Bernie Sanders is running for president of the United States of America in 2020.
After much anticipation and electric rumours of his run, Bernie indeed today announced in an interview with NPR, in his home state of Vermont, that he is in this race.
It's on. It's all kinds of on.
In a later an interview also this morning on CBS, Bernie talked about his 2020 presidential campaign. You can view that interview here.
This is easily the most anticipated and exciting announcement of the whole race.
"We're gonna win" Sanders said in the interview, to CBS' John Dickerson. He spoke of how his 2020 campaign will build a grassroots movement that will "lay the groundwork for transforming the economic and political life of this country."
Including insight from Bernie's brother and politician in the UK, Larry Sanders
His chief priority, Sanders stresses, is to defeat President Trump, and purge the country of the poision he and his politics have helped infect America with. "It is absolutely imperative that Donald Trump be defeated, because I think it is unacceptable and un-American, to be frank with you, that we have a president who is a pathological liar," said Sanders.
"We have a president who is a racist, who is a sexist, who is a xenophobe, who is doing what no president in our lifetimes has come close to do doing, and that is trying to divide us up," he went on to say.
But as well as combatting Trump and the system on those powerful issues, Bernie pledged anew to also build his campaign and his platform around the key issues of universal healthcare (setting up an American style NHS), tuition-free public higher education, raising the minimum wage to a living wage, breaking up the big banks and putting a stop to the economy-crashing fraud of Wall Street, and of course, to end the scourge of money in politics, as well as more.
In speaking on the already mammoth popularity of his ideas, thanks to his previous campaign - with those above issues given no serious consideration by the mainstream media & establishment before Bernie's run - Bernie had this to say:
"All of those ideas people were saying, 'Oh Bernie, they're so radical. They are extreme. The American people just won't accept those ideas.' Well, you know what's happened in over three years? All of those ideas and many more are now part of the political mainstream."
He's right. Damn right. In fact, more right than he may know - Bernie will have to double down on all the progressive issues in this race - on the radicalness of his campaign this time. Bernie 2020 will have to make Bernie 2016 look like Hillary 2016.
And that's for a variety of factors, including that many of the already announced candidates have sensed where the energy is in the party - i.e. in the progressive base - and are working hard to capture it. A lot of those candidates are/will be of course lying in saying they're the most progressive in the race. But with the media's help, they can make a convicing show of it. And some genuinely are upping their progressive bona fides. That second reason is a great one, and both of them overall - i.e. the fact that the energy in the Democratic Party is in the most leftward base - is down to the tremendous success of Bernie's 2016 campaign.
He wanted to create a movement that was self-sustaining, and ever growing. A political revolution where its millions of members - ordinary, excited people hungry for change - would become so inspired and so educated in what is going on in US politics thanks to Bernie's campaign, that they would go on to run, grow and continuosly push the boundaries of this movement. It worked. And so now, whilst there's still a lot more work to do, the base of the party wants more.
Even bigger, better policies, and even bolder, more decisive action against the corrupt establishment to implement them. And they deserve it.
Bernie has the power and the experience as a radical outsider to evolve - but he must take that opportunity.
It's going to be a tough, hard fought, slog of a race - none of us in the leftist movement can take any of Bernie's previous success or his popularity for granted. The establishment & the mainstream media will throw every dirty trick they can at him. They have been for four years, non-stop, and it's only going to get worse.
But if anyone has the following, the popularity, the vision, the infrastructure and the dedication-to-the-people to win this thing, it's Bernie Sanders. That's why he was so popular last time - from nothing and no one, to closing a 60 point lead on Hillary Clinton and the greatest political machine the US had ever seen, in a year.
Because his policies are bold, striking right at the core of America's deathly problems, and because people can tell he is an absolutely uncorrupt leader who detests the bribery of money in politics down to his guts, and because he's running not for his own power, but cause he want's to work for the people. He has a mighty following - and I'm one of them - and an enormous donor base. By far the largest number of individual, ordinary-people small donors, the largest online presence, the second most name recognition, and the most popularity of any US politician, right now. Dayum. That's a recipe for Political Revolution.
If he combines that with an evolved platform and a cutting edge set of tactics, he's got this. If he doesn't, it's a lot riskier.
This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for someone to make it to the White House and become the People's President. To put an end to death grip on America of money in politics, and to make real and global change. It really is our last opportunity to fight the coming armagedon of Climate Change, as well as our best opporutnity to end poverty, the disastrous threat of looming nuclear & other war, to end the financial suffering of ordinary people around the globe, and to take us towards the future.
We're going to be giving you a lot of cutting edge Bernie 2020 and progressive analysis as the race unfolds - check out my coming articles on what Bernie needs to do to win, and my beginners guide on all you need to know about the US 2020 elections.
In an nutshell that is what is at stake in this election. Everything. It sounds overblown - but it's really true. If we don't stop those crisis above now, we really will loose our decade-ish long opportunity to solve them. Then it's too late.
America is moving full steam ahead in the wrong direction. The grip of money in politics has never been stronger. We need a Gandalf in the White House to fight this Balrog, and turn it around.
Bernie is my favourite candidate, and he's very likely to be the one I'll endorse - but we need to see him step up to that mantle of Bernie 2.0.
If anyone can do it, Bernie can. Dammit, we're with him. Cause he's with us.
Let's do this.