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Sábado, 13 de febrero de 2016
You are, of course, free to disagree with them. But you need to carefully explain why you disagree.
What evidence do you have that suggests that these scholars’ conclusions – which are based on history and data, not just gut feelings – are wrong?
There are two unacceptable answers that I’m sure will pop up again and again from readers. One is to dismiss all such analyses as the product of corruption – they’re all bought and paid for by Wall Street, for instance, or the analysts are just looking for a job in Hillary Clinton’s administration. No, they aren’t.
The other answer is to say that you’re willing to take a chance on Mr. Sanders because Mrs. Clinton would be just as bad as a Republican. That’s what Ralph Nader’s supporters said about Al Gore in 2000; how’d that work out?
I have some views of my own, clearly, but I’m not a political scientist – I just read political scientists and take their work very seriously. What I do bring to this debate, I hope, is an awareness of two kinds of sin that can corrupt political discussion.
The first, and more obvious, sin involves actually selling one’s views. And that does happen, of course.
But what happens even more, in my experience, is an intellectual sin whose effects can be equally as bad: self-indulgence.
By this I mean believing things, and advocating for policies, because you like the story rather than because you have any good evidence that it’s true. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years going after this sort of thinking on the right, where things like the claim that former Representative Barney Frank somehow caused the financial crisis so often prevail in the teeth of overwhelming evidence.
But it can happen on the left, too – which is why, for example, I’m still very cautious about claims that inequality is bad for growth.
On Mr. Sanders’s electability, by all means consider the evidence and reach your own conclusions. But do consider the evidence – don’t decide what you want to believe and then make up justifications.
The stakes are too high for that, and history will not forgive you.