The cartoonist and writer Ted Rall, author of a new biography of Bernie Sanders, wrote a good article about how the political differences between Sanders and Hillary Clinton can be explained by the fact that Sanders grew up poor whereas Clinton didn’t.
One of the differences between people who grow up poor vs. people who grow up middle class is that the latter on average are better able to delay gratification in anticipation of future gains.
Middle class moralists like to say this is because poor people lack strength of character. I say the difference is that is hard to take the long-range view when you’re not sure week-to-week whether you will have food on the table or be able to pay the rent.
Psychological tests show that middle-class children on average are more likely than poor children to refrain from eating a marshmallow if they are promised a second marshmallow in return.
Middle class moralists say this is because middle class families have better moral values. I say the difference is that it is easier to delay gratification if your life experience is that people keep promises and that nobody will snatch away what you have.
Bernie Sanders grew up in a home in which his parents lived paycheck to paycheck and never could be certain of the future even on a month-by-month basis.
Hillary Clinton never experienced anything like this. She and her husband said they exited the White House $10 million in debt, but there never was any danger they would have to live on Ramen noodles or live in a homeless shelter.
So Sanders is passionate about immediate and drastic reforms of the economic system, and Clinton tells working people and the unemployed to be realistic and settle for tiny incremental under the existing system.
For Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, Politics Is Personal by Ted Rall via Counterpunch.