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Sanders writes: "Whenever I am asked about running for president in 2020, I answer that if I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump, then I will probably run. That is the truth."

Bernie Sanders. (photo: Antonella Crescimbeni)
Bernie Sanders. (photo: Antonella Crescimbeni)

If I Run

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

29 December 18


et me take this opportunity to wish you a very happy holiday season and a wonderful new year.

Whenever I am asked about running for president in 2020, I answer that if I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump, then I will probably run. That is the truth.

If that happens, the political, financial and media elite of this country will stop at nothing to defeat us. You know that. We’ve lived through it together once before. Our ideas terrify them. So what they will do is try to divide us up with attacks — some old, some new — and our political opponents will spend obscene sums of money on ads to defeat us.

I just did not expect the attack ads to begin before I even made a decision. But they have…

Right now, a group of Wall Street Democrats known as the Third Way is running ads in early primary states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — calling me out by name and saying our ideas, like Medicare for all, are a path to defeat in 2020.

They not only want to discourage or defeat a Sanders candidacy, they want to make sure that the progressive agenda is not advanced by anyone. They want us to go back to their failed corporate approach which has led to a massive level of income and wealth inequality, a bloated military budget and a failure to address the crises of climate change, a broken criminal justice system and inhumane immigration policies.

Last time we ran, we made the financial elite pay a price for their attacks on our progressive agenda. It is just as important we do it again today.

Our agenda terrifies the political and financial establishment of this country.

But the truth is, their agenda should terrify all of us.

Our ideas will lift people out of poverty, they will guarantee health care as a right for every man, woman and child, and they will make certain that every person in this country with the ability and the desire can get the education they need, regardless of the income of their family.

Ours is not a radical agenda. It's the agenda the American people want.

Their agenda, paid for by wealthy campaign contributors, has led to record levels of inequality, a health care system that costs more per capita than any other developed nation while leaving millions uninsured and underinsured, and grotesque amounts of student debt that rob many of our young people of their futures.

Theirs is the agenda that made Donald Trump possible. Ours is the agenda that will defeat him.

And that’s why it’s so important progressives stand up to their attacks today:

Make a $50 donation to our campaign as a way of saying we will NOT let the political and financial elite scare candidates from supporting a progressive agenda. Make them pay a price for their attacks.

In 2016 we faced the kitchen sink. If we run again, you should expect no less. But the political revolution is stronger and larger than ever, and they will be no match for us if we’re in this fight together.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

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A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+24 # treerapper 2018-12-29 10:43
Dear Bernie - AMEN!!! There are gangsters on both sides of the aisle, only interested in self preservation and in maintaining the status quo of rich over poor. NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! Go forth and RUN.
+20 # diamondmarge7 2018-12-29 11:19
I am with you 100%. May you go from strength to strength, and may we see you as occupant of the WH in 2020. I will donate; I will campaign; I will promote.
+15 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-29 12:36
"If that happens, the political, financial and media elite of this country will stop at nothing to defeat us. "

This is really astonishing because most of the financial, political, and media elites are democratic party supporters, as Sanders says bluntly. They supported Hillary and now they are strongly against Trump. Could it be that they'd rather have Trump than Sanders? I am afraid so.

Sanders is again right on the mark. The real enemy of the people of the US are the political, financial, and media elites who work through both republicans and democrats to maintain their elite status. The real agenda for the next generation is to challenge and up-end these elites. We need peace, justice and economic equity.
+10 # pushingforpeace 2018-12-29 15:33
RUN, BERNIE, RUN!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!
+10 # Jim Young 2018-12-29 16:44
Bernie had all of our family's and friends support last time, we signed up many new voters and brought in dissatisfied Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Green Party and No Party Preference to run as Bernie delegates (20 running for 7 positions, to make sure no position went unchallenged, and all supported the ones selected by the their communities to represent them.

Bernie will always be our first choice on any Ranked Choice Ballot, and we will always work for the best Progressive Candidates we can.

We don't intend to threaten the party establishment as much as show them what most people want (we ask the community members what their concerns are, promote Progressive policies by showing how easily the rest of the developed world succeeded with such policies). We want to educate, motivate, and support those who can believe they have a cause to turn out and support most strongly.

