Bernie Sanders, one of the nearly two dozen Democrats currently seeking nomination for the 2020 presidential race, and who also narrowly and controversially lost the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016, is an early favorite to win the progressive party’s ticket next summer. He has already received millions of volunteers for his campaign and has amounted millions of dollars in donations thus far. But just how progressive is his campaign actually? If you asked that question in 2016, most people on both sides of the aisle would have criticized his policies for being far too radical. However, just three short years later, many of the ideas headlined by the self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist have become nearly mainstream.
Examining Bernie’s Real Positions
His main campaign point, Medicare for All, has received support from other notable Democrats such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker. His ideas of free college, student debt forgiveness, higher minimum wage, and higher taxes on the wealthy have also gained traction within Congress and state governments.
The fact that views that were deemed radical and too socialist just a few short years ago are now very popular is undeniable. However, this is not the end of the new progressive wave we are currently experiencing. While many Democrats are now sharing these views, Bernie Sanders is undoubtedly the face of the new, progressive Democrats. And he’s going to use this popularity to win the White House in 2020.
What Does His Victory Mean?
Sanders’ victory will signal a permanent shift in American politics. Donald Trump will be the last Reagan-esque conservative to hold the presidency. We will instead see a new era of progressive leaders, similar to the start of the 20th century. These figures will vastly redefine what the American government looks like.
Bernie Sanders is old, and likely will not be in the political spotlight for too much longer. Luckily for him, however, his ideas have been adopted by the youth.
Who Will Support Bernie Sanders?
His supporters are overwhelmingly millennials, and his opposition is overwhelmingly from the more traditional “Baby Boomer” era. As the boomers begin to go, the new generations will take over. Younger, more charismatic progressives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will take the helm once Bernie Sanders retires. Current high school and college students, such as Parkland survivor David Hogg, will be the new face of activism. No longer will the people be concerned about foreign policy and tax cuts; rather, they will be concerned with caring for the poor and helping the environment.
It is on these fronts the Republicans have failed. Their out-of-touchness with the concerns of the younger generations will be their downfall. President Trump’s proposals to take funding from Medicare, Medicaid, the Special Olympics, and other social programs in order to raise defense spending and fund a border wall will be the nail in the coffin. Rather than find a sensible solution for illegal immigration, his administration separated children from their parents and outraged millions across the country. Although young people are notorious for low voter turnout rates, they will not let this happen again. The youth are fed up. And Washington is going to “Feel the Bern.”
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