Bernie Sanders, the runner-up of the 2016 presidential election's Democratic primary, announced this week that he will be entering the 2020 race with renewed enthusiasm and the same policies. Although Sanders’ chances of winning are low after he came up short in the past election cycle, they are now even slimmer because of the sheer number of candidates competing for the presidency.
However, don't mention any of this to Bernie’s borderline fanatic supporters. One subsect of his celebrity-esque following, the college-aged fans who earned the name Bernie Bros, possesses more zeal for Bernie’s potential election than they do for their own poli-sci degrees. These protest attendees seemingly have little to relate to the Larry David look-alike, but Patagonia wearers young and old do have one thing in common: an unabashed love for the crown jewel of Vermont.
The contradictions of a political campaign resemble the tendencies of those comprising its following, and Bernie Bros, who will sulk through an hour-long visit with their grandma but will happily line up all day (rain or shine) to attend Sanders' support rallies, are no exception. The politician’s age, which is people within his age bracket see as a hindrance, is something younger generations find fashionable, as they view his political impatience as endearing. If old is in, Sanders is very in.
In addition to his age, Sanders’ success has a measurable monetary value, as he generated twice the amount of donations within four hours of his announcement as fellow candidate Kamala Harris did in a full day. This is all to say that although Sanders’ ambitious policies have prompted a significant amount of exuberance from his fans, they may not be able to succeed within a political environment in which right-wing extremism is on the rise. However, if you ask Bernie’s brand of young, white, wealthy, social justice warriors: Bernie or bust.