My main man Bernie (that was last election in 2016) has made it official and thrown his hat into the ring for 2020.
Contrary to popular belief Bernie does have some foreign policy chops……at least he does now…I was not so sure in the early days of the speculation on whether he would run or not…..
I was disheartened when Trump’s Boyz started their chest thumping and Bernie and the Dem majority were silent on the prospect of a war…..
When Trump announced his support for the unfolding coup in Venezuela, Bernie Sanders remained silent for 24 hours. This matters because coups are made or broken in the first moments or hours; a day during a coup can feel like a month or more.
With each hour Bernie’s silence roared louder. So much was hanging in the balance with Trump at home and abroad, to the point where a finger could tip the scales— yet Bernie refused to lift his.
Among the many Democratic Party candidates running for President, only Tulsi Gabbard made an unequivocal statement condemning the coup, while leftist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez limited her criticism to a retweet.
Bernie was no so forthcoming….he has since jumped on the wagon of condemnation…..
In 2016, foreign policy was the area where Sanders distinguished himself least. For the first five months of his candidacy, his campaign website didn’t even include a foreign-policy section. At a debate on November 14, 2015, when the moderator, John Dickerson, asked Sanders about the ISIS attacks that had killed more than 100 people in France the previous day, the Vermont senator dispatched the subject in a mere two sentences and then pivoted to domestic affairs.
This is good news to a foreign policy wonk like me….but I am not convinced that he will be an antiwar candidate…..
All that said let us look at Bernie’s candidacy…….beyond foreign policy…..
Bernie gave us hope in 2016 and in 2020 the Dem Party seems to be heading further Left than even Bernie could anticipate……
Can Sanders do it again? To get a sense of how the Bernie revolution might eat its own, let’s reflect on why he fell short the first time. Sanders is an old-school leftist who believes in the centrality of class, not race. Hailing from one of the whitest states in the country, he never made inroads in the communities of color that have become such a large part of the Democratic primary electorate—and the crucial reason Obama prevailed where Sanders’ fellow Vermonter Howard Dean did not.
Can Bernie survive the movement he helped create?
Bernie Sanders catalyzed the Democratic Party’s post-Obama move to the left. He nearly beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries, and may have even been a stronger candidate against Donald Trump in the general. Now he’s back, and the party’s surging left wing is conflicted.
At one level, it’s thrilling for the left: If the self-proclaimed democratic socialist were elected president in 2020, it would represent a truly historic swing in the country’s political orientation. No one would be as committed to the party’s new, socialist-inflected policy agenda than the guy who came up with much of it in the first place.
Lately we have seen numerous conservative commentators posit the thesis that the Democrats are disqualifying themselves from a 2020 presidential victory by lurching too far left on key economic and social issues. The idea is that the American people simply aren’t prepared to follow the Democrats into the leftist territory that seems to be their nesting place these days. Ergo, the party is in the process of ceding the White House to the incumbent Republicans, meaning a likely Trump reelection triumph.
This may be comforting to conservatives, but it is based on faulty political analysis. There is a strong prospect that 2020 will see the emergence of a new leftist president who represents democratic socialism of the European style—a brand of politics eschewed by America since at least the end of World War II.