Will America feel the “Bern” in 2020?

Rachel Greene, Opinions Writer

As political figures are beginning to emerge from the shadows to announce their candidacies for the 2020 election in the last few weeks, one name was missing. Bernie Sanders, the 2016 presidential election candidate turned social icon, gained quite a following among young people, the Internet and many activists.

The Vermont Senator recently announced that he will once again campaign for the presidency. While many supporters seemed ecstatic at the news, some Democrats call the announcement irresponsible, arguing that due to Sander’s Liberal and far-left views, he should run as a third party candidate and not divide the Democratic vote. While it may be true that Sanders is more of a Socialist than a Democrat, it also seems as if younger Democrats tend to agree with his views more than they agree with the views of a “typical” Democrat. Some may call his plans for free college, healthcare and tax hikes for the rich insane plans, but these appeal to the younger generation that is currently going into immense debt and struggling to afford basic healthcare.

The dilemma for Sanders may be the other candidates who have joined the race, most notably Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. While Warren may not have the social media following that Sanders does, she does share many of his Liberal views and makes promises to reform the economy and Wall Street. Her Liberal views may steal some Sanders fans away and make it more difficult for him to win the primary, but his views are also better tailored to those who would rather see a revolution than slight changes. Harris, on the other hand, is a more typical Democratic candidate, which may steer some older, more traditional Democrats away from Sanders. She is a younger candidate than Sanders and Warren is 54-years-old, which may suggest less experience but also may appeal to younger voters. Besides the official frontrunners, a likely frontrunner remains unannounced: Joe Biden. Biden may follow the closest to Sanders in terms of social media following, with memes of him and his best friend Barack Obama still circulating years after their term in the Oval Office ended. With his experience in the White House, the backing of the Obama family and his popularity among both young and old voters, Biden could prove to be strong competitor for Sanders.

So, which candidate can most realistically turn the White House back to blue? Are Sanders supporters still living in a fantasy? Many believe that a vote for Sanders risks turning more conservative Democrats to Republican voters, but many fully believe in his promises and are willing to take that risk. Regardless, the Democratic primary is going to be a whirlwind of a race and will decide the fate of the country in perhaps one of the most important presidential races this country has ever seen.