Why I’m (still!) for Elizabeth Warren

Let me answer the title question for the last time until after the Iowa caucus, regarding which the latest New York Times Upshot/Siena College survey has her a distant third behind Bernie Sanders at first and Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg at second.

A queer Latino encircled by fellow citizens of color who assert their identities in the form of pigheaded avowals of fealty to American power, I should feel as comfortable in the Bernie Sanders camp as a kitten on a sofa cushion warmed by a human ass. Then I consider Elizabeth Warren. To have been an Elizabeth Warren in the 1970s and 1980s required a series of compromises and comeuppances: remaining a Republican twenty years after Nixon, marrying poorly, believing in middle class nostrums. It’s harder to be a woman thinking her way out of corners in which male colleagues insist she still belongs. How fortunate to have been a moderately radical man coming of age in the Northeast: he didn’t deal with the institutional sexism of Ivy League institutions; then, decades later, surrounded by the men whom she thought were peers, the condescension and outright hostility from Treasury secretaries in the administration of the president who signed the Lily Ledbetter Act.

Supporters of her avowed friend Bernie Sanders will point to the Vermont senator’s estimable work in civil rights, for example. He was there first. There he was, in fact, in 1961 opposing the racist housing practices of alma mater University of Chicago. He organized with the United Packinghouse Workers of America. Warren, by contrast, spent her early years in jobs expected of a young woman: after a marriage forces her to drop out of college, she lands a job as a special ed teacher but gets fired for the crime of being pregnant — a crime as common as jaywalking in an America that never passed the Equal Rights Amendment. In the eighties during which the president to whose party she belonged she co-wrote a study on the effect of bankruptcy on working families. Sanders as mayor and congressman showed constituents how recognizing their bonds of citizenry magnifies their collective power; Warren recognized how administrative combinations stress if not destroy those bonds. Working from separate but not dichotomous positions at the problem of what Frank Norris called The Octopus, Sanders and Warren demonstrated the potency of an unacknowledged and unwitting liberal-Democratic Socialist coalition in an era when Democrats helped the GOP complicate their work.

I don’t agree with the Chuck Todd-blessed conventional wisdom. She hasn’t “stumbled” explaining M4A or whatever; if anything, her campaign was cursed by a number of moderate voters who mistakenly got the idea Warren was one of them. From the late summer to November she rose to front runner status because the specificity of her policies were recognizable and detailed enough to scare the shit out of Wall Street like Sanders’ broad gestures didn’t, and, to be fair, because American media can’t take a Democratic Socialist seriously. Elizabeth Warren is a Capitalist to Her Bones because like FDR that’s what she knows; as a woman, that’s the system under which she, to quote Hart Crane, made her meek adjustments. She’s a traitor to her class, like FDR, hence the incomprehension of the Larry Summers-Tim Geithner types struck dumb by their inability to buy her off. Incapable of joining a class for whom anti-Semitism remained a superannuated initiation rite and from whom he was alienated anyway, Sanders worked on the peripheries,  being right and first and inflaming the hopes of millions whose belief in the Indispensable Man remains a necessary shibboleth.

It comes down to a simple axiom: it’s so easy for straight white men to be pure. So damn easy.

2 thoughts on “Why I’m (still!) for Elizabeth Warren

  1. Some interesting analyses. Thanks. I agree with much of your commentary, and some not. The incongruities in each ‘track’ of both D & R Parties since the mid 1800s is quite amazing. I am not and have never been a member of ANY party. Neither am I prejudiced toward anyone by skin tone, ethnicity or sexual preference. Amazingly I grew up in Georgia in the 50s, and knew that I could never be as prejudiced as what I saw. Still am not. I was a renegade from bias so far as POC, ethnic ID, and sexual orientation(s).) I admit to having strong ideas and beliefs, and I choose to believe we are all “lesser offspring” of a higher spiritual entity, force, Great Spirit, infinite being, by any other name, or some say God. Yet I believe each has the ability and right to decide and choose whether or not to believe. I do not often discuss or proselytize. Yet my belief helped me to see US as all “apples from the same tree” if you will. SO I do think our beliefs influence the way we interpret things as individuals, and our own experiences form perspectives, so fortunately these overlap in many ways. I am very concerned that the facts and perspective of events and history are being altered by agenda-driven tactics in modern media (to an extent even for decades, but now more so) ON BOTH SIDES of the left vs right – and in our public schools and so-called institutions of higher learning. This is obliquely tangent to your discussion of candidates, so to get back, IMHO the planks in the platforms of the Democratic candidates are antithetical to the survival of the USA as a sovereign nation with capable citizens who help one another. This reveals the Left’s underlying postulate that we are all incompetent, incapable victims of circumstance without hope and individual spirits and abilities to better ourselves without government handouts and eventual total control. They want to punish the capable, and coddle the less fortunate. This demoralizes both segments, and invalidates individual character and ability on both ends of that spectrum. Benevolence, human charity and spirit in unfettered individual enterprise is a more self-sustaining and invigorating philosophy. The Founders saw this, and they argued for years over the best form of a rule book for such a freedom based government. What I call the New Left (athough getting old now!) candidates cannot seem to comprehend that expanded government and Marxist-leaning philosophy negates the individual’s ability and liberty to raise themselves through work and enterprise and even makes them feel better doing so, escaping the human temptation of inactivity, thus raising their spirit and ability. So it is a self-sustaining philosophy. Recommend: Listen to Candace Owens latest talks. PS I appreciate you, and your views, and thank you for them.

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