We are unwittingly living in the reality TV show that is the 2020 presidential election. The U.S. for some absurd reason has the most protracted voting process in the developed world. Spanning more than a calendar year, the process of selecting a president becomes hysterical. Between scandals, shouting matches, social media wars and the nastiest mud-slinging that would make Andrew Jackson’s rotten cheeks blush, these stories overwhelm the airwaves. With every day that drags on, the election becomes less about policies and more about drama. Nov. 3, 2020, will be the world's highest-profile popularity contest. Candidates turn into celebrities. Debate stages turn into boxing arenas. Quotes into books. The respective front runners Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have offered their fair share of entertainment.
However, it’s time to get real. The election of the president is so much more than securing a win for a particular side. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts distinguishes herself by staying away from the political games that mire presidential campaigns. She is a serious candidate with serious proposals.
Warren is the right candidate to be the Democratic nominee and is the only candidate truly ready to be president. She best embodies the actual role of a president, which is to serve the people. The responsibilities are to represent the will of their constituents — which is the whole country — while effectively enforcing the laws that are put forward by a bipartisan lawmaking consensus. Whatever political party is on the ballot before the election after we count the final electoral votes, Warren will assume faithful representation of the entire country, however they cast their votes.
The U.S. population is about 327 million in all. Roughly 66 million adults voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, and another 62 million voted for Trump (never mind any effect that Russian interference might have had). Regardless, the results show that there is a stark divide within the American public. Whether we continue with this divide is the next question.
I realize this might be a vast oversimplification; these are issues that are deeply rooted in matters of identity in the minds of many Americans. Terms like lifelong Democrats, lifelong Republicans, the party of Lincoln and Reagan, the party of Roosevelt and Obama, “Yes We Can,” MAGA, and now even Bernie Bros are all various levels of attachment to political platforms that are insubstantial. Rigid political attachment to any platform and, subsequently, any individual can be dangerous. Popular perceptions tend to portray flexibility as flip-flopping. However, we need leaders who can change and have changed themselves, precisely like Warren.
Warren would be the fairest candidate, choosing not to represent only those who loyally adhere to her ideology and policy priorities. This ability to be fundamentally more open to others comes from her unique political transformation. Once a fierce believer in free markets, it is well established that Warren registered, identified, and voted as a Republican for a sizable portion of her personal and political life. She has only identified as a Democrat since 1997.
Furthermore, she grew up in a lower middle class Methodist family in Oklahoma. Warren has even described how, when she was young, her family's car was repossessed for failing to make loan payments because her father had to change jobs after a heart attack overwhelmed them with medical bills. Her mother was forced to start working in the catalog-order department at Sears, and Warren eventually started waiting tables at her aunt’s restaurant. Also, after deciding to say home to care for her first daughter during first marriage, she would go on to enroll at Rutgers Law School and later graduate with her juris doctorate while pregnant with her second child. In an era where voters feel forgotten and underrepresented, she has an opportunity to connect with a broad base of middle-class voters. Moreover, as a woman in a crowded field of once again mostly men, she is the only remaining candidate who still can give voice to the inherent obstacles of being a woman in America.
To appease the progressives among you of concerns that Warren would be a passive president, they should take note of Warren’s great successes as an advocate and lawmaker. She forcefully pushed for more stringent banking regulations in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis that would become part of the Dodd-Frank Act. She provided oversight over the implementation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Commentators have repeatedly held Warren’s positions to be in conjunction with those of Bernie Sanders. Though they have similarities, of course, Warren’s differences on distinctive issues like healthcare, housing and an environmentally sustainable future are apparent. Warren has displayed a nuanced, wonky and targeted approach that she explores in detail in her platform. Whatever the issue, she’s got a plan for that.
Elizabeth Warren is by no means a perfect person or presidential candidate. She has readily apparent faults and criticisms, chief among them the controversy surrounding her ancestry and her relations with the Native American community. However, Elizabeth Warren is a populist. She is a transformative figure and the compromise candidate between the two camps of the Democartic Party. Despite the negative connotations of these labels, they are vital qualities that make a good leader. Our democratic republic calls for a leader to be selfless, objective and have the best interests for all their people. The fact that Elizabeth Warren isn’t a hardliner points to the dexterity and openness of her psyche. The last thing we need is for an egomaniac to continue his political rampage onto an unwilling, yet helpless populace. We need competence. We need to do what is best for all of us. We need Elizabeth Warren.