The Warren Conundrum

As 2019 rolls along and various Democratic candidates make their pitch in a crowded field, I keep being impressed by Elizabeth Warren. Before I go any further, I should make clear two things:

1) Every Democratic candidate has their flaws. There’s no such thing as a perfect candidate and looking for someone who passes a 100% purity test is a vainglorious exercise.

2) I will vote for whomever the Democratic nominee for President is. To vote for Trump, vote third party, or to not vote at all (which is basically a vote for Trump because he succeeds when voter turnout is depressed) is morally reprehensible. To not vote for the Democratic nominee is to say that there were good Nazis in Charlottesville and that throwing children in cages is okay. If that’s your morality, so be it, but don’t pretend to be something you’re not.

That being said, I think Elizabeth Warren has emerged as the only serious candidate among a crowded field. Biden has way too much crappy baggage. Sanders has big plans but doesn’t seem to really have a handle on the policy. Buttigieg doesn’t seem to recognize the shortcomings of his policies towards race, and scaling up from South Bend, Indiana to the U.S. could have serious consequences in a racially diversifying nation. I could go on and on, but I want to talk about why I like Warren.

Warren knows her shit. She recognizes the problems facing our country and comes up with good policies to help them. The Native American thing was a major unforced error, but if you think that was anywhere near as bad as anything Trump has done, you are a total fucking idiot and nothing I can say will ever change your mind.

My concern about Warren is that she’s too good, and the systemic misogyny and idiocy of our country won’t let her win. People say they care about policy, but that is a lie. Our Presidential race is a popularity contest, and the media needs it to be a horserace so you’ll keep watching. They can’t make Trump better, so they’ll just say Warren (or whomever the nominee is) is just as bad. What was Hillary Clinton’s cardinal sin in the reporting? She misused e-mail. This somehow became the basis for an entire narrative that she was untrustworthy so folks should just stay home or roll the dice on a guy who had to pay $25 million for his fake university, but was somehow less untrustworthy.

You can argue that Trump now has a record to defend, but Trump doesn’t operate in reality. He just lies and lies and lies and nothing touches him. People won’t hold him accountable just like they didn’t hold George W. Bush accountable for lying us into a war. Americans like incumbents because they don’t demand anything of us. Change is scary, and if you don’t have to force it, go with the devil you know. And if the media tells you one candidate is just as rotten as the other, then does it even really matter? May as well stay home and be content that you’re above such nonsense. Sure, people are suffering, but they’re not people you know. You’ll never meet an immigrant child who has been separated from their parents. You’ll never be near a white supremacist rally. As long as the economy is stable, your life is fine.

Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic, but I’m looking at the variables and I don’t see what changes the status quo. I think the problems Warren would face are similar to what others would face (again, compounded by misogyny) but it’s particularly infuriating because she’s showing she’s the real deal. And we’re going to let her pass us by because we’re too foolish to understand how doomed we are if we continue on this current course.

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 politics

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