2020 Candidate Spotlight: Elizabeth Warren

I have to be honest.  Elizabeth Warren has been rolling out policy plans like a Seth Abramson thread, and it’s pretty damn amazing.   A sheer contrast to Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s, “Storytelling First. Policy Details Later” approach. Warren has released over 20 public policy stances since announcing her bid for President in 2020, and I am here for all of them.

One of the main policy issues that have drawn my attention is Warren’s stance on eliminating the Electoral College.  On March 19th of this year, she announced during a town hall on CNN that its removal was necessary in order to have every single vote count. Republicans, especially after benefiting in the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections, have become staunch defenders of the current system. I agree with Warren.  The Electoral College, as it stands, with defenders decrying “unfettered democracy,” is not fulfilling its purpose nor is it serving to bolster faith in the government. During the same town hall, she stated that yes, states absolutely do make a difference, but simply switching the focus to swing states away from large states forces presidential candidates out of their comfort zone and into rural and urban areas of the country.  There’s no reason that one state, Ohio, which by the way is where I reside and is a totally red state, should always decide the election. Think about this. Let’s say you live in Florida, or in Michigan: do you believe it’s fair that your state determines who becomes President for the entire country? Does that bother you at all? It’s something to consider, as this is a strong policy stance for Warren.

So, as I open up this vetting piece on Elizabeth Warren, it’s important that I start by sharing that with you.  Why? As we forge ahead, I strongly urge our elected officials and each of the Democratic Candidates to become crystal-clear that Russia’s persisting invasions of our democracy are unacceptable.  The Electoral college does nothing to help prevent that. We must work with the democracies who are still our allies to improve the norms and ideally, jointly, stop this from happening on large and impactful scales.

I’m realistic.  I understand that doing this is not an overnight fix, and it’s certainly not going to instantly change the behavior of authoritarian regimes like Russia. But hopefully, joint efforts will energize and attune democracies’ responses and actions towards Putin, MBS and the like.  Over time, those responses can be advanced to give even Putin pause for interfering. I do believe that every avenue should be looked at and we cannot do it without our allies across the globe. I’m confident that Elizabeth Warren could be a candidate to help us restore our reputation and re-strengthen our alliances.

We have seen what complacency has done to this country, and while I strongly support all of the highly talented and effective candidates running, unfortunately, ALL of the women candidates deserve a lot more media attention than they are currently receiving, so it’s important for us as independent journalists to help you, and ourselves, decide.  While these pieces will certainly not do justice to any debates that will be forthcoming, it’s important we start to take a look at more than just likability. It’s also time we look at other possibilities besides a male candidate, and until the rest of society catches up, it’s up to us to keep that hope alive.

Over the next few weeks, we will break down the policies of the other candidates in a similar fashion and look at their chances of beating Trump, and what we can do to ensure that happens, so you can vote for whomever you choose. Remember, that’s the important thing at the end of the day.  I’m NOT fully endorsing any candidates until after the debates and the final nominations, but you may hear me say I agree with a candidate or that one of their policies touches me personally more than others. That’s what this is all about.

Be sure you check out #DemCast to stay up to date on the latest information about this life-changing election cycle and also check out this column each Wednesday for the next 30 days to stay up to date on the amazing women candidates, and their campaign progress.  

Let’s start with the main point.  Can Warren beat Donald Trump in 2020?

Can Elizabeth Warren Beat Donald Trump in 2020?

Before we continue to have the discussion about whether ANYONE can beat Trump in 2020, it’s important to point out that our elections are severely under-protected at the moment, and apparently have been for some time.  I truly have a deep concern that if we do nothing, and merely rely on votes, we will again have an “installed” and not “elected” candidate. With that being said, I bring this up to point out that Warren has stated that America’s global reputation will continually disintegrate if we, the citizens, do not address a struggling educational system, drug addiction, and other problems at home.  And while she warned that the U.S. must protect its elections from foreign attacks in the wake of Russia’s alleged interference in 2016, she also spoke out against domestic policies that make it harder for Americans to vote (while some candidates apparently think it’s time to sit in a circle and story-time with graham crackers). What we need is a policy and plan in place to prevent foreign influence in our elections and create avenues and ways that make it easier for hardworking, tax-paying citizens to participate in the free and fair election process upon which this country was founded.

To cut to the chase.  We need to be more diligent about being aware of the voting machines being used in our individual districts and work toward helping others become aware.  On top of that, we need to stay on top of legislation passed in our states that would make it harder for our fellow citizens to vote and then bring awareness to those issues.

