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Gabriel Karam was named the Outstanding 2020 Graduate for the University of Maine’s School of Business. He obtained his MBA in December 2021. He lives in Bangor and works at a local financial institution.

With the midterm elections last month, Donald Trump’s announcement to rerun for president, and controversy surrounding Trump’s dinner with a Holocaust denier, the 2024 presidential election is the focus of a lot of speculation. Other possible Republican candidates include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Wyoming U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.

The American people deserve higher quality presidential candidates for the 2024 election. If Trump were to win the Republican nomination, the 2024 ballot could be a rematch of the 2020 election between Trump and President Joe Biden. This would pose two unideal candidates.

Trump has caused enough damage to American politics, and is unfit to rerun for president. Trump is the only U.S. president to have been impeached twice.

Trump imposed 220 executive orders during his presidency, made over 30,000 incorrect claims and has stated that he has “the right to do whatever I want as president.” Trump incorrectly claimed that there would be voter fraud in the 2020 election before any voting had begun. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), $1.5 million worth of property damage to the U.S. Capitol was inflicted from the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, as well as multiple deaths and suicides. Some legal scholars argue that the Fourteenth Amendment could ban Trump from running for office again.

Recently, Trump boasted about being “transparent” in transporting classified documents from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, for which the DOJ is conducting a criminal investigation. USA Today describes how Trump has been criticized by both parties for dining with Kanye West and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.

Not only does Trump pose risk of another abysmal term, but the possibility of a second term for Biden could also be detrimental. While Trump ended his presidency with a historically low 34 percent approval rating, Biden has a similarly low approval rating of 43 percent.

Biden recently turned 80 years old, and would be six years older at the end of a second term. This past June, a notecard used by Biden during a meeting was revealed to have included detailed notes, including to say hello and to take a seat. This past January, Biden incorrectly stated that this was the year 2020. This September, he asked if deceased U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski was in the audience.

Biden’s budget proposal to Congress in March of this year was 7 percent higher than the previous year. The New York Times reflects how Republicans indicated that Biden’s budget did not address the deficit or “adequately address inflation.” While Biden has touted a $350 billion reduction in the deficit for 2021, Dan White of Moody’s Analytics states that Biden’s actions “and Congress have undoubtedly resulted in higher deficits, not smaller ones.” Marc Goldwein of Johns Hopkins states that the deficit would have decreased much more if “Biden had … not done anything.”

Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan for COVID relief in March of 2021. However, Republicans state that only 9 percent of these funds were allocated towards pandemic relief. Biden’s student loan forgiveness of $10,000 to $20,000 could cost taxpayers up to $500 billion. June’s 9.1 percent inflation rate was the highest since the recession of the early 1980s.

Biden stated that the pandemic “is over” this past September, despite 300 Americans dying from COVID daily, and his administration requesting over $22 billion for continued COVID relief. Seema Lakdawala, a virologist at the University of Pittsburgh, argues that the Biden administration has failed in its goal to mitigate COVID through expanding masking, testing and treatment.

Both Trump and Biden would be inadequate presidential candidates for the 2024 election. Trump is unfit to rerun after his extensive damage to democracy and the nation. Biden is incapable of another term with his advanced age, apparent deteriorating mental state and poor performance. As voters, it is our responsibility to heed lesser known but more qualified (and moderate) candidates. The media should not provide excessive “free publicity” for these candidates. The American people deserve better presidential candidates than Trump or Biden.