As it now seems that each passing Tuesday may bring further confirmation that Bernie Sanders will not be the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential race, a particular era of left organizing is coming to a close. Bernie’s 2016 presidential run, which sparked new life in the US left, and his 2020 run, which was at least a distant glimmer on the horizon for much of the intervening years and which has dominated political life on the left for the last few months, were unlikely catalysts for a reinvigorated socialist movement.
But it certainly does not seem like there is another Bernie waiting in the wings. Bernie is an anomaly; his political trajectory is, of course in some sense, the product of the material conditions of the last few decades, but if this were the dominant reason for his unique political role we would expect to see more people like him. There are high-profile politicians with similar politics, but none who have any real shot at becoming president for the foreseeable future. The door to the highest office of the foremost imperial power seems as though it is about to close indefinitely for the left, and the left ought