Now let’s move on and talk about Warren’s ability to beat Trump if we have done all we can to secure the elections and made sure every single person who has a right to vote, can and does.

Again, since these pieces are about women, in last week’s article, Spotlight on 2020 Democratic candidate: Kamala Harris, I clearly laid out the case for why a woman can beat Trump.  I won’t regurgitate them here, but let’s get out our checklist. You should have one for Kamala Harris from last week so we’ll do a new one for this week with Elizabeth Warren, and write ELIZABETH – WINNABLE FACTORS at the top, and let’s list them out.  At the end of the series, we will have a visionary board of sorts, with all of the women candidates that we can share and most importantly discuss. Right away we can put Woman at the top and move on.

Here’s our WINNABLE FACTORS Checklist

✅ She’s A Woman

US President Donald Trump said he would “love” to run against Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren who has entered the 2020 race for the White House.  Unlike his zippered mouth stance on Kamala, it appears that at least in his mind, he can beat her. OR is it becoming crystal clear that he targets those he IS afraid of.  Let’s keep a pin in that as we cover the rest of the candidates.

A former public-school teacher and then Harvard law professor, Warren has been a vocal advocate of consumer and workers’ rights. We can start with Warren’s scathing criticisms of Trump’s trade policies, elimination of consumer protections, and his embrace of authoritarian regimes.  We can continue with her call in September for Congress to use a constitutional maneuver to remove him from office. Her outspoken suggestions have gathered Trump’s attention, and his disdain. But, to some, that is a good thing.

Nate Silver said on Twitter that Warren “probably has a better chance than Sanders of bridging the gap between the left and the party establishment.”  Plus, “She’s always raised a ton of money. Voters know what she stands for. Women did well in the 2018 primaries,” Silver added.

Warren has built the framework of a serious campaign, with a staff of more than 70 people, over $12.5 million left over from her successful re-election effort, and a nationwide network of contacts and supporters who are still contributing to her campaign.  She’s recently raised campaign funds to the tune of $6 million in the first quarter. Money is a key component to being able to beat Trump, and this puts Warren dead smack in the middle of the 2020 Democratic candidates.

Top 20 contributors to Campaign Committee & Leadership PAC combined (Source: Open Secrets)

Rank Contributor Total Individuals PACs
1 Harvard University $133,884 $133,884 $0
2 EMILY’s List $128,200 $123,200 $5,000
3 Womencount PAC $110,512 $107,507 $3,005
4 Brown Rudnick LLP $105,625 $100,625 $5,000
5 University of California $89,985 $89,985 $0
6 Massachusetts Institute of Technology $69,615 $69,615 $0
7 Nuance Communications $67,750 $67,750 $0
8 InterSystems Corp $51,366 $51,366 $0
9 Boston University $51,288 $51,288 $0
10 Blue Haven Initiative $51,200 $51,200 $0
11 Stanford University $48,725 $48,725 $0
12 University of Massachusetts $47,971 $47,971 $0
13 Alphabet Inc $47,104 $47,104 $0
14 Berger & Montague $44,591 $44,591 $0
15 Northeastern University $44,330 $44,330 $0
16 Charles River Ventures $40,500 $40,500 $0
17 Lieff, Cabraser et al $39,746 $39,746 $0
18 AT&T Inc $39,407 $39,407 $0
19 League of Conservation Voters $37,725 $34,194 $3,531
20 Alsop Louie Partners $37,300 $37,300 $0

Warren is swearing off high-dollar fundraisers and receptions and phone calls with wealthy donors as part of her 2020 presidential run. The move is a challenge to her fellow competitors, and if you look back at last week’s article on Kamala Harris, you will see she’s had $34,000 (from 8 companies) in PAC contributions, compared to Warren’s $18,005 (from 3 companies).

In an email that Warren wrote to her supporters via Medium, she denounced holding any fundraisers with individuals who can write her a big check.  That means limiting special access based on the size of the donation. She also has committed to not phoning wealthy donors to ask them for her support.   She stated the following:

“For every time you see a presidential candidate talking with voters at a town hall, rally, or local diner, those same candidates are spending three or four or five times as long with wealthy donors — on the phone, or in conference rooms at hedge fund offices, or at fancy receptions and intimate dinners — all behind closed doors,” she wrote.

