Friday, February 19, 2016

Sanders Overreaching


I suspect one reason for my saying that Sanders wildly overreaches when he calls for political revolution is autobiographical. In the late 60's/70's, when I was the age of the young people Sanders is trying to reach, and who seem to favor him over Clinton, I felt, correctly, that this country was in a deep crisis, and, more foolishly, that my generation was part of a vanguard capable of revolution.

We had more reason for feeling that way than today’s young, what with assassinations, riots, the War in Vietnam and seismic changes in both Western and Eastern Europe. To cut a very long story very short, nevertheless, we were deluded, and, before too long, self-destructed.

Today's young have less actual history to feed the delusion that this is a revolutionary moment. Among other things, today's young are not being drafted to fight and kill in a war they despise. And I feel Sanders does everyone a disservice by propagandizing for utopian change when what's needed is incrementalism, locking in the kinds of changes Obama has brought about in order to make them irreversible,  and to build on them.

It's senseless to talk about revolution now, when there is no revolutionary movement or spirit and Americans are afraid and have a right to be afraid of attacks by the likes of ISIS, al Qaeda — and a nativist, militarist, racist, reactionary right.

In 2012, when Paul Krugman argued for Hillary Clinton as opposed to Barack Obama I thought he was dead wrong. I haven't changed my view. I'm glad for Obama. Today, though, when Krugman argues strenuously for Hillary, I don't discard or forget all my many reservations about her but nevertheless conclude that he's completely right, and that Sanders, though a better soul, is nevertheless, in terms of this campaign, a second coming of Ralph Nader.

Nader is not the only reason Gore lost in 2000, far from, but was one of them.

And the result was G.W. Bush.

It likely won't be a Bush this time but, should Bernie carry on too long, a Trump, Cruz or Rubio, all disastrous.



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