Why Biden Must Withdraw: A Political Analysis

The President and his party present themselves as the protectors of democracy, yet their actions tell a different story.

The Debate and Its Aftermath

The presidential debate was disastrous for Joe Biden, but the subsequent cover-up has been even worse. Witnessing an elderly man struggle to recall words and facts was painful. His inability to effectively argue against a weak opponent was dispiriting. However, the campaign’s attempt to deny the reality witnessed by tens of millions of Americans is more damaging, as it breeds contempt through its dishonesty.

This has placed the White House within Donald Trump’s reach. Recent polls indicate that voters in critical states have shifted against Biden. His lead is even at risk in previously secure states such as Virginia, Minnesota, and New Mexico.

Biden’s Legacy and the Call for Change

Biden should be remembered for his accomplishments and decency, not his decline. Thus, it is appropriate that senior Democrats are beginning to call for him to step aside. Yet, their public expressions pale in comparison to the growing private dismay. More Democrats urgently need to acknowledge that failing to act now could result in a Trump victory. For the political renewal America so clearly needs, they must advocate for change. It is not too late.

The Unfitness of Both Candidates

Democrats rightly argue that Trump is unfit to be president. However, the debate and its aftermath have also proven Biden unfit. Firstly, due to his cognitive decline. Biden can still appear dynamic during brief, scripted events, but leading a superpower cannot be done by autocue. An international crisis cannot be paused because the president is having a bad day. Can someone who struggles to finish a sentence about Medicare be trusted with the nuclear codes?

Biden is not at fault for his declining faculties, but his insistence—supported by his family, senior staff, and Democratic elites—that he is still fit for the job is disqualifying. His claim that this election is a battle between right and wrong is undermined by the fact that his campaign’s existence now hinges on a lie.

Democratic Accountability and Reflection

Democrats criticize Republicans for their sycophantic behaviour towards Trump. Rightly so, as many Republicans have echoed his falsehoods and lacked the moral courage to oppose his abuses. Believing they could outlast him or that someone else would bear the cost of removing him, senators and congressmen have prioritized ambition over country.

The Democratic Party must also reflect, starting with Biden. He attributes his debate failure to being tired from extensive travel, as if his weakness were proof of his vitality. His supporters argue that the disastrous debate should not overshadow his past three and a half years. However, what matters is whether it foreshadows the next four. Senior Democrats clinging to desperate talking points or waiting in silence for someone else to speak up may think they are being loyal. But are they loyal to their country or their careers?

A Call for Political Renewal

Democrats might claim that their tactics are just politics, justified by the noble aim of saving American democracy from Trump. This defence does not serve America. Covering up one’s own flaws by demonising the opponent has long tainted American politics. Using the threat of Trump as a “dictator” to distract from Biden’s evident infirmity is a form of blackmail. As head of state, the president should embody the virtues of the republic. The more he is seen as a stubborn old man delegating the real work to his aides, the more he undermines Americans’ faith in their government. Representing America abroad, Biden will project decrepitude, delighting China and Russia and dismaying America’s allies.

The Path Forward

There is an alternative. Biden should withdraw from the campaign, allowing the election to revitalise the political landscape. Democracy’s virtue lies in voters choosing their rulers, but Biden and Trump offer a choice between the incapable and the unspeakable. Americans deserve better.

As highlighted in our new podcast “Boom!”, presidential politics is mired in stagnation. With the exception of Barack Obama, every president since Bill Clinton in 1992 was born in the 1940s. Biden (1942) first campaigned for the presidency 37 years ago. At that time, Trump (1946) also considered running. Their generation, shaped by the Vietnam War, carries the baggage of campus protests, Wall Street’s greed-is-good era, and old battles over race and feminism. Today’s fights are different and often play out on platforms like TikTok.

The stagnation reflects a failure of the party system. Parties should unite factions and interests to seek power, but they have been hijacked. The Clintons and Bushes initially seized control. When voters grew weary of them, Obama and Trump led grassroots rebellions. In today’s Democratic Party, Biden and his circle have monopolised the leadership. Only if Democrats reclaim control and persuade him to step aside can renewal begin.


In 2022, we argued that Biden should not seek re-election due to his age. After the debate, our position has strengthened. A new candidate would have just over ten weeks after the convention to present their case. While such a candidate might lose, Biden’s self-sacrifice could help restore American politics.

We believe a new candidate would have a better chance of winning than Biden, even if it were Kamala Harris, his relatively unpopular vice-president. They would be fit to govern and, except for Harris, would deprive Trump of his strongest arguments against Biden: responsibility for inflation, immigration, and the supposed “witch-hunt” leading to his prosecution. America’s renewal must begin now, and the best way is by choosing a new candidate to defeat Trump.

Carlos Alves de Sousa
United Photo Press