Our two-party system supposedly makes politics less frenzied, presenting the most competent and least objectionable options for President.

Presidential primaries were intended to give a geographically-diverse array of voters a chance to decide if a candidate has the character to be commander-in-chief. They’re also supposed to allow the media an opportunity to vet candidates before they receive the nomination.

None of that is happening so far in the 2023-24 cycle

A majority of Americans think Donald Trump should be criminally prosecuted for trying to overturn the 2020 election by fomenting a riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Already under indictment in a fraud case, Trump is now liable in a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse and defamation.

More concerning, Trump still openly embraces the worst of the Jan. 6 attacks, promising pardons and an official apology. Recently, he embraced a convicted rioter who believes anyone who certified Joe Biden as President should be executed for treason. He said again this week that he’d pardon most Jan. 6 hooligans while bashing his loyal vice president for not terminating the constitution on that fateful day.

The main reason that emotional populists rally for Trump is they believe he’s being “treated unfairly” by some system.

The whiner-in-chief constantly revels in this risible rationale. He recently repeated the claim he’s been treated worse than Abraham Lincoln. Put aside the dubious stance, how inane must someone be to think being picked on makes him qualified to be President?

Then there’s Biden. No matter the mental gymnastics that liberal pundits do, he’s an atrocious president and a national laughingstock.

His approval rating has sunk to a new low of 36%. Most Democrats do not even want him to be President again.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe he lacks the “mental sharpness” to be effective. And in some polls, Biden is losing a rematch with Trump.

Yet so far, Biden’s only competition for the nomination is the conspiratorial lunatic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and similarly batty Marianne Williamson.

The Democrats have proven to be a feckless party that can’t muster a significant primary challenge against an inarticulate commander-in-chief, who would be 86 when his second term ended. His vice president, picked solely on race and gender, has proven to be among the dumbest and least popular people in Washington.

Biden’s legal and ethical lapses are not trivial. His sleazy son used the family name to take millions from Chinese and Ukrainian interests.

Biden denies wrongdoing, but only the most insular leftist thinks this is not a political problem for a candidate who struggles to maintain equanimity when his integrity is questioned.

We are thus on track to have a presidential contest between a disgraced septuagenarian loser and an octogenarian incumbent who almost no one believes is capable of doing the job.

Each needs the other, of course, because their best shot at winning is having the other as an opponent.

This is dangerous. We have serious issues, and there’s still time to avert a no-win scenario for the nation, but that requires party hacks to shut up and voters to use common sense.

If these two curmudgeons are the nominees, dishonest brokers on cable news will again lie about a “binary choice,” hoping that cliché excuses their role in causing this team sport predicament.

Since 2016, presidential primaries have proven to be silly exercises in cultish worship; while you may not like the old “smoke-filled rooms,” they presented better options, and as a bonus, the GOP would currently have at least 55 senators, instead of 49, if party bosses had more influence than media and former presidents.


Ari Kaufman is a correspondent for several U.S. newspapers and magazines from Minnesota and Ohio to Tennessee and Virginia. He taught school and served as a military historian before beginning his journalism career. He is the author of three books and a frequent guest on radio programs, and contributes to Israel National News and here at The Lid.