Why is this important or relevant to her beating Trump?  Barack Obama in 2008 said he wouldn’t take money from PACs or federally registered lobbyists, but he still didn’t cut off access to high-dollar donors.  Warren’s 2020 primary opponents seem to be making a similar calculation that while small-dollar donations are important, high-dollar fundraisers still need to be part of the equation as well.  What Harris and Gillibrand are failing to realize is the power of grassroots and online fundraising and activism, and what that says to voters.

To me, personally, I have no qualms about where candidates get their money, as long as the company upholds the same moral standards as the candidate.  What I do have a problem with is solely relying on corporations and SUPER PACs as if to say that the grassroots activism and online fundraising campaigns aren’t enough to help candidates get elected.  Her statement on that has weighed heavily on my mind as we try to register voters and convince people to get involved this election cycle. Bottom line. We matter. #BigGrassrootsEnergy

“Think about the difference, once we’re down to the two candidates, if the Democrats have spent the next year in a primary building this thing face-to-face, person-to-person, neighbor-to-neighbor across the country; think of the foundation that we have laid down so that when we’re really up against it in the general election,” she told Hayes. “It’s not just money to fund television ads — it’s all the folks who will do the door-knocking, it’s all the folks who will make the phone calls, it’s all the folks who will reach out to their network.”

Before we move on, let’s recap on our checklist of WINNABLE FACTORS so far.

✅ She’s a Woman with strong women’s support.

✅ She’s a fierce advocate for voter rights and election integrity.

✅ She has a ton of financial support needed to win.

✅ She’s refusing donations from high-dollar fundraisers and Super PACs or Corp PACs which means she has faith in the grassroots efforts of people like you and me.

✅ She’s been personally attacked by the President on numerous occasions.

But is that enough to beat Trump in 2020?  Let’s take a look at her 7 most common policies that every American has an interest in that could definitely advance her chances in the right direction.

Elizabeth Warren’s Presidential Policy Examination: 7 Issues of Importance

Healthcare:

In March 2018, Warren introduced the Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act, which aims to make the health insurance plans available through the Affordable Care Act marketplace more affordable. Under her plan, no one would pay more than 8.5 percent of their income on premiums, according to the Huffington Post, and financial assistance would be given to some who buy health insurance on their own. She does support a Medicare for All plan but offers this as a way to protect those who buy through private insurance. (Read more about the bill, here.)

Social Issues for Women:

The U.S. has the worst maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world — and black women are disproportionately at risk. (Per the CDC, an average 12 in 100,000 white women in the U.S. die from complications in a live birth; that rate is severely higher — 40 per 100,000 — for black women). On Monday, Warren unveiled her plan to decrease maternal mortality rates for African-American women.

Her plan includes giving medical providers “bonus” funds if they lower those numbers, according to CNN. Warren said at an event in Houston, “And if they don’t, then they’re going to have money taken away from them. I want to see the hospitals see it as their responsibility to address this problem head-on and make it a first priority. The best way to do that is to use the money to make it happen because we gotta have changed and we gotta have changed now.”

In addition, Warren has been a consistent champion for women’s rights, trying to help pass the Equal Rights Amendment, defending Planned Parenthood, and speaking out against laws that would restrict a woman’s access to abortion, like a proposed 20-week abortion ban in 2015.

She’s also supported the #MeToo movement and victims of sexual assault.  In a January 2019 interview with The Cut, Warren stated,

“The #MeToo movement is grassroots at its most powerful. It’s the reminder that we are stronger when we stand up for each other… Now the job of Congress is to change the rules around here so that we live our values every day, and we hold each other accountable. To pass rules to support people who’ve been sexually harassed all across this country.”

Immigration and Border Security:

Warren was against the Trump administration’s 2018 zero-tolerance policy, which separated parents from their children, telling CNN, “I think we need immigration laws that focus on people who pose a real threat. And I don’t think mommas and babies are the place that we should be spending our resources. Separating a momma from a baby does not make this country safer.”

She’s also called for the abolition of ICE, stating we need to replace ICE with “something that reflects our morality and that works,” and she has called President Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall “dumb,” according to the Boston Globe. “But it serves the president’s purposes, turning people against people, particularly against people of color, and stirring up the fear and hatred he so actively promotes,” she said.

Gun Reform:

During a recent CNN town hall, Warren made her stance on Gun Reform quite clear.

“So, here’s how I look at this. Laws should reflect our values. Laws are about our morals,” Warren replied. “And, right now, across this country, we lose, on average, seven teenagers every single day to gun violence. Just pause for a minute and think. If we were losing seven children every single day to some mysterious virus, man, we’d be pulling out all the stops to say, ‘What can we do to change that? Where’s the medicine we need to develop? How can we respond? What do we need to do?'”

