The 2024 United States Presidential Election is nine months away and our prospects do not seem to be improving anytime soon. While it will most likely be another showdown between President Biden and former President Trump, it is still worth taking a look at the other candidates too. These candidates may continue to be significant political figures. And, after all, they have not dropped out like Florida Gov. Ron Desantis or former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, according to NBC News. Using The Guardian’s profiles of the candidates and their respective campaign websites, I will give my thoughts on each Republican and Democrat currently running for election.
Ryan Binkley: As the President and CEO of Generational Group and founder and lead pastor of Create Church, Binkley seems to have a knack for leadership roles. According to his official campaign website, “[Binkley] is calling America’s leaders to return to the core values of trusting in God and each other again, caring for the hurting, leading with integrity and bringing hope and healing to our nation.” First of all, so much for the separation of church and state … Second, I find it ironic that Binkley sees himself as such a humanitarian when, in a YouTube video posted on Nov. 3, 2023, he justified Israel’s attacks on the Palestinian people by saying, “Hamas is the one actually putting their people in harm’s way… Every word against Israel is a word for Hamas.” Additionally, if elected, Binkley claims he would increase security at the Mexico-U.S. border and prioritize detention and deportation. I do not think his vision would bring the U.S.—or anywhere, for that matter—closer to “hope and healing.”
Nikki Haley: While Haley certainly has an impressive resume as a former governor of South Carolina and a resigned ambassador to the United Nations, her presidency would bring nothing but disappointment. I disagree with Haley on every single one of her key issues. According to USA Today, Haley plans to fight climate change by getting other countries to reduce their emissions while increasing oil production in the U.S. She opposes gun reforms, the Affordable Care Act and abortion. She is a conservative through and through. Her leadership would not benefit Americans in any way. Therefore, I could never endorse her.
Donald Trump: What can I say? Imagining Trump back in office makes me ill. Trump is currently facing many legal battles, including an abundance of felony counts for election interference and hoarding classified documents, according to Politico. He was also found liable by a jury in May 2023 for sexually abusing journalist E. Jean Carroll, according to AP News. Last but not least, NBC News reported that Trump claimed that he “will punish doctors who provide gender-affirming care to minors and push schools to ‘promote positive education about the nuclear family’ and ‘the roles of mothers and fathers.’” I do not believe that a person who was found guilty of sexual abuse, is facing felony charges and is anti-LGBTQ+ should be allowed to even run for president.
Joe Biden: I was relieved when Biden won in 2020, but only because it meant Trump lost. While Biden has done some positive things in his presidency, such as protecting LGBTQ+ and interracial marriage as the official White House website says, he is not nearly as progressive and proactive as he wants the younger generation to believe he is. Ultimately, it is Biden’s support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas that has made it harder for me to commit to voting for the “lesser of two evils” again this year. The Biden administration bypassed Congress to approve emergency weapons sales to Israel twice in December 2023, according to AP News—weapons which have led to a reported death toll of over 25,000 Palestinians, according to NPR. I do not know if Biden could do anything at this point that would make me feel right in voting for him. We the People deserve better options than Trump or Biden.
Dean Phillips: Phillips currently is a representative from Minnesota. According to his website, Phillips is “on a mission to inspire a new era of collaboration in Washington, pursue common ground for the common good, and end the corrupting influence of special interest money in our politics.” That sounds nice; However, in a tweet defending himself against criticism for his “friendly visits with Trump supporters,” Phillips included an electoral map to demonstrate that Americans support Republicans because of his fellow Democrats’s “condemnation” of them. The map was found to be outdated and unsupportive of his point, according to New Republic. Unfortunately, this embarrassment combined with his highly criticized bipartisanship puts Phillips out of the race in my book.
Cenk Uygur: The Guardian referred to Uygur’s running as the “longest of long-shot campaigns.” Uygur is a political commentator and host of the online news show “The Young Turks.” I am not going to give much space in this article to Uygur, as he is technically ineligible to run for president due to having been born in Turkey. Although, he says he will prove that he is eligible in court. I do not expect him to win that case—as he likely will not even get far enough in the election to try.
Marianne Williamson: Williamson is a successful author, spiritual leader and non-profit organization founder. But, so far, she has been an unsuccessful political candidate. Williamson ran for U.S. President in 2020 and eventually dropped out. She also had a failed run in 2014 for a seat in the House of Representatives. There is a lot that I like about Williamson. I appreciate her support for a ceasefire in Gaza, which she expressed in an interview with Democracy Now. The important issues listed on her campaign website are issues I care about deeply like animal protection, climate action, education, LGBTQ+ rights, Native American justice and more. While I like what Williamson has to say, I do not see her having the opportunity to act on these issues as president. Not only because I do not see her winning, but because I do not think that the system she hopes to change from the inside would allow her to accomplish most of her goals. I believe that Williamson’s energy would be better spent focusing on being a community leader and activist.
Reviewing these candidates has not made me feel any more optimistic about the direction our country is going in. I am disillusioned with the entire concept of the U.S. presidency. I do not think that as it stands, it is a role that can be filled by someone who is committed to improving the lives of all Americans. And, I am no longer sure what my vote could do to change that.