For progressives subjected to daily outrage from the Trump administration – there’s something to look forward to.
In 2020 they’ll be spoiled for choice – presumptive candidates in the Democratic field are tacking to the left and both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are acting like people running for president.
While a 2020 campaign by Sanders wouldn’t be surprising given that he ran before – Warren has long denied that she has any interest in becoming president.
That seems to have recently changed.
Warren said last month that she would ‘take a hard look’ at running in 2020.
And then last week she made headlines by releasing a DNA test to counter Donald Trump’s claims that she was misleading people over her ancestry – a move largely interpreted as preparation for a presidential run.
Warren and Sanders have been conflated for years – commentators often talk of a ‘Sanders-Warren wing’ of the Democratic party.
But the two are not the same and though Warren is an ally of many progressive causes – the best chance that we have to not just construct some better policy – but reconfigure a generation of American politics lies with Sanders running and capturing both the Democratic primary and the presidency.
Arguing between two seemingly good choices can seem from afar like the bickering of two rival fan clubs.
But there are significant differences between Warren’s and Sanders’ approaches to politics and what their respective victories would mean in a country desperately in need of change.
To understate things – Sanders’ background is unusual.
He was trained in the dying remnants of the Socialist party and cut his political teeth in trade union and civil rights organizing.
His lifelong lesson?
The rich were not morally confused but rather have a vested interest in the exploitation of others.
Power would have to be taken from them by force.
Sanders’ message from his early days in third-party politics to today has been remarkably consistent.
Back in the early 1970s he denounced ‘the world of Richard Nixon and the millionaires and billionaires whom he represents’.
Even back then he was reminding audiences: ‘This is the world of the 2% of the population that owns more than one-third of the personally held wealth in America’.