Warren went on to suggest that absolutely nothing is being done to curb gun violence.

“But, instead, with gun violence, right now, we don’t do anything, not even the most sensible kinds of things. Background checks at the federal level. No fly, no buy. Like, if you’re on the terrorist watch list, maybe you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun,”

Climate Change:

“We have to rebuild our infrastructure to deal with climate change that is bearing down upon us. The urgency of the moment on climate change cannot be overstated. It’s upon us and we need to make a change and make a change fast. And that means in part rebuilding our power grids, our entire infrastructure system. We need to harden against the coming storms. Underpasses and overpasses and bridges. We need a 21st-century infrastructure that accounts for coming changes in climate, and we need it fast.”

Warren has endorsed the Green New Deal presented by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that aims to drastically cut carbon emissions. Warren said the revenue from her Ultra-Millionaire Tax could help pay for some of these proposals to combat climate change. Her proposal sets her apart as one of the most progressive candidates in the field.

Education:

Warren has proposed universally free public higher education so that we don’t find ourselves in another student-debt crisis. This component of her plan entails free tuition and zero fees for Americans attending two-year and four-year public colleges. The proposal also includes a component to invest an additional $100 billion in Pell Grants to assist lower-income and middle-class students and cuts off federal funding to for-profit colleges.

Furthermore, she seeks to create a $50 billion fund for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions, to require public colleges to complete annual reviews into the enrollment and graduation rates of lower-income students and students of color, and to ban public colleges from considering citizenship or criminal history in their admissions processes.

Racial Inequality

From the very first day of the 2020 presidential race, when Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts blamed “generations of discrimination” for black families earning far less than white households, Democratic hopefuls have broadly emphasized racial justice and closing the wealth gap in their policy platforms.

Warren also said she supported reparations for black Americans impacted by slavery — a policy that experts say could cost several trillion dollars, and one that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and many top Democrats have not supported.

The Warren campaign declined to give further details on that backing, but it came amid her calls for the federal government to provide special home-buying assistance to residents of communities that were adversely affected by “redlining,” the discriminatory practice of denying mortgages, usually in poor and nonwhite areas. She also announced a sweeping universal child-care proposal that could strongly benefit minority communities that often have limited early childhood services.

The morally driven policy goals of Warren reflect a wider paradigm shift in the legitimization of race and identity issues in the Democratic Party, according to several scholars and political leaders who have spent their careers studying and analyzing the intersection of race and politics. While Democrats have long considered themselves to be the more inclusive party, grass-roots organizers, activists and many Democratic voters of all races are now demanding that our elected officials go a step further on policies of racial equality, regardless of any political aspirations.  We haven’t seen much of that across the aisle.

While these policies are in no way comprehensive of the full scope of what Warren has rolled out, these are the ones that I often hear people talk about the most.  Feel free to research how she feels on other issues personally important to you and then add them to your WINNABLE FACTORS Checklist.

Can Elizabeth Warren Actually Be Effective As President?

I’m not going to make this a long drawn out thing in the coming weeks.  This to me is more of a personal question that each voter has to answer for herself/himself. Do YOU personally feel that she can represent you, and this country effectively?  How are you basing your decision? Is it merely on personality or is it because of her policies and past record?

Two Key things I think are important about her effectiveness level:

  •  In addition to Amazon, Warren has long talked about breaking up big tech companies like Google and Facebook, by taxing billionaires like Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos. Her Ultra-Millionaire Tax would apply to the richest 0.1 percent of Americans, taxing households with a net worth of over $50 million, estimating such a plan could raise $2.75 trillion over a 10-year period.
  •  Warren’s long been in favor of empowering the American worker over intercontinental corporations.  It’s important to note that Trump has resisted this idea— a significant reason why he was so successful in Rust Belt areas where factories had been aggrieved by prior free trade deals.

Where Can Elizabeth Warren Improve in Her Campaign?

I’m going to keep this short and simple for Warren.  The less she can stoop to Trump’s level and keep doing what she is doing the better.  She is down in media polls but if you look at her policy, her tax returns, her stance on election interference and the many issues Americans are facing right now, she’s on the right path to success.

