The State Of American Politics and Discourse - The Centre for Independent Studies
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The State Of American Politics and Discourse

On Monday, 31 July our 2023 John Bonython lecturerJason Riley and Naomi Schaefer Riley, joined Tom Switzer at CIS for a panel discussion on the current state of American politics and public discourse. 

As we approach the November 2024 US presidential election, the question arises: Biden vs. Trump again? The countdown has begun, and at this stage, the leading candidates are Joe Biden representing the Democrats and Donald Trump representing the Republicans. One of Biden’s main vulnerabilities is his age, as he assumed office as the oldest president in the nation’s history. At 80, he appears frail, experiences speech difficulties, and occasionally loses his train of thought. 

Trump, on the other hand, faces his own vulnerability—himself. His legal troubles are expected to worsen in the coming year. While he may rally the GOP’s populist base with ideological rhetoric, he also has a unifying effect on Democratic voters like no other figure in politics. Additionally, there is a chance that Trump may discourage his supporters from participating in the general election if he is not the nominee, or he may play the role of a spoiler by running as a third-party candidate and diverting Republican votes. 

Biden’s track record in office, from the controversial Afghanistan withdrawal that emboldened America’s adversaries to the soaring inflation rates surpassing wage growth, will likely be challenging to defend. Conversely, Trump is anticipated to spend less time critiquing misguided left-liberal policies and more time propagating conspiracy theories regarding his departure from the White House. 

As the US finds itself alarmingly polarised and deeply divided. The question arises: What could possibly go wrong in 2024? 

Jason Riley is a columnist at the Wall Street Journal and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is author of Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed.  

Naomi Schaefer Riley is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum. She is the author of No Way to Treat a Child: How the Foster Care System, Family Courts, and Racial Activists Are Wrecking Young Lives. 

Tom Switzer is executive director of the Centre for Independent Studies and a presenter at the ABC’s Radio National.