Following Hillary Clinton's stunning presidential loss to black-sheep candidate Donald Trump this year, it's easy to forget that there's still millions of people nursing the wounds of their own candidate's loss: Bernie Sanders supporters, whose passionate and surprising campaign made a prescient and unheeded call to Washington from the working class. As the Democratic party clears the rubble of their party's platform after a devastating victory over their erstwhile savior, independents and those further left than the mainstream are looking to their underdog candidate for a potential reprisal come the next election cycle. Members of the #BernieOrBust cabal and others are already wondering: will Bernie Sanders run for president again in 2020?
Just a few days after Trump was elected to the presidency, Sanders said he's "not ruling out anything," a statement that many of his supporters took as a wink and a nudge that he may once again run for president. In the same statement, Sanders also urged the country to "take one thing at a time," and reminded everyone looking ahead to 2020 that he faces re-election to the senate in 2018.
The day after Sanders' statement, his wife Jane appeared on CNN and said that her husband is more concerned about the country's frightened Muslim population than about his next political move, and that he's looking no further than 2017 as he continues his push to unite an increasingly divided country around economic and social issues.
Despite the desire to see another Sanders campaign, especially after the election of a man who is the utter antithesis of him, supporters dreaming about feeling the Bern in 2020 must remember that the man is 75 years old, which already made him one of the oldest people to ever run for president. In 2020, he will be 79, and although that won't disqualify him, that certainly puts a damper on his chances or even his desire to put himself and his family through the extreme stress of yet another presidential run.
While the possibility isn't off the table, it's more important to both worry about the nation's current predicament than to fast-forward to the next presidential election cycle. Over-emphasis on presidential elections is arguably one of the myriad factors that got us into this mess, and if we're going to turn back the rising tide of xenophobia, racism and misogyny as represented by Trump and his supporters, we cannot put all our faith in the office of the presidency. It's what Bernie wants, and it's what our nation needs.