“A lot of you have been talking tonight about a government healthcare plan you propose in one form or another. This is a show of hands question. Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants,” the moderator asked a semi-circle of Democratic candidates. One hand shot up immediately followed by another and then another until candidate Joe Biden’s arm drifted upward.
It was June 2019, almost exactly the same moment in the 2020 election cycle that we now find ourselves as we approach the 2024 election. By the same time the following year, COVID tyranny and the death of George Flloyd would eclipse any memory of this easily overlooked scene. But one can look back to exactly that moment on the debate stage as a physical exhibition of candidates all lurching leftward in response to a single question.
In the years that followed, unknown millions of immigrants streamed into the United States with the tacit approval of the Biden Administration. And, predictably, the cost of the healthcare for the new immigrants has overwhelmed public health budgets. But we can’t say we weren’t warned. Donald Trump was the only serious candidate for president who didn’t publicly endorse taxpayer-funded healthcare for noncitizen immigrants. So any other outcome than a Trump victory would have led to something resembling what we have now.
June 2023, however, looks quite different. Joe Biden has perhaps a half-dozen serious challengers. Within the Democratic primary, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has risen from the liberal wing of his party to challenge the Democrats’ corporate-government alliance that bleats woke to distract from the wars and corruption. Kennedy has some strange ideas. But he’s very thoughtful and intelligent and it’s refreshing to see a Democrat rebel against the one-size-fits-all agenda. He is susceptible to clear-headed arguments and data. The Democrats have reacted by refusing to expose Biden to Kennedy in a debate. Why? The answer is obvious. The DNC has already dictated that Biden should be the nominee and it doesn’t want voters tempted into disobedience.
On the Republican side, we see some of the best candidates ever to take the field.
The frontrunner, former President Trump, has come out of the box with some fresh new ideas. For example, he’s proposed the concept of, “Freedom Cities,” where capitalism could regerminate in small bubbles shielded from excessive government interference and taxation. Earlier this year, Trump triumphed in East Palestine, Ohio, by bringing attention to the shocking indifference of the federal government in the aftermath of a devastating chemical spill. Trump’s record with the economy and international relations contrasts sharply with the chaos of the Biden Administration.
Candidate Ron DeSantis has an impressive record as governor of one of the most successful states in the country. DeSantis has shown the way in resisting COVID tyranny and aggressively racialist bigotry masquerading as “social justice.”
Even the second tier of Republican candidates looks interesting. Vivek Ramaswamy has beautifully articulated a call to return to racially blind meritocracy. His previous experiences at a pharmaceutical company and a hedge fund might cause some concern about his empathy for the plight of working Americans. But we could have said the same thing about Trump in 2016.
Candidate and Senator Tim Scott (R-N.C.) seems passionate about preserving and promoting economic freedom as a means to lift up the poor and middle class. There’s buzz for a Glenn Youngkin candidacy after he pulled off a stunning upset in the Virginia governor’s race by calling attention to the abuse of a public school parent.
In 2020, if you had thrown a dart at a list of viable candidates and told that candidate would be the winner, unless that dart landed next to candidate Trump’s name, we were pretty much destined for what has unfolded during the Biden Administration. There were lots of faces but not many real choices. When there was differentiation, it always came from somebody breaking to the left for a few short days before the rest of the herd caught up.
But today? Maybe there’s hope voters might shake off this toxic ideology. The utopian Left destroys everything it touches. In the four years since the George Floyd incident, the Left has made things worse in every instance Americans trusted it with power. Leftist “reimagining” of policing has made crime worse. Leftist obsession with race, likewise, has made things worse for everyone.
Meanwhile, international relations have become more chaotic with old alliances fraying while America’s enemies seem to be uniting against us. Unrestrained government spending resulted in real income declining since Biden took office. Education systems run by leftists deprive poor and minority children of the opportunity to develop minimal proficiency in math and reading. If we could only find a way to take college-educated left-wing ideologues from America and put them in charge of the Russian military, the Ukrainians could quickly win the war.
But it doesn’t have to last forever. Millennials, now the largest voting block, have begun to drift right as most generations do over time. Even the new immigrants the Democrats count on for a permanent majority have not voted as reliably Democrat as the Left hoped. For the 2024 election, the Left appears to have a huge leadership deficit. It still has lots of institutional power and it seems to have perfected a national electioneering process that delivers record ballots. But short of stirring up panics and scaring voters, it has little to offer in the way of practical solutions to the many problems its adherents have either caused or ignored.
In a sense, 2024 is shaping up to be a mirror image of 2020. As these other-than-Biden candidates duke it out in debates, they will compete to be the most unlike Biden as possible. If what happened in 2020 happens in 2024, the candidates will continue to pull each other in the opposite direction of the incumbent with the high negatives. We saw it in 2020. Even if a candidate isn’t “electable,” they can still shape the direction of the political discourse. Since every non-Biden candidate in 2024 is an anti-Biden candidate, we have reason to be hopeful that the next president will not continue what Biden started.