Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Ian Welsh: Why I support Bernie

Excellent support rationale. He said:

"So, I wrote the simple argument for Sanders. He plans to help the most people and it isn’t close.

To me that’s the role of government: to help the most people. There are things that only government can do or does best, and making healthcare universal (whether single payer or not), fixing student debt, and fighting climate change are three of those things. The private market isn’t going to do those things by itself, it needs the government to set things up so it makes profit doing them (for whatever pieces of health care or fighting climate change the private sector’s help makes sense.)

Many argue, “but he may not be able to pass this stuff.”

Here’s the thing. A candidate who isn’t strongly committed to passing universal health care won’t pass it. A candidate who isn’t strongly committed to fighting climate change won’t.

And Presidents have a LOT of power that doesn’t go thru Congress. Simply letting the Environmental Protection Agency do its job goes a long, long way. Deciding that conforming mortgages require energy neutral low carbon houses goes a long way. Choosing who runs the Federal Reserve, goes a long way. Treasury policy matters. Anti-trust policy against companies jacking up insulin prices is entirely possible, if desired.

Likewise the President has an effect on mid terms. A popular President simply makes the case that the Senate is blocking him. If Sanders does popular things in the first two years, more people will come out for his candidates in 2022.

But the simpler point is just that someone who doesn’t want to do the right thing won’t even try for it. Obama didn’t. We now know he had completely written off the public option for his health care plan before negotiations even started, for example.

Sanders has been fighting for these causes for decades. We can trust he believes in them because he fought for them when he was  nearly alone, and when it would have been easier for him to conform to the neoliberal consensus.

He’ll keep fighting. Maybe he won’t win, but a President who can be counted on to actually fight to do the right thing is a HUGE step towards the right things being done and makes a win far, far more likely. The power of the Presidency is huge, and people forget that because people like Clinton and Obama pretended weakness when trying to do left wing things because they didn’t actually, ever, want to do them.

Elect Sanders. Support him. If he does good things in the first two years, he’ll gain support, and that will translate into seats in the Senate and House. That will mean more good things, and more support.

That’s how it works.

But to get the right things done, you first have to elect someone who wants to do the right things.
The democratic nominee who consistently wants to do the most important thing in the biggest way is Sanders.

So support him."

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