In my freshman year of high school, I remember walking through the Barnes and Noble in Little Rock and browsing books in the politics section when I stumbled on "A Fighting Chance" by Elizabeth Warren. I'd read a good review of the book in a newspaper and decided to buy it.
Over weekends, I would sit on my favorite couch in the living room and read it, with rays of sunlight illuminating the pages. This was my first introduction to Elizabeth Warren. I got to learn about her childhood and the financial instability she experienced after her dad had a heart attack when her mom had to go back to work in order to support her family.
I read about her path to becoming a Harvard Law professor, her expertise in bankruptcy law, her appearance on Dr. Phil which made her famous, her work creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the financial crisis of 2009, and her race to become Massachusetts' first female Senator. I came away with the impression that Warren was funny, smart, and most importantly passionate about creating a society based on equal opportunity, where everyone has a fair shot at the American Dream.
Elizabeth Warren isn't your typical politician. She started off as an academic and the thing I love about her most is how much of a policy wonk she is. So far, she has proposed far more detailed policy proposals than any of her 2020 competitors. Already, her proposals are more specific than anything Bernie Sanders proposed in 2016.
She's trying to ensure that this is a primary of ideas, not some superficial competition based on charisma or the vague and elusive concept of "likability". Elizabeth Warren doesn't just offer pretty words or empty slogans. She offers thoughtful plans to address the many injustices that we face in our country from breaking up Big Tech to taking on Big Agriculture to creating a Universal Child Care program.
Elizabeth Warren, more so than any other political figure, understands how capitalism works. Unlike Bernie Sanders, she rejects the label of socialist because she understands that markets, under the right rules and regulations, can generate enormous wealth and prosperity for everyone.
But the problem with capitalism is that the free market enables the emergence of big corporations who then try to tilt the field in their favor. So if we truly care about economic fairness, we have to save capitalism from the capitalists. Elizabeth Warren would do this and has big, bold proposals to wrest political and economic power away from big corporations and reclaim our government for the people.
Her Accountable Capitalism Act would require 40% of large corporation boards to be elected by workers, ensuring that labor has a voice at the table and incentivizing CEOs to stop focusing exclusively on delivering profits for shareholders. Her Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act would effectively end lobbying as we know it, ending the immense influence corporations have over the government. Her antitrust and monopoly proposals would promote more competition, something even the most die-hard free market fundamentalist should support.
Capitalism thrives on competition but when big businesses dominate the economy and government so much that they squash their competitors, this is not a fair economic system. This doesn't benefit everyone; it only benefits the rich. Elizabeth Warren's proposed policies would fundamentally alter our political and economic system to restore economic fairness.
Elizabeth Warren is an intelligent woman and I'm sure that makes many men uncomfortable. But I can't think of anyone better to follow the unintelligent embodiment of toxic masculinity that currently occupies the Oval Office. Perhaps nominating a white man is the safer option. Maybe a white man would be more "electable."
But a vote for Elizabeth Warren is a vote for the future instead of a rerun of some idealized past, a vote for a progressive vision where a woman from humble beginnings can run for office, win and lead the most powerful country on Earth. In 2008, many Americans were inspired by Obama's calls for hope and change.
Well, a vote for Elizabeth Warren is an act of hope, a belief that our country can overcome its flawed past and be the best version of itself, and an action for radical change that can truly ensure that our government and our economy work for all of us, not just the wealthy elite.
Now more than ever we need a warrior for fairness and justice, we need a reformer to fix these broken systems, and we need a champion for working-class and middle-class Americans. In my view, Elizabeth Warren is the perfect woman for the job.