Bernie’s Back in the Hunt, And He’s Already Won – Here’s Why

It’s official: Senator Bernie Sanders has put his proverbial hat back in the ring to take another run at becoming president of the United States – though truth be told, he’s already won.

By that, I don’t mean that he’s a lock for the Democratic nomination; he faces tough competition from an overstuffed Democratic field. Part of the reason the competition is so stiff is that the Democratic contenders are starting to sound a lot like Sanders during his previous campaign, and it’s in that respect that he’s already won.

In 2016, Sanders was an outsider to the party, offering a progressive alternative to frontrunner Secretary Hillary Clinton. To a lot of people’s surprise, he managed to turn a foregone conclusion into a competitive race.

His platform of addressing the country’s wealth inequality and providing health care to all Americans resonated with a large segment of the population, yet were labeled as being too radical for the Democratic Party by the Dem leaders and media pundits alike.

That dismissal looks foolish today given how mainstream the ideas that Sanders ran on have become. You want Medicare for all? Just about every Democratic candidate is now in favor of that. The same goes for affordable/subsidized college education, aggressive action on climate change and taxing Wall Street and the mega-wealthy.

Some of the candidates like Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker seem to be adopting these stances after taking the temperature of Democratic voters and some like Elizabeth Warren have been espousing these ideas for many years. Either way, the party has shifted left following Sanders’ campaign and he won, even in defeat, by influencing the zeitgeist.

Again, that influence doesn’t portend an electoral win. Because voters now have a lot of choices running on a similar platform, they might prefer to see it enacted by a woman, a person of color or someone younger. The votes might even split amongst more progressive voices in the primaries in such a way that a more moderate candidate like Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke or Sherrod Brown comes out on top.

I don’t think voters “owe” it to Sanders for leading the charge in 2016. Supporters of both Democratic candidates had their feelings hurt during that campaign, and the baggage might prove to be insurmountable in terms of uniting the party. That’s not to say it’s fair, but what makes someone “electable” is rarely an issue of fairness.

For that matter, I hardly think Sanders is out of the competition either. He just raised an impressive $6 million within the first 24 hours of announcing his candidacy, and that’s certainly an advantage when you considered he’s also inspired many of his fellow candidates to disavow PAC money.

Whether or not he ultimately wins the election, Sanders has a lot to be proud of for advancing the conversation. I suspect that he won’t need to be president for history to remember his contributions.

 

Photo Credit: AFGE

90 comments

Glennis W
Glennis Whitney18 days ago

Go Man Go Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis Whitney18 days ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis Whitney18 days ago

Go Bernie Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis Whitney18 days ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

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Jetana A
Jetana A18 days ago

IMO, Bernie would best serve the country by backing Elizabeth Warren, instead of being another ancient white guy in the Oval.

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Jetana A
Jetana A18 days ago

Well, here we go again with vituperous political "debate" on Care2. Play nice, people! We're all here to "save the world."

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TOM TREE
TOM T24 days ago

What a SHAME !!
TRULY SCARY STUFF !
REALLY ???
What a A-Hole !!

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E25 days ago

brian f
Then be clearer as to what you actually mean.
To talk about debates is disingenuous .
Did you ever stop to think that maybe those YOU whine about may NOT be the best candidates?
You are NOT the be all and end all in ANY political issues here.
I'm fairly sure you're not a Democrat anyway but someone here just to disrupt and deflect.

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Brian F
Brian F25 days ago

Rhoberta E Quit your lies. Read the charter for the Democratic party. The Democrats still have the unfair super delegate rule in the second round, which allows party insiders to decide who they want should Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard tie another candidate. That's called cheating. In addition party rules allow Tom Perez to remove Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard from the primary, at anytime simply because they feel their beliefs are not in alignment with the Democratic party. The Democrats are already smearing Tulsi Gabbard as a Russian spy, and trying to eliminate her from the Democratic party simply because she meant Assad, criticized the Syrian war, and spoke out against all regime change wars.
https://www.thenation.com/article/democrats-shouldnt-be-trying-to-banish-tulsi-gabbard/

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E25 days ago

brian f
I have heard NOTHING about ANY potential candidate being "excluded from the debates" The Democrats haven't gotten that far in even announcing WHO may be a candidate. QUIT your lies !!! There are NO debates at this point !!!

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