What If Trump And Biden Both Die
Thinking over the not-that-quite-unthinkable.
With Donald Trump having easily dispatched his challengers for the Republican nomination and Joe Biden essentially unopposed in the Democratic primary, America is set for one of the most elderly political contests in world history. Trump, born in 1946, is the absolute oldest a baby boomer could possibly be. Biden, born in 1942, is so old that he out-ages boomers entirely. The current President is older than helicopters and napalm. The former President is older than hedge funds and credit cards. Both are older than the state of Israel. Together, they have nearly 160 years of combined knowledge.
There’s no question about it: if age begets wisdom, the United States has one of the greatest political classes ever assembled in the history of man. No matter who wins, the country is assured a leader with stellar on-paper qualifications and more than a lifetime of experience. It’s no wonder, then, that the country is so enthusiastic about this election, satisfied with its choices, and confident in the future. Just look at the sheer speed of the nominating process. We haven’t known the two major-party candidates so early since the introduction of democracy in this country! Truly, we have entered a new age of enlightened statesmanship.
However, there is a dark side to all of this amazing news. I hate to even speak of it, but it cannot be ignored. Along with the irreplaceable wisdom that guided both leaders during their tenures in office, these old ages also bring with them undeniable dangers. Both Biden and Trump are well over the life expectancy of the average American male. One has a long history of health problems. The other eats McDonalds every day. Neither look all that great. And even if you completely ignore this possibility, their status as the world’s two most famous men invariably puts them in constant danger. As terrifying as it might be to imagine, the chance of a 2024 election that is not between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is not zero.
So, what would happen if Biden is suddenly forced to leave the race? What if Trump is? What if, like a modern day Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, they both are at the same time? Please bear with me as I contemplate these utterly horrifying possibilities in this article.
Scenario One: Trump Dies
Compared to Biden leaving the scene, this is the more complex (and more interesting) possibility, so we’ll start here. Right now, in the limbo between the GOP’s opening primaries and Super Tuesday, Donald Trump is in a strange position. He is, for all intents and purposes, the Republican nominee. Practically the entire field has dropped out and endorsed him, the party has already moved behind him, and he leads his sole opponent by 60 points in the polls. But only two states have actually voted so far. Out of the 1,215 delegates needed to secure the nomination, he technically only has 63 right now. The vast majority of pledged delegates are, on paper, still up for grabs. While they look set to go to Trump as long as he stays in the race, this would no longer be the case if he suddenly left the scene. In that case, the race would become wide open, and things would get really, really weird.