It’s official: Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent and Democratic primary runner-up, has joined the 2020 presidential race.
That’s thrown people into quite an uproar. In fact, Sanders has already received criticism for saying on Vermont Public Radio, in response to a question about whether he felt he represented the current Democratic Party:
“We have got to look at candidates, you know, not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or their gender and not by their age. I think we have got to try to move us toward a nondiscriminatory society which looks at people based on their abilities, based on what they stand for.”
Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress tweeted, “At a time where folks feel under attack because of who they are, saying race or gender or sexual orientation or identity doesn’t matter is not off, it’s simply wrong.”
At a time where folks feel under attack because of who they are, saying race or gender or sexual orientation or identity doesn’t matter is not off, it’s simply wrong.
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) February 19, 2019
News that Sanders is joining the race provoked strong reactions from Democrats, some die-hard supporters who are ready to campaign for him and others who think he shouldn’t run, plus everything in between.
Some people pointed out that Sanders seems to be held to a different standard than Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton, 70
Won 2016 Popular Vote by 2,864,903
Won 2016 Primaries by 3,708,294
Media: go away.
Bernie Sanders, age 77
Lost 2016 Primaries by 3,708,294 votes
Media: WELCOME BACK!
— Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) February 19, 2019
Actually I can't tweet anymore because I am now deceased, hearing that Bernie Sanders will run again while Hillary was chastised for even speaking about the experience of having run.
— Summer Brennan ?? (@summerbrennan) February 19, 2019
A lot of people feel that Sanders didn’t read the room when it comes to diversity and identity politics.
Bernie Sanders running in 2020 is the surest sign that no one learned anything from 2016.
— Kaitlin Byrd (@GothamGirlBlue) February 19, 2019
Literally nothing has changed. Sanders been denigrating identity politics for years, and apparently seems to think that’s the way forward if his announcement is any indication. Good luck, you old coot!
I won’t be voting for you or engaging your Twitter army of darkness.
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) February 19, 2019
I kid you not, I just got two simultaneous "goddammit Bernie" text messages from different friends who are not super political or online.
It's not only us twitter Dems who have a negative view of him and his campaign.
— Shannon ?? (@TheStagmania) February 19, 2019
Many people aren’t looking forward to being trolled by Bernie Bros for the next however many years.
I woke up to a flood of texts from women and none of us, including me, will ever tweet what we said because we’re too scared of his followers.
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) February 19, 2019
People also pointed out the racist and misogynistic behavior of some of his supporters.
Good luck without Black women—whom Bernie Bros notoriously attack. https://t.co/t1FhwuN6sL
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) February 19, 2019
There’s also the issue of his stance on gun control.
It is fair to ask Bernie Sanders why gun violence prevention isn’t one of these priorities given that Americans have made it a major voting priority. https://t.co/K0qbtGNrU5
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) February 19, 2019
Bernie Sanders voted:
-five times against the Brady Bill.
-to allow guns on Amtrak.
-to create the Charleston loophole that allowed Dilan Roof to obtain the weapon used in the massacre
-against holding gun manufacturers liable for the destruction of their products
— Zac Petkanas (@Zac_Petkanas) February 19, 2019
But there are also a lot of people who supported Bernie during his first run, who are happy to do so again.
I've spent the last 2 years fighting for a fair economy. I'm not wasting my time with anyone who now wants to dismiss me as a "bro" because I might highlight any candidate proposal that works towards that cause. Not worth my time or attention — unfollowed, muted or blocked.
— maura quint (@behindyourback) February 19, 2019
It's clear that a lot of the women who are very Concerned Online about Bernie Bros right now don't see how women benefit from medicare for all, a higher minimum wage and free college. Making life easier for the working class is by definition a feminist issue.
— Naomi LaChance (@lachancenaomi) February 19, 2019
I'm not American nor do I typically get involved in politics but I'll be damned if I don't show my support for this man Bernie Sanders who is trying to fix everything Trump has fucked up and more. #BernieSanders https://t.co/QZezb2Gzly
— Cait ? (@Caitlyn_browni) February 19, 2019
How can Bernie be "too old" when he's only one year older than Biden, even one year younger than Pelosi and about a trillion light years smarter than Trump.
Having said that, age doesn’t matter -integrity does. And he‘s got more of that than all three of them combined..
— Amir (@AmirAminiMD) February 19, 2019
The flat out dumbest criticism of bernie is that he's promising things that are too ambitious, and this will somehow affect his votes. Obama ran on closing gitmo and won twice without every doing it. Trump ran on building his dumb ass wall and starting a space military and won
— Jake Flores (@feraljokes) February 19, 2019
And some people came just for the jokes.
Why I say I'm voting for Bernie: progressive policies, proven track record, prepared to take Trumpism head on.
Why I'm actually voting for Bernie: pic.twitter.com/PA9gGLBB4d
— tony (@sadvil) February 19, 2019
Whenever Bernie Sanders is mentioned, I make an ambiguous “HWUH!!” yell. People on all parts of the political spectrum seem satisfied by this.
— Mike Ginn (@shutupmikeginn) February 19, 2019
Now that Bernie’s made it official Beto will need to decide if there’s room for more than one hot guy in the Democratic field
— Chris Scott (@iamchrisscott) February 19, 2019
Well, like it or not, Bernie is in the race. And his campaign managed to earn more than a million dollars in less than 4 hours.
Bernie Sanders' 2020 campaign has raised more than $1 million in less than 4 hours.
— UberFacts (@UberFacts) February 19, 2019
h/t New York Times