The editorial board for the New York Post called former President Donald Trump “unworthy” to be the country’s president again on Friday while The Wall Street Journal condemned Trump’s inaction during the Capitol attack, further emphasizing America’s unhappiness with the 2020 political candidates.
Both papers are owned by Rupert Murdoch, and the conservative editorial boards’ criticism of the former president is striking given the Post’s endorsement of Trump’s last presidential run and the Journal largely supporting him while in office.
The Post editorial seized on the evidence presented in the latest January 6 hearing in which Trump did nothing to stop the mob at the Capitol. “There has been much debate over whether Trump’s rally speech on Jan. 6, 2021, constituted ‘incitement.’ That’s somewhat of a red herring. What matters more — and has become crystal clear in recent days—is that Trump didn’t lift a finger to stop the violence that followed,” The Post editorial board said.
While Trump is losing some support within his own party, so is President Joe Biden. Last week, The New York Times reported that 64% of Democratic voters preferred a fresh candidate to run for president in 2024 rather than Biden. More recent polls show Democrats expressing even less support for the president.
Given that both of 2020 election rivals are septuagenarians, there are Republicans and Democrats eyeing younger, fresher candidates for 2024. (Biden, at 79, is the oldest president in U.S. history; Trump is 76). In The New York Times poll, the number one reason for preferring a different candidate than Biden was age.
Last month, Joe Cunningham, a democratic candidate for governor of South Carolina called America a “geriatric oligarchy,” and proposed putting age limits on politicians.
Potential 2024 presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle are considerably younger than either Biden or Trump, such as Vice President Kamala Harris (57) Pete Buttigieg (40), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (43), California Gov. Gavin Newsom (54), and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (51).
Especially as Gen Z is able to run for Congress for the first time, voters’ desire for “fresher” candidates seems to be less focused on being very far to the right or the left, but rather slightly more focused on being in touch with current events. “Our generation has been born into a lot of trauma and a lot of civil unrest around people being frustrated with things. And I think because of that, our generation naturally thinks about things in a bit of a different way,” said 25-year-old Maxwell Alejandro Frost, who is running for a House seat in Florida.
It is worth noting that, although Gen Z is energized to change the political landscape, older generations are more likely to show up at the ballot box. In the 2020 presidential election, which saw the highest voter turnout of this century, 76% of voters aged 65-74 turned out, while only 51.4% of those aged 18-24 turned out according to the U.S. Census.
Perhaps the only thing Americans across the political spectrum can agree on is that they want fresher candidates running for office.