11 February 2018

Bernie 2020 - Why Not?


Although Trump is only in his second year as the 45th President of the United States, it is quickly becoming that time when we speculate who will challenge him at the next election. It seems very soon to be talking about the next election already, but it’s one of those topics that never stops getting discussed. Partly due to the excitement that an election entails, but specifically this year, it’s almost definitely the eagerness and will of the people to see the back of Trump. Realistically, we will know who most of the candidates are by the autumn of 2019. 

Back in 2016, Hillary Clinton was fighting tooth and nail to try and stop an old independent Jewish socialist from beating her in the Democratic primaries. At times, she struggled to win big against Bernie Sanders in states that she thought were hers by default, and during the debates, she was battered and bruised by the enigmatic Senator from Vermont. One of Clinton’s biggest mistakes against Sanders was assuming the nomination was hers. Clinton came across as if she believed that she deserved the nomination and was the heir apparent to Obama. Unfortunately, for her, Bernie Sanders stole the hearts and minds of a nation. He stood up against the most establishment candidate to have ever run in the Democratic primaries. Clinton eventually beat Sanders, but news surfaced soon afterwards that the Democratic Party were never going to let Sanders win. In fact, it turns out, they attempted to rig the primaries and unfairly gave Clinton the nomination.

A battered Hillary Clinton went on to fight against the winner of the Republican primaries, and now 45th President of the USA, Donald J. Trump. Although Clinton won by quite some votes (a couple of million to be more specific) she failed to beat Trump in the electoral college, which meant Trump took the presidency. A once joke candidate beat the assumed heir apparent. People were in shock as they watched Trump win. Their cockiness and ignorance assumed that people wouldn't possibly vote for Trump. How wrong they could've been. However, Trump is officially the least popular president of all time and people are wondering who can beat him in 2020. Moreover, that’s not just Democrats. Republicans too long to replace the Alt-right Trump. 

Typically, but probably more so now because of Trump, rumours of celebrities running for the presidency have been discussed. Not least after the Gold Globes and Oprah’s magnificent speech. Along with Oprah, Tom Hanks, Ellen Degeneres, Kanye, Lady Gaga and the Rock have all been spoken about as potential candidates for the Democratic nomination. Of course, they will all probably stay as rumours and the celebrities won’t attempt to take on President Trump. Although, tell Kayne not to do something and he’ll probably end up trying to do it…

Naturally, there will be numerous senators and governors declaring their candidacy in the end. American politicians on both sides who we’ve never heard of before. And, of course, there’ll be the unlucky losers of last year’s primaries who will have a second/third attempt. People such as Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker. Also, other notable politicians such as Joe Biden, Paul Ryan and Elizabeth Warren will all probably throw their hat in the ring. However, there’s only one person I care about for 2020. That person is Bernie Sanders.

The thing is, if it wasn’t for the rigged Democratic Primaries, I think #BernieWouldveWon. Without going into the technicalities of why he would've won, it’s clear that Bernie has started a revolution in American politics. As I mention in my latest book, We the Extremists, Bernie Sanders represents the leftwing populism that is attempting to counter the rightwing populism of Donald Trump. We have two extremes in American politics at the moment. You have the new socialist left and the alt-right. (In the middle, the conservatives and neoliberals sit crying about how it’s not fair) As Trump knew his target voter, so did Bernie Sanders. What’s more, like all populism, the populist right can easily be won-over by the populist left. At the end of the day, populism targets disenfranchised voters. Trump’s populism uses messages of fear. Bernie’s populism uses messages of hope. Both sides say they’re on the side of the worker but they choose different reasonings to explain why the worker is worse off and how they can fix it. 

By polling day 2020, Bernie Sanders will be a prestigious 79-years-old. I bring that up because some people suggest that he’ll be too old to run; too old to be president. I can understand why people would think that. A president should be of good health - both physically and mentally. A president should be at the top of their game. A president is expected to travel a lot and work long days. It’s natural that people would doubt a 79-year-old man’s capability. However, Bernie Sanders is of great health, he campaigned immensely hard in 2016 and visited far more places than Hillary did. 79 sounds old and by the time he finishes his first term, he’ll be 83. Maybe then people should doubt whether he’d be fit enough for a second term. But late seventies doesn't mean wheelchair bound, in a home and losing your mind. I believe Sanders will be up for the job in 2020 and shouldn't be pushed aside. Let’s face it, William Gladstone was 82 when he was appointed Prime Minister in 1892 for the fourth time and Churchill was 80 when he left office in 1955. 

bernie sanders GIF

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