Amid the world’s chaos — which is exactly why this is the right time to talk about this — I’d like to step back and talk about why I’m all in for Elizabeth Warren
Last night, we had our local Warren organizer, Zoe, who is great, over for dinner.
We talked about things we care about: reproductive justice, racial justice. Social justice. Debt-free education. Climate change. Healthcare. And so on.
There’s a lot of things to care about — worry about — right now. I bet you care about a lot of these things because a lot of people do.
A lot of people whan to see something different. They want to see meaningful change.
“The door for real change has opened a crack.” Real change. Big, structural change.
This morning, I woke up to The New York Times’ profile of Elizabeth Warren, listening during my morning run through the darkness.
It focused on the time, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when a door was open a crack. Through that opening Warren pushed the establishment of a consumer safety agency for financial products.
You know it today as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The CFBP is good for people. Big bank folks kinda hate it because it means regulation and accountability. Some politicians kinda hate it because people in big banks kinda hate it.
But accountability and regulation is good. Not ruining lives because of bad financial products is good.
Warren’s able to push these things because she has the ability a good teacher has to explain complex issues clearly, and she can do it to big audiences. That’s her super power.
That and empathy. She cares.
Anyway, Warren’s moment starts with her puking before going on The Daily Show.
It ends with her offering a masterfully clear vision of where we go “after we pull the bus out of the ditch.”
So she’s got plans. Green New Deal. Blue New Deal. Plans to farmers and workers. Plans to address immigration and our climate crisis and transition to Medicare for All. Lots of plans.
And you can go and read them.
But what runs through them all of her plans is accountability and empathy. Lost in the talk about her progressive stands is that they are centered on anti-corruption.
We don’t make progress on issues we care about because the system isn’t set up for most of us. Our current administration is corrupt and abhorrent and our president should be impeached. But our problems didn’t start — and won’t end — with Trump.
We’ve nibbled around the edges for years. I’m tired of trying to start in the middle and getting steamrolled. So is Elizabeth.
“You don’t start out by saying there are people who are going to oppose this, so let’s just ask for 2 percent.”
Elizabeth Warren can compromise, but we’re going to have to fight for even moderate changes, so why only ask for a little?
We want to get the money out of politics, but when I get calls from folks who are running for office asking for money, the ask always starts this way: “Gosh, we gotta get the money out of politics. But until then, can you write me a check?”
Elizabeth is walking the walk. She knows we’re not going to get the money out of politics by keeping money in politics. Or that we’re going to get transparency from our politicians unless we get transparency our political leaders.
She keeps asking why things that are popular with voters don’t get traction in Washington. And the answer she keeps coming to is corruption. Power and influence and money and access. Systemic, built-in corruption. And it’s been here.
“It’s about having a vision about who you want to work for.”
Elizabeth Warren knows who she wants to work for, and she’s doing the work to show she’s legit.
The door is open a crack. Don’t be afraid to put your shoulder down and push hard.