President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump kicked off the new year with messages that indicated a potentially bitter run for the presidency in 2024.
Biden railed against “MAGA extremism” in a message to followers on X, formerly Twitter.
“Happy New Year, everyone,” the 46th president said, posting a picture of himself and Vice President Kamala Harris. “In 2024, we’re ready to keep delivering for the American people and fight back against MAGA extremism. Let’s finish the job.”
Biden has previously expressed doubt about whether he would be running this year if Trump had chosen not to.
“If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running,” he told a fundraiser in Massachusetts in December.
“We cannot let him win for the sake of our country,” Biden said.
Trump likewise sent out a tweet wishing Americans a happy new year but also indicating what the messaging would be like in his 2024 campaign.
Trump wished an “early New Year salutation” to his “crooked” Democrat opponent and continued to falsely claim he lost a rigged election in 2020, for which there is no evidence.
Also in the message were claims that the White House was working to allow illegal immigrants to enter the U.S. in order to influence the next election, despite the fact that non-citizens are not able to vote in U.S. federal elections.
On his Truth Social media platform, Trump wrote: “As the New Year fast approaches, I would like to wish an early New Year’s salutation to crooked Joe Biden and his group of radical left misfits and thugs on their never-ending attempt to destroy our nation through lawfare, invasion and rigging elections.
“They are now scrambling to sign up as many of those millions of people they are illegally allowing into [our] country, in order that they will be ready to vote in the presidential election of 2024.”
Newsweek has approached the White House and a spokesperson for Trump via email.
Trump and Biden are currently the favorites to win the respective Republican and Democrat nominations, which would lead to a rematch of the 2020 presidential election.
Trump’s “crooked” moniker for Biden is the same one he gave Hillary Clinton in 2016, indicating his election-fighting tactics have changed little from his first run for the White House.
This time, however, Trump has four criminal indictments hanging over his head before voters go to the polls on November 5. It remains to be seen if the four trials in New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C., will begin and be wrapped up before polling day.
Trump denies all of the charges against him and says they are politically motivated.
A number of recent polls have Trump leading Biden in a 2024 matchup—neither are yet the confirmed candidates for their parties—causing some reported concerns among Democrats.
A poll by the American Research Group from December 17-20 showed Biden’s approval rating at just 37 percent, while 57 percent disapproved of his presidency.
To say that 2024 has commenced under the shadow of a host of daunting societal challenges is an understatement.
Across the globe, the enormous strains and stresses placed on our finite planet by a rapidly growing population of 8 billion-plus humans – most of them hoping to lead some approximation of a comfortable modern life – are evident.
Meanwhile, in a related development, brutal wars over the control of land and resources rage in several regions.
Now add to this the sobering rise in repressive, autocratic governments, yawning and persistent economic gaps, the stresses that have accompanied the arrival of a hyper-connected online society, the lingering effects of the pandemic, and the fact that the populations of most so-called “First World” nations are aging rapidly, and it’s little surprise that so many people bear a sense of unease – and even pessimism and cynicism — about the year to come and those that will follow.
Donald Trump and his “MAGA” movement have long made egging on these feelings of worry and gloom their go-to political strategy. Whether wooing aging white Americans fearful of the nation’s shifting demographics or helping to further alienate young people feeling overwhelmed by rapid economic change, Trump is only too happy to tell you that things are going to hell and that the situation can only be addressed if the nation vests someone – namely, him — with the kinds of powers enjoyed by his pals Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un.
One older American, however, who remains stubbornly and inspiringly immune to the plagues of pessimism and cynicism, as well as the lure of autocracy, is President Joe Biden. To his enormous and everlasting credit, Biden – at an age at which most people spend more and more time contemplating the past and their own mortality, and in a position in which the temptation to seize power is intoxicating – continues to keep his eyes firmly fixed on the future and the vital importance of truly representative democratic government in making it brighter.
And this is not just a matter of style or rhetoric. Throughout the first 1,000-plus days of his presidency, Biden has consistently pursued a policy agenda premised on the idea that both the present and future can be better if we come together to embrace intentional public solutions and build a government that truly reflects our increasingly diverse population.
The list of accomplishments in these realms is long and impressive – especially for a chief executive so frequently hemmed in by a badly divided Congress for which gridlock is its default state. It includes:
Has the Biden presidency been perfect? Of course not. Like every president before him, Biden has made mistakes.
The decision to tear off the bandage in the departure from Afghanistan, though clearly long overdue, could likely have been handled better.
He’s also struggled at times, despite best efforts, to control events and phenomena – the war in Gaza, inflation, student loan debt, immigration, assaults on reproductive freedom – that have caused significant harm.
One wishes he could be even more aggressive in his efforts to combat the environmental crisis.
That said, the nation still awaits a coherent and detailed articulation of how any of these matters could have been handled better in the present political environment – and in particular, how turning back the clock to the 1950s and undermining democracy would do the trick.
As veteran journalist Hugh Jackson of the Nevada Current observed in an excellent recent column entitled “Think food is pricey? Wait’ll you see what authoritarianism costs.”:
In short, yes – the world of 2024 is fraught and filled with formidable and frightening challenges. But the notion that we can successfully tackle those challenges by abandoning our commitment to intentional public solutions and shared sacrifice and/or representative government remains absurd. Thank goodness the United States has a president who understands this.