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Loathing And Disinterest, Or The 2024 Election At Taft

Loathing And Disinterest, Or The 2024 Election At Taft

By all rights, Taft should be comfortably blue. It’s nested in a Democratic ward, tucked into a Democratic city that serves as a blue metropolis in a Democratic state. It has a diverse student population, engaged pupils, and a fresh group of voters this year. No precondition indicates that Taft would break for anybody but Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign.

However, preconceptions often fail reality.

In polling done by Taft Today across Taft’s senior class, nearly 50% of 100 surveyed students say they support neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump. Though Biden had more supporters among students who committed to one candidate, follow-up questions revealed that 55% of pro-Biden students rated their endorsement as ‘unenthusiastic.’ Only 10% were ‘very supportive.’

Among the 49 students who said they wouldn’t vote for Biden or Trump, the biggest issue raised with the candidates was senility. Biden is 81; if reelected, he’ll be 86 by 2028. Trump is no spring chicken either: he would be 82 if he served another four years. Both candidates face questions of competency after repeated gaffes during campaign events.

“I mean, retirement age is 67 in America,” said Taft senior Lucas Martin. “I don’t know if it’s a good idea for a guy who’s 14 years past that to have control over our nukes. Trump isn’t any better – he’s stupid and old. I mean, there are so many aging politicians in America, but they’re not running for president.”

Another sore spot for the 2024 field is the war in Gaza. Many students say they loathe Biden’s handling of the conflict. Students have held walkouts protesting American policy on Palestine, alleging that the US is ignoring Israeli war crimes. Trump’s deep support of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is similarly despised, as are Republican threats to deport Palestinian protestors.

“I don’t feel good about what Biden is doing to my people,” said Taft senior Tarik Yassin. “At the same time, Trump wasn’t any better when he was president. Both are terrible on an issue close to me, and I can’t give genuine support to either candidate. I’m not asking anybody to change their minds, but I can’t stay silent.”

Though Taft’s student vote is unlikely to sway Chicago, let alone Illinois, the student body’s concerns mirror that of the general population. It’s one thing to dismiss a single high school, but when that high school reflects the country’s views, perhaps it’s time to think. If either candidate wants to win the 2024 election, these wider issues must be addressed. 

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About the Contributor
George Zemenides, Reporter