Left-leaning leaders across the world are pushing their weight behind Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator, who failed to beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries, nonetheless boasted a mass appeal — evidence of which was the massive amount of funding he had been able to secure for his campaign. Even this time around, Sanders is reported to have raised $18 million in the six weeks since he announced his campaign, according to The New York Times. But this time, there is something else he seems to have won over as well.
Sanders, whose 2016 campaign lacked a clear direction on foreign policy and was consequently attacked by his rivals as being lightweight, is already getting encouragement and good reviews from a number of left-wing leaders, according to Politico. Leaders from South America to Europe to the Middle East are looking at Sanders as the candidate who could overturn the rise of global right-wing populism. Evo Morales, the socialist president of Bolivia, expressed confidence in Bernie Sanders’ ability to win in 2020.
“We are confident this progressive leader will have a strong support from the people of the U.S. Democratic revolutions are built upon democratic elections,” Morales wrote on Twitter.
In the United Kingdom, supporters of the Labour Party are already imagining a world where Sanders and Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, would share a “special relationship.”
Laura Pidcock, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said Sanders is not just a candidate, but much more.
“Over the moon that @BernieSanders is running for President in 2020,” Pidcock wrote.
“Bernie was never just a candidate, his campaign was a movement, galvanizing millions & offering hope across the globe.”
Progressive leaders in Israel, Canada, Spain, and Germany have also expressed their admiration for Sanders, primarily due to the Vermont senator’s concern for the healthcare of Americans, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and for his advocacy on climate change. Stefan Liebich, a Left member of the German Bundestag, even posted a picture of himself with a Sanders figurine and the hashtag #feelthebern on Twitter.
— Stefan Liebich (@berlinliebich) February 20, 2019
But not everyone thinks gaining positive reviews from left-wing world leaders is good news for Sanders. Many believe that being associated with ultra-left leaders will obstruct the Democratic socialist’s cause, rather than enhancing it. Jennifer Holdsworth, a former staffer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 bid, said that Americans do not necessarily view Democratic socialism as inherently good, and that might be a cause for concern.
“There is a danger to collecting maybe not endorsements, but positive reviews from far-left politicians around the world when American voters are still not quite sure about how they feel about democratic socialism,” she said.