Crazy Bernie Will Be Surrounded By Crazy This Time Around
Sen. Bernie Sanders was a man on a mission in 2016, leading an insurgent, far-left campaign against the establishment forces coalesced around Crooked Hillary Clinton. Sanders’ socialist views and hobo-esque appearance earned him the “Crazy Bernie” moniker from detractors, but this time around, he’ll be surrounded by plenty of crazy in the Democratic primaries. The odd man or woman out this time around will be any Democrat who can actually express support for nutty old ideas like capitalism, national sovereignty, and the rule of law. The entire party has fallen head-over-heels in love with Sanders’ version of “democratic socialism,” and that will make it all the more difficult for the Vermont senator to stand apart from the crowd.
In an interview with Vermont Public Radio on Tuesday, Sanders officially threw his hat into the already-crowded Democratic field.
“I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first,” Sanders said. “And what I promise to do is, as I go around the country, is to take the values that all of us in Vermont are proud of — a belief in justice, in community, in grassroots politics, in town meetings — that’s what I’m going to carry all over this country.”
Sanders said that championing Medicare-for-all, a $15 minimum wage, and ways to reduce student debt would again be the primary markers of his campaign agenda.
Well, and a heaping helping of Trump-bashing, naturally.
“I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country,” Sanders told VPR. “I think he is a pathological liar. I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants.”
While Sanders will not have the privilege of being the outside spoiler this time around – nor the privilege of being the progressive crusader – he will come into the race as a heavy favorite, poll-wise. Until and unless Joe Biden enters the field, Sanders will stand head and shoulders above the other contenders in terms of both name recognition and political momentum. His standing among young progressives may also make it difficult for Elizabeth Warren – his ideological twin on Capitol Hill – to make a big splash. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Sanders is free of any wigwam-sized scandals. So far, anyway.
By the end of the Democratic primaries in 2016, Sanders had Hillary agreeing with a good portion of his far-left agenda, but this time around, he’ll be up against challengers who are already on board with his vision for a more socialist United States. The crazy will flow freely at the debates, that much is certain. And unless someone like Biden jumps in with a strong case for centrism, the door to an independent run for Howard Schultz may prove too wide to resist.
Which, we need not remind you, bodes extremely well for a second Trump term.