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Currently, I am a Fellow for the Entrepreneurship for Good Program (Future of Audio Entertainment Challenge) at The DO School. I am a media professional, social entrepreneur and storyteller who experiments with media and art to document life, and I have worked with nonprofits, governments and campaigns internationally. I have an M.Sc. in Social & Cultural Anthropology from the London School of Economics & Political Science.
We were told that Medicare for all, a $15 an hour minimum wage, free tuition at public colleges and universities, aggressively combating climate change, demanding that the wealthy start paying their fair share of taxes, we were told that all of these concepts or ideas, that the American people would never accept. Well, three years have come and gone, and as a result of millions of Americans standing up and fighting back, all of these policies and more are now supported by a majority of Americans.
The above is a quote from Bernie Sanders as he prepares to run for the 2020 presidency in a notably crowded Democratic field that includes Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and many others, while some have yet to officially announce their entry.
In this episode, Eric Lach is in conversation with Benjamin Wallace-Well, The New Yorker's expert on American politics and society, who has been following Bernie Sanders and his role in shaping the Democratic party since the 2016 election. Initially, branded as an "insurgent revolutionary," Sanders was never what constituted a typical Democratic candidate due to his ideology and his brazen deliverance. However, he gave rise to a generation of believers because within 24 hours of declaring his presidential run for 2020, he amassed $6 million in small donor funds.
The two-party system may not be the best, but it is adaptive and understands survival. Even though Sanders does not have the insider status of other prominent Democrats, he is no longer an outsider shouting from the sidelines. He resonates with a significant base that pushes the Democratic party to look at its own structural deficiencies and pay attention to an evolving voter mindset.
Although it is too early to predict what will happen in the upcoming election, it is apparent that Sanders is not just a mere contender and perhaps, he may cause another wave of self-reflection for the Democratic party.