If establishment Democrats want our votes as the second choice, they should earn them, either as second choices in the places that have Ranked Choice Voting, or hope a few more of us turn out to support them against Republicans.

I'll never vote for a Republican until they are no longer a majority, period. Corporate Democrats will only get my vote where there is no Progressive running, and then , specifically to help prevent any chance of a Republican majority.
+5 # lfeuille 2018-12-29 20:03
Come on, Bernie run. Just about anyone can beat Trump at this point but you are the best one to implement the progressive agenda after he is gone. You always say that it is not enough to be against Trump, you have to be for something. Well what you are for is better know than the other potential candidates and is the most progressive in the current field. Beto and Biden could beat Trump but they are not progressives. It would be back to neoliberal corporate corruption with them. Harris and Booker could beat him but their corporate ties make them dubious choices.
+5 # Moxa 2018-12-30 22:37
You are more optimistic than I regarding the electability of the various Democrats you name. I agree that Bernie is by far the best choice, but apart from him, I am not convinced any of the others would beat Trump. Trump has a genius for undermining his opponents. He makes them look ridiculous by finding their vulnerability. On the other hand, I think he is actually afraid of Bernie, while Bernie is not afraid of Trump. Most politicians are extremely compromised and so they are vulnerable. Bernie has none of these vulnerabilities because he has shown himself to be so conscientious and honest for so many years. All the possible attacks on Bernie are contrived; they are not based on anything significant. You could attack him for being a socialist, for example, but this is not a vulnerability because he is PROUD of being a democratic socialist--you can't shame him on it as if it were a liability. Furthermore it is just a word. As soon as you know that it means he believes the government should provide health care and free college to people, the scary word doesn't seem to matter much anymore.
+12 # librarian1984 2018-12-30 10:44
These are Bernie's strengths -- honesty and bravery.

The reason Independents and millennials and people of reason support him is because he's authentic and speaks the truth. In times like these it's the only course -- but it's also the most unappreciated. Look what the Greeks did to Socrates. They should have treasured every day he was alive, and valued every word he spoke; instead they executed him for 'corrupting the youth'. Does anyone doubt Pelosi and the Clintons would do the same to Sanders if they thought they could get away with it?

The only way Bernie prevails is by doing just this -- being transparent and confronting the corruption openly -- and the best way we can help him is to do the same.

Many journalists and politicians are invested in the corrupt system and profit from it. A precious few -- people like Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Jimmy Dore -- those are the ones we should heed and emulate.

When you listen to bullshit, confront it. When you hear lies, refute them. Talk to people. Let's begin to build the REAL blue tsunami.

Great progressive candidates ran in 2018 but were shut out by the DNC and DCCC. Many, hardened by that experience, will run again. Support them. Speak up. It's time for progressivism to emerge and take power from the corrupt a-holes in Washington. The planet can't afford to wait any longer.
+1 # Jim Young 2019-01-06 09:48
Spiro Agnew was far more corrupt than I imagined, and I already imagined him as very corrupt even before I heard Rachel Maddow's "Bagman" podcast, which reminded me of how abusively he described any critics. I can now see Agnew as an early version of Trump style demeaning "truthful hyperbole" (outrageous lies and deflection).

It took me, a 5th gen Republican, loyal my 1st 50 yearsto a party I felt loyal to country and people, a while to get fed up and leave. I did so near the time Elizabeth Warren left, too, after the disgusting Newt Gingrich/Frank Luntz GoPac memo, "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control" started to be implemented more aggressively (a fund raiser asked a few of us to fight dirtier than Democrats). I could never stoop to cesspool levels of Lee Atwater and Roger Stone, though, and left for good in 1996.

Then, as I drove across the US last week, I could only get Rush Limbaugh on the radio. I usually turn off the radio and clean my ears, but stayed as he bragged about being the lead on trash talking the Republican way (he forgot Agnew, who made the same sick claim).

Wikipedia describes Rush's rise well, in the 1980s section. "...Ronald Reagan tore down this wall (the Fairness Doctrine) in 1987 ... and Rush Limbaugh was the first man to proclaim himself liberated from the East Germany of liberal media domination..."

Longer history may show destruction of the Fairness Doctrine threatens Democracy by enabling such unchallenged demagogues.

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