Presidents Joe Biden and Donald Trump would not be the most attractive choices for 2024. Americans want to move on from septuagenarians and octogenarians shaped by Vietnam, the Sex Revolution and the Civil Rights Movement.
Mainstream Democrats—not violent pro-choice demonstrators, pastors wrapping themselves in Rainbow and Black Lives Matters banners, professional activists and gadfly suburbanites embracing every invented injustice—are done with Mr. Biden.
Appalled by galloping inflation, falling real incomes and CEOs paying themselves hundreds of times more than average employees, they still eschew the radical solutions peddled by The Squad.
Much has been written about the New York Times and other polls that indicate the overwhelming majority of Democratic and Democratic-leaning don’t want Mr. Biden on the national ticket in 2024.
Pundits in the mainstream media aligning with the hard left assert Mr. Biden risks losing the Democratic base by not fighting hard enough for their agenda.
For example, by declaring a National Climate Emergency to erase the Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. EPA. Essentially, it said the Administration can’t force utilities to retrofit or junk old coal and gas fired plants without Congress writing a law.
Or by breaking Sen. Joe Manchin’s arm so that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer can eliminate the 60 vote rule in the Senate, pack the Court with liberals and pass a federal law similar to those in more liberal states that permit aborting fetuses viable outside the womb.
Of Democratic primary voters who want Biden out, only 9% say it’s because he is not progressive enough. Considering that journalists, academics and the hard-core who blindly embrace every progressive trope, the figure for persuadable Democrats and independents likely approaches the statistically insignificant.
For Mr. Trump, the news is almost as bad and trending worse—51% of those intending to vote in the Republican primaries don’t want him. In interviews and focus groups conducted by the Wall Street Journal and Republican strategists, his supporters are concluding the revelations of the January 6
Committee make him unattractive. His constant harping about a stolen election doesn’t address their concerns now.
Mr. Trump trails Mr. Biden badly in head-to-head polls.
Like their moderate Democratic friends, Republicans simply are exhausted and want their lives fixed.
An autumn of football, pumpkin pie and a car they can afford to drive.
Most decent folks earn their living by making things other people use. They don’t need their careers justified or financed by manufacturing guilt about the real and imagined consequences of historical injustices or fears about an environmental Armageddon.
The latter include the executive classes of the pro-choice and the climate/racial/economic justice movements at non-profits, universities and law firms. Diversity and inclusion officers imbedded in organizations to root out sexist, racist and ableist thought.
Equally guilty are conservative philosophers, pundits and politicians preaching that these lefties are taking a wrecking ball to civilization and the Kingdom of God.
Sadly, the noisy gets the press—too often, they are the press.
Protests and outrage—not progress and harmony—attract eyeballs, boost ratings, multiply mouse clicks and most importantly, sell ads.
In the quiet of the voting booth, Americans want solutions not revolutions.
Disgust and exhaustion is most apparent among younger voters. They are tired of past-pull-date leaders reimaging Woodstock and the Reagan Revolution to manufacture contemporary rage.
The Global Financial Crisis, COVID-19 and now America’s lame response to and fall out from the war in Ukraine have truncated their youth into a nightmare of musical chairs for good-paying jobs, sky-rocketing rents and homes priced beyond their reach.
Salving their wounds will require smarter federal spending and not raising or cutting taxes. And reimaging cities to be affordable and accessible, not welfare programs for municipal unions, privileged sanctuaries for the value-signaling, Acela Class or a pit of despair for the working poor.
Replacing the garbage universities frequently hustle [PGM1] with more affordable training programs offered by Coursera and other private firms. And acknowledging that many long-departed students were hustled by confidence men disguised as educators.
Of Democratic primary voters 30 to 44 years old, 67% want Mr. Biden out and that figure jumps to 94% for those under 30.
Democrats too much believe boosting turnout will save their bacon. However, turning out more disaffected young folks and Hispanics who are moving toward the culturally conservative Republican Party could torpedo the Democrats’ prospects for holding the White House in 2024.
The most visible aspirants—for example, Gov. Ron DeSantis declaring war on Disney and Gov. Newsome with his woke California agenda—look too much like the elderly radicals they propose to depose.
The political party that puts forward a 40-something candidate that offers moderate, plausible-sounding plans to curb inflation and create better jobs, taps downs abortion and climate/racial/economic justice hysteria and limits the damage imposed on Americans by conditions in Europe will win.
• Peter Morici is an economist and emeritus business professor at the University of Maryland, and a national columnist.