With the first Democratic primaries and caucuses just weeks away, the 2020 presidential election will be one of the most consequential elections in my lifetime. The recent escalation of tensions with Iran, worries of World War III, climate change, and threats to American democracy both foreign and domestic, many of you feel the same, I am sure.
But who then is best equipped to undo the damage that President Donald J. Trump has inflicted? Who is best equipped to take America in a new and more positive direction? Who should I support?
I am gay. So should I support Mayor Pete Buttigieg? A President Buttigieg would be historic for gay men throughout the country. Beyond that, I can’t find much to be excited about. While I value his experience as a mayor and veteran, I worry that he lacks the experience to navigate the current political landscape in Washington, D.C. Furthermore, he has yet to endure a coordinated Republican smear campaign. I would rather see him return to South Bend and dedicate himself to improving his relationship with the African American and Hispanic communities.
I am also a second-generation Asian American. So should I support Andrew Yang? Surely having the first Asian American president would be historic as well. But I find myself cringing whenever he pulls out stereotypes like “Asians are good at math” on live television. By going on national television and parading around stereotypes about Asians, he is undoing the very progress to dismantle those very stereotypes and dismantle the myth of the “model minority.”
I am also a young professional working in the gig economy without health affordable health insurance and I am up to my eyeballs in student loan debt. Nearly all the Democratic candidates have some sort of approach on this issue, with Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren proposing to cancel student loan debt. On health care, the candidates’s proposals range from building on the Affordable Care Act, to Medicare for All.
But for me, getting it 100% right on policy isn’t enough. For me, I want assurances that the candidate knows how Washington works and how to both work within the system and disrupt it when need be.
For me, that candidate is Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Senator Warren has spent her life studying bankruptcy law and consumer finance. Warren successfully pushed for the creation of and led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has fought and recouped millions of dollars for American veterans, students, and families. I had the opportunity to intern at the CFPB in 2016 and I saw this work firsthand. I also got to meet Senator Warren when she visited the agency.
As a senator, Warren knows the inner workings of the U.S. Senate and the challenges a president faces with Mitch McConnell as the majority leader. A President Warren would be able to go toe-to-toe with Leader McConnell.
In addition, as so eloquently put by Vox’s Ezra Klein, Elizabeth Warren understands the political landscape, how complexity is wielded by lobbyists and sophisticated corporations, and the importance of the administrative state, which some dub as the fourth branch of government.
Senator Elizabeth Warren can also speak about racial equity in a way that goes beyond overtures and helps the average person drill down into the roots of many of the injustices and inequities that exist in modern America. Warren put this on full display at the 2019 She The People Presidential Forum.
And finally, I find her authentic and genuine but in an awkward and wonky kind of way. Which, in my book, is damn presidential and in stark contrast to the current occupant of the White House.
While not exhaustive, these are some of the reasons why I support Senator Elizabeth Warren to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.