Trump was ahead of Biden in almost all battleground states. Trump is an extremely weak candidate — the fact that Biden isn’t ahead is troubling. A qualified, non-controversial Democratic candidate should be able to beat Trump in polls.

Harris has an even lower approval rating than Biden and, according to the former Biden advisor, is unlikely to win. Therefore, Democrats should hold a primary where they choose their candidate. None of those who would likely win the Democratic primary have launched campaigns. Still, long-shot candidates such as Rep. Dean Phillips and author Marianne Williamson have launched primary bids against Biden. It is rare for an incumbent to be challenged by their own party, and the primary bids against Biden illustrate his weak candidacy.

In 2024, Americans will likely need to choose between two disliked octogenarian presidential candidates. A younger, more competent president would serve America well. The time has come for Democrats to select a new candidate who can beat Trump and tackle the myriad issues facing our country.

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About the Contributor
Jacob Reich
Jacob Reich, Online Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: My favorite aspect of being on the Coat of Arms staff is the opportunity to conduct interviews where I get to meet and learn about new people.

Interests outside of school: I enjoy sports, games (board & video), and politics.

Class of 2025

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