Nicholas Stanley, Staff Contributor
The morning of Feb. 19, I woke up to my phone screen covered in notifications from various news apps. I reached for the phone in my drowsy-eyed state, blissfully unaware of the big news that had developed that day. As I unlocked my phone, my eyes widened reading the headline I had dreaded for months.
Bernie Sanders enters presidential race: “Complete the revolution.”
Now let’s get one thing straight. In 2016, I was an avid Bernie Sanders supporter. His “radical” ideas of Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and free college tuition were only a few of the campaign points that would make any liberal-minded person salivate.
However, this is not 2016, and this is not the same political climate that Sanders once faced. A presidential bid from him is the last thing that the American people need, and I am scared the only “bern” we will be feeling after all is said and done, is another four years of Trump.
In the 2016 presidential election, Sanders was the underdog. A wacky, crazy-eyed old man with a liberal agenda that seemed so extreme that none of his opponents even occupied the idea of him being a serious threat. This mindset proved beneficial – Sanders’ entire political career had been built off being the unlikely hero.
Sanders is no longer the underdog he once was.
If poll data is anything to consider, he is not only one of the frontrunners but he’s actually in second place behind none other than former vice-president Joe Biden, who is yet to announce his campaign.
How will Sanders handle being in the top from the beginning is yet to be seen.
However, I can make a guess to how his presidential bid will affect 2020 overall.
There are a number of political analysis that suggests Sanders and his passionate supporters had a direct link to Donald Trump winning the presidential election.
According to the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey, fewer than 80% of those who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary did the same for Clinton in the presidential election.
What’s more, 12% of those who backed Sanders actually cast a vote for Trump.
Why would many of Sanders’ supporters switch their vote to the likes of Trump?
Trump and Sanders may be on two different ends of the political and ideological spectrum, but they have more in common than either might like to admit.
They both appeal to Americans who are tired of the established norm of our government.
Supporters of both Trump and Sanders were hungry for this idea of a political revolutions and some of those that were disheartened enough by Sanders’ loss were desperate to put their faith in Trump.
Unfortunately, in many states, this gave Trump the extra push he needed.
History seemly has a way of repeating itself. The fear here is Sanders making out to be a troublesome competitor for the other presidential hopefuls. Some of which have the same agenda plans as Sanders did in 2016.
Three years ago, Sanders was arguably a “radical” or some might even say revolutionary. The beliefs and promises he ran his campaign on were considered to be farfetched and hardly plausible.
However, now Sanders’ notions that were previously hard to fathom are now the very base that many of his competitors are launching from.
Just because Sanders was the first, does that mean he deserves to be president?
I would argue no.
Many of his competition this time around are younger, quicker and more ethnically diverse. The reality is democrats are not looking for another old white man to be the candidate for the party.
If Sanders is able to fight his way to the top and become the democratic nominee this time around- he did fail to do this in 2016, then can he be a formidable competitor for Trump and his supporters?
No, no he can’t. This time around is less about policies and beliefs, and more about getting rid of President Trump.
The 2020 election is operation “Remove Donald Trump from the White House.”
Now let’s say Sanders doesn’t get the democratic nomination.
He is still going to hand the election over to the Republicans. By doing exactly what he did in the last election, causing enough of an uproar and discourse amongst the democratic party that he weakens the momentum of any of his competition. Leading to the American people having doubts all the way to the ballot boxes and splitting the vote.