Senator Bernie Sanders put in a stiff fight against the chosen establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, back in the 2016 Democratic Primary but ultimately came up a bit short. Still, few thought Sanders stood a chance against Clinton but he gave her a run for her money anyway. Now, Sanders will see if he can recapture that momentum as he’s officially announced his intent to run for president in 2020.
Sanders is seeking to build an “unprecedented and historic” grassroots campaign across the country. Back in 2016, Sanders proved to be a prolific grassroots fundraiser. However, this time around the Democratic field will be far more crowded. Previous supporters, such as Tulsi Gabbard, and political allies, such as Elizabeth Warren, have already joined the race as well. This time around, Democrats will enjoy a smorgasbord of Progressive candidates.
Sanders is looking to transform the United States and to recreate a government based on the “principles of economic, social, racial, and environmental justice.” Sanders sees his campaign as a continuation of his efforts in 2016. And while he ultimately failed to secure the nomination, Sanders has dramatically shifted the Democratic Party to the left.
Just a decade ago most Democrats would have been squeamish at the idea of championing universal healthcare. They tip-toed around climate change as well. Beyond platitudes, few Democrats had plans to lower college tuition prices. Now, dramatic reform is the name of the game for Democrats.
Unsurprisingly, Sanders also mentioned Donald Trump in his announcement, claiming that the president is “the most dangerous President in modern American history.” Sanders vocally criticized Trump back in 2016, even challenging him to a debate. Sanders has remained a fierce critic of the president in the years since.
Sanders is technically an Independent but caucuses with Democrats. In some ways, he’s the most left-wing candidate to announce so far. Among other things, Sanders wants to increase the estate tax to 77 percent for the ultra-wealthy and raise the minimum wage to $15. Sanders also supports Medicare-for-All.