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The 2024 Primary Elections Are Coming... Are You Ready?

Megan Hayes | News Editor

Joe Biden and Donald Trump. / New York Times, Associated Press

Claims are already flying wild around the internet, speculating that either one of the two big candidates - Joe Biden and Donald Trump - have dropped out of the 2024 presidential race. In 2020, what was possibly one of the most polarized, differential and pressured presidential battles will continue on with fighting fury, four years later.

As a country, there are many reasons that have contributed to how we feel about our current political climate. Our opinions are individualized due to our own experiences - our history, our culture, our socioeconomic status - which pushes us to a certain side of the political spectrum, with some choosing not to engage at all. However, as issues have become more pressing - like war, immigration, healthcare, social issues, housing, inflation and prices - our beliefs as Americans have become so extremely polarized.

Both republican and democratic sides have become so divided that many struggle to see the people in the other party. Extreme circumstances have led to members of each party threatening, harming, and even killing supporters of their political opponents - upwards of 213 cases had of political violence had been identified between January 6th, 2021 and August 9, 2023 - leaving us in the dark about how many cases have happened since then. The polarization of our government and country have come with consequences - media fragmentation, distrust in institutions, and an uprising in divisive leadership have been seen on a major increase since then.

The rise of social media and partisan news outlets have deepened the cut between democrats and republicans - we already know that the internet is rampant with misinformation, but the pushing of this through all possible paths soaks into our lives in ways that many of us don't even know. 59% of voters say that they believe both big presidential candidates are too old to run for office - yet the political polarization on social media continues. False information, hate speech, and threats run rampant - think of the January 2021 Insurrection as an example - social media was weaponized to call together a mob of supporters of Donald Trump, former president who had recently just lost the election to his opponent, Joe Biden. These supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, breaking in in an attempt to certify the results of the 2020 election - which they believed to be falsified. Following this, there is legal action alleging to be taken against Trump, for 'inciting a riot'. Without a doubt, this incident will be clogging up our social media streams yet again when the election gets closer.

Divisive leadership has also been pushed by these two candidates, with them both firing digs and insults back and forth at each other, urging the opposing parties to not grant their support. Political candidates often take controversial stances on issues like immigration, healthcare, and race relations - and although these issues come with shock value, it helps to further demoralize and weaken the two opposing parties to a conversation between the two. Therefore, it forces people further in their beliefs about who is right and who is wrong. Additionally, this leadership and responses to it can be further enforced when it comes to polarizing issues - for example in 2020, racial injustice protests, economic uncertainty, and debates on treatment and truthfulness of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these issues still ring true today, progressively worsening the divide between the two parties.

To conclude - with the 2024 presidential election happening on November 5th of this year, watch your surroundings and what media is true and what is not. Shock value and misinformation become rampant around presidential elections, so stay true to your values and remember to vote. Are you ready?


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