2020 could be Bernie’s year. And progressives are already excited.

Sanders has attacked Trump for his record on workers' rights.
Peter Bolton

Bernie Sanders has now confirmed that he wants to be the Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential elections.

In 2016, US progressives were disappointed when Sanders ‘lost‘ the Democratic primary race to Hillary Clinton. Since then, there’s been ongoing speculation as to whether Sanders would throw his hat in to challenge Trump in 2020. And with hints in recent days that he would, progressives have been showing their excitement.

Leaked video and staff hiring spree

On 16 February, Sanders recorded a video stating his intention to run for president. This came as news broke that his office was interviewing people for open positions, implying he was in the process of building campaign staff.

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Progressives from across the Twittersphere have been posting messages of support and encouragement.

Minnesota state senator Shawn Olson posted a cartoon that posed Sanders as the representation of love against Trump as the personification of hate:

Socialist activists, meanwhile, pledged their support. And they cautioned against efforts by centrists to marginalize him:

UK Labour MP Chris Williamson also sent some support from across the Atlantic, giving a vision of a new and different ‘special relationship’ between the US and Britain:

Some Twitter users pointed out how extensive meddling from the Democratic Party and media establishments affected his nomination chances in 2016:

To be sure, there were a few skeptics and critics of the idea:

But others pointed out that he’s polling ahead of many other candidates in the Democratic Party field, and has considerable momentum for a 2020 run:

Indeed, in the aftermath of Trump’s election in 2016, polls consistently found Sanders to be the most popular politician in the whole US. Even a Fox News poll came to this conclusion.

Sanders 2020

Clearly, Sanders has momentum behind him. His progressive credentials may not be perfect. But he seems to stand head and shoulders over other candidates who carry the ‘centrist’ (read right-wing) baggage of the establishment wing of the Democratic Party. Furthermore, Sanders is best placed to hoover up Trump voters in ‘Middle America’ – some of whom voted for him in the Democratic primary only to switch to Trump in disgust at Clinton’s phoney progressivism.

With renewed interest in democratic socialism taking hold in the US (especially amongst young people), the time has come for a democratic socialist to run for the White House. And since this kind of politics represents the only genuine alternative to neoliberalism and right-wing populism, Sanders seems like the ideal person to take on Trump and overturn the status quo.

Featured image via Gage Skidmore and White House

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