Bernie Sanders, one of the few US politicians I can look to with a modicum of respect, has announced that he will be running for President of the United States in 2020. Given the DNC’s shitshow trying to force Hillary Clinton onto the masses didn’t work out so well, public opinion of Sanders so far has been highly positive. While a Sanders presidency would be groundbreaking, attention appears to be leaning towards younger, if slightly less palatable, candidates. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter if Sanders wins or not because he has already inspired a massive grassroots uprising in the US.
The 2016 election proved to be monumental for two main reasons, the first one obviously being Trump’s predictable election. Arguably more important in the long-term, however, is the effect Sanders’ campaign had on the American population. In a country that, historically, considered the words ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’ as synonymous with evil, a self-described socialist led one of the most striking campaigns in US history. In a country that is so deeply entrenched in ‘dark money’ funding politicians, he proved that grassroot, people driven power can force back the oligarchic nature of their political system.
The number of grassroots candidates on all levels on government that were inspired by Sanders has been phenomenal, and the shift in public opinion on certain issues due to his policy platform has been equally so. The election of Ocasio-Cortez is one such outcome, and O’Rourke making massive strides towards turning Texas ‘blue’ is indicative of this shift. A lot of the basic ideas – like Medicare for all, free university tuition fees, etc. – that Sanders promoted has gained traction with the public. With the public on board, candidates that take on these policy stances have greater chances of being voted into a position to implement them.
Bernie Sanders started what was called a revolution in 2016. It is a slow revolution, reeling from the crashing defeat that is the Trump Presidency, but it is resonating now more than ever. Just like in 2016, Sanders doesn’t need to even win the Democratic primaries to prove that he is a formidable force this election. His force is evident within the all the new rising stars in US politics, in the inherent changes being made at the foundational level of US politics. If he is elected, all the more reason to celebrate. But even if he doesn’t, he has made his mark and done more than any other politician to reshape the direction of the US. Hopefully this will only be amplified in the coming years.
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