One prominent newspaper in Vermont is literally begging Bernie Sanders not to run for president in 2020. They’re worried of a repeat of 2016 where Bernie doesn’t get the Democrat nomination but splits the party.
Here’s an excerpt from the Barre Montpelier Times Argus:
Bernie Sanders should not run for president. In fact, we beg him not to.
That is an unfavorable opinion, especially among most Vermonters and progressives who support the platform that has come to define him. But at this point, there are more things about another Sanders run at the White House that concern us than excite us.
In this space, we have repeatedly hit the senator on where his loyalties lay: Vermont or a bigger calling? We have asked him to make a choice, which he would argue was his recent re-election to Congress. But in his previous run for the presidency, Sanders, an independent who ran for the White House as a Democrat, missed dozens of votes that likely would have helped Vermonters. And, while he handily defeated his challenger, can Vermonters point to Sanders’ record and say definitively, “This is what he’s done for us?”
While he makes regular visits “home,” you are more likely to catch Sanders on Colbert, CNN or MSNBC than you are to see him talking to reporters here in Vermont. Evidently, microphones here don’t extend far enough.
But that’s not our greatest concern. We fear a Sanders run risks dividing the well-fractured Democratic Party, and could lead to another split in the 2020 presidential vote. There is too much at stake to take that gamble. If we are going to maintain a two-party system, the mandate needs to be a clear one. There is strength in numbers, and if anything has been shown in recent years, it is that unless tallies are overwhelming, there can always be questions or challenges raised over what “vote totals” really mean: popular vote vs. Electoral College results.
Here’s the problem. What they’re describing here could happen with or without Bernie. There will be other Bernie-like Democrats running for president in 2020. So even if Bernie doesn’t run, the same thing could very well happen.