I’ve been getting frustrated reading Krugman lately. I don’t completely disagree with anything he’s said, but I don’t like it. He’s a supporter for single-payer healthcare, as am I, but he thinks it is completely politically unfeasible at the present time and not worth pursuing with the ACA. He doesn’t think Sanders is un-electable, but thinks Clinton is the stronger candidate, because she’s more pragmatic and gradual in her progressive policy, and has survived decades of attempted character assassination from the right.
I’m not really prepared to say he’s wrong, but I don’t agree. I’m definitely a Sanders supporter at this point. I definitely will vote Clinton if she gets the nomination, of course. I know he’s more of a radical, and I know the Presidency is a tricky position, more one of influence than power.
I’d love to see single-payer healthcare, but I’m honestly not super optimistic Sanders will achieve it, and I recognize he may spend a lot of political capital trying to make it happen without a lot to show for it if he’s elected.
My worry is long trends and dealing with them now before the hole we have to dig ourselves out of as a society is even deeper. We have returned to historical norms for wealth inequality (and didn’t history mostly suck, for the man in the street? Or at least, hasn’t it gotten a lot better over the last 80 years or so?). We also have Citizens United and massively increased access to political power for those with large amounts of wealth at their disposal. The middle class is shrinking, and we’re becoming a working class nation. Women’s rights are under assault, the Supreme Court is under siege by conservatives, and several justices are well above average retirement age.
Clinton is a vote for gradual progress and a general maintenance of the status quo. Unfortunately, not all challenges we face are static, or gradual in nature. Things are getting worse and with the potential to rapidly accelerate. Accumulation of power isn’t linear, it’s multiplicative. The more ground we lose, the faster we lose the ground we have.
Krugman seems more comfortable with the predictable, and the certain. That doesn’t make him a bad person, but my conscience dictates supporting a needful dose of radicalism, and that means Sanders.