With nearly 10 million votes in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries — and over 13 million in the 2016 primary preceding it — it is evident that there remains strong grassroots support for Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders and the progressive politics that he advocates.
The recent election of former Vice President Joe Biden to the White House would typically preclude Sanders’ elevation to Commander-in-Chief. However, there are still five little-known loopholes by which Bernie might occupy the Oval Office.
Mr. Vice President
As a 77 year old American male, Joe Biden has a little over a 4% chance of dying in the next year, according to data from official United States Social Security Administration actuarial tables. However, with the average US life expectancy having recently declined to 76 years, the President-elect statistically only has -1 years left to live.
Biden’s expected and timely death a year ago from now would leave the remaining five years of his presidency to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Seeking to attract progressive support for her administration, Harris could select Sanders as her new VP, where he would then be one stress-induced heart attack or stroke away from the presidency.
Labour Secretary Sanders
Persistent rumours indicate that the working class-oriented senator has been eyeing the Labor portfolio in the upcoming Biden Administration. As Secretary of Labor, Sanders would be in a position to implement some of the employment reforms he campaigned on, such as a $15 minimum wage and increased collective bargaining rights. More importantly, he would be 11th in the presidential line of succession.
With Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (2nd in line) currently 80 years old and Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Grassley (3rd) recently turned 87, one or two broken hips and a strong gust of wind would mean that the VP and remaining Cabinet (1st and 4th–10th respectively) are all that stand between Bernie and the presidency. From there, a straightforward bombing at a State of the Union address should suffice.
The Green Mountain Republic
The State of Vermont is one of only four US states that were previously independent nations, and a strong undercurrent of sovereigntist attitudes remain among its populace. By taking advantage of growing dissatisfaction with ‘establishment’ politics, Sanders could channel said attitudes towards the secession of an independent northeast with himself as chief executive.
While Vermont’s incumbent Governor Phil Scott would likely oppose Sanders claiming the nascent presidency, a quick trial by a newly established Committee of Public Safety would allow Sanders to get ahead. This would free his attention enough to deal with the 1.3 million members of the US Armed Forces who are likely to politely contest the existence of the new nation.
Iä! Iä! Bernie fhtagn!
According to geological surveys, the fertility of New England earth is due to the region’s subsoil layer being rich with the corpses of elder gods. Unique among vertebrates, elder gods have a tendency to be less deceased than is typical for formerly-living organisms, since that is not dead which can eternal lie and with strange aeons even death may die.
With Sanders already polling at 63% approval among Vermonters religiously affiliated with Yog-Sothoth, one or two Senate appropriations bills allocating funds to the revival of mind-shattering monstrosities is enough to guarantee that Sanders clinches the presidential nomination of the Esoteric Party of Dagon in 2024. This practically guarantees him the presidency in 2027 when the awakening of Cthulhu abolishes the Democratic and Republican parties as part of a general rollback of the laws of time and space.
A $2,500 Change in President
Amid changes to the Professional Experience Year program by the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, President Kristopher Cousinioris narrowly survived the end of his political career with 63% of electors calling for his removal. By leveraging discontent with the rising cost of professional education — a policy plank he is familiar with — Sanders is perfectly situated to be elected president of the Engineering Society. Although currently ineligible due to not studying engineering at the University of Toronto, the winter semester registration deadline of December 11 gives Sanders plenty of time to become valid on the ballot.
Even prior to his registration as a U of T engineering student, it would then be a fairly straightforward matter for Sanders to bribe popular EngSoc publications with exactly $12,578,376 per newspaper to endorse both a second recall vote of Cousinioris and his own bid for the presidency. Toike Oike sources indicate that Sanders — a stellar advocate for students’ rights over his forty years of government experience and a generally incredible human being — would be able to successfully convince the FASE to return PEY to its original fee schedule, as well as reduce tuition costs to -$16,000 per year and cancel final examinations permanently. Cousinioris is unlikely to do this.