“The Republicans are misreading the moment,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), an outspoken liberal on issues like climate change. “We have never been more fired up.”
In fact, some progressives have invoked Trump’s upset 2016 win as an argument for taking a bold strategy into 2020 — evidence that Democrats should focus more on articulating popular core values and less on worrying about the practicalities. In the same way Trump fired up his base with pledges to build the wall and make America great again, progressives believe Democrats can piece together an even bigger coalition by branding themselves as the party of universal health care and economic equality.
“You could actually credit Donald Trump for this,” said Faiz Shakir, the new campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 run. “The kind of not giving a crap what others think, or what his critics think, and just plowing ahead with a vision has made progressives hungrier for a version of, well, what would that look like [on the left]?”