Diao Daming: Biden, Trump kick off 2024 election campaigns in verbal attacks


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Diao Daming: Biden, Trump kick off 2024 election campaigns in verbal attacks


Source: GT Published: 2024-01-07

As the 2024 US presidential election draws closer, the two most prominent candidates - incumbent US President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump - have begun their campaign rallies. However, to the disappointment of voters and the global public, both candidates launched fierce verbal attacks against each other in their first speeches of the new year, rather than discussing ways to address domestic issues.

The negative tone of the speeches by the two likely presidential nominees, marking the start of the election year, suggests that the trend of this US election feature even more extreme polarization, which scholars and experts described as 'unprecedented in over a century.' Comparing it to a 'soccer field without referees,' the election is likely to open up a scenario of low-quality democracy, analysts said.

During his speech on Friday in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Biden accused Trump of instigating the Capitol riot in 2021 and plotting revenge. The attack went on in his first major campaign speech of the year, which had been scheduled on Saturday, the third anniversary of the riot, but which was rescheduled due to weather reasons. Biden said that Trump's reelection bid is based on trying to seek 'revenge and retribution' against his political enemies, and that Trump had used Nazi language, media reported.

Only a few hours later, Trump fired back at Biden during his speech in Sioux Center, Iowa. After Biden called him a threat to American democracy, Trump mocked the Democrat over his stutter, saying 'he's a threat to d-d-democracy.' He also called Biden's speech a 'pathetic fearmongering campaign event.'

The trend of extreme polarization is further strengthened in the 2024 US election, as can be seen from the first campaign speeches by Biden and Trump, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Both candidates, from the two parties, are adopting a 'strongman strategy,' vigorously smearing each other and claiming that the other is a person who undermines the country and democracy, Lü said. 'Such election rhetoric did not appear even before 2020, but now it has further intensified.'

'The current US election situation is like a soccer field without referees, with both sides deploying red cards,' Lü said, referring to this election as the most intense and extreme since the American Civil War.

Diao Daming, a professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, pointed out that both sides are already adopting negative campaign strategies, which is usually done toward the end of the campaign in previous elections.

In the first speech in 2024, the two candidates focused their propaganda on attacking each other, indicating that neither side has confidence in solving domestic issues and can only claim that the other is worse, Diao told the Global Times. 'Both sides are comparing who is worse because obviously, neither can solve the problems. This is a negative election.'

Lü warned that Biden and Trump have turned their competitive relationship into an adversarial one, indicating a further strengthening of political division in the US and transforming the country into an unpredictable one. 'The division and uncertainty in the US, a global power, are dangerous for the world.'

In 2024, many countries are going through elections. The chaos of the US presidential election and the inappropriate campaign rallies of the candidates seem to have set an example for low-quality democracy worldwide, observers noted.

'The chaos in the US election demonstrates the ongoing decline of their democracy,' Diao told the Global Times, pointing out that the campaigns have become a deception to the voters, setting a bad example for other countries in the world.