The second piece of advice I have for Warren is to keep herself differentiated from Bernie Sanders as much as possible.  They harbor similar beliefs about progressivism and what’s wrong with America and have great ideas about how to fix those issues.  He’s running comfortably ahead of her, according to polls, so the split in progressive votes could possibly go to Bernie with him having such a head start.  I don’t agree, but realistically, it puts him in a better position to survive the grueling primary process.

The third piece of information is to avoid discussing her failed attempt at a clap-back and subsequent apology for her mistaken Native American heritage.  It’s been haunting her since the whole scenario with Trump played out in the media. I’d advise her to seek their support but stop apologizing and move on.

Other than that, she’s got a clear chance of winning the primary.   I wish her the best of luck as with any other candidate running on the Democratic platform.

So, here’s our WINNABLE FACTORS Checklist In Closing.

✅ She’s A Woman.

✅ She’s a fierce advocate for voter rights and election integrity.

✅ She has a ton of financial support needed to win.

✅ She’s refusing donations from Super PACs or Corp PACs which means she has faith in the grassroots efforts of people like you and me.

✅ She’s been personally attacked by the President on numerous occasions.

✅ She has a plan to reverse the infant mortality rate among black women.

✅ She proposes universally free public, higher education with a focus on HBCUs.

✅ She has a demonstrated understanding of how to begin to have the talk about racial inequality.

✅ She knows climate change is real.

✅ She’s not just saying gun reform, she’s actually proposing policy to fix it.

✅ She’s called for the current abolition of ICE as it stands & supports asylum.

✅ She’s determined to create legislation that allows women to control their own bodies.

✅ She can be an effective leader.

✅ She can beat Trump if she stays focused on policy not trading shots.

Is this enough information for you to start to consider her a viable contender?   If not, find out what is as I roll out the other candidates. Compare them to your DREAM CANDIDATE checklist.  Until then, find ways to get active in grassroots activism both online and offline.

How To Support Elizabeth Warren

We have to team up with boots on the ground activists and encourage them on social media.  As #DemCast points out,

Door-to-door canvassing, phone-banking, and postcard-writing are all accepted forms of Democratic volunteering, and they’re acknowledged as such by candidates and campaigns nationwide.

In 2018, on the heels of Russia’s cyber-attack on our nation, another form of campaign volunteering sprang forward: digital activism. There are two key roles filled by digital activists that are important to highlight.

Also, volunteer and donate to your candidate of choice.  Let’s wait until the debates happen and weigh out all the candidates.  If you support Kamala Harris, here’s how you can do so. As I cover the other women, I’ll be sharing their information as well.

Volunteer at #Demcast and get your digital activism education, training, and support.  @DemCastUSA on Twitter is a great place to start!

Campaign Website: https://elizabethwarren.com/

Campaign Website: https://www.flickr.com/photos/146043801@N08/with/31817149657/

Campaign Social Media

Campaign Website – Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elizabethwarren/

Be sure to check out next week’s article on Amy Klobuchar, another formidable female opponent in this race.  Until then, be sure to, again, check out the other amazing writers at DemwritePress.com and also feel free to join the grassroots digital activism hub for a blue wave #2020, #DemCast.

If you have any candidates you want me to profile, please let me know in the comments. Until then #Stay Woke and make sure you get involved on and offline with equal enthusiasm.  Our democracy is at stake and a simple Tweet and frustrated 280 rant is not going to help us, at the end of the day. I often have to check my own rage at the door and delete tweets I shouldn’t have said.  We can all have our own opinions, our own voices, our own convictions. The point is to find that common ground that we all share, putting egos aside and being able to compromise to save our democracy, not just in 2020 but beyond.  

Let’s get at it.  I’m ready. Are you?

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Renee’ s Column, “Dem Words: Wednesday Words of Wisdom”, breaks down everyday issues from the perspective of the black community.

Her hope is that through her words, she can get more people in her community and across America to become consistently involved in our democracy and become educated and re-informed about how politics does, in fact, affect our every day lives.

Everyone of every race, religion, gender, and creed are encouraged to read this blog each Wednesday and increase your awareness of the African American experience. This is for everyone….so we never have to worry about history repeating itself! Let’s say enough is enough and let’s stay engaged, and keep those around us engaged as well!

If you want to have your voice heard, be sure to reach out to DemWritePress, and click on Write For Us!

#DemocratsForDemocracy  #DemCast  #DemWords #ElizabethWarren  #POTUS2020

One thought on “2020 Candidate Spotlight: Elizabeth Warren

  1. I really wish people would read Hillary’s policies. Obviously Warren has since many of her policies are directly lifted from Hillary Clinton’s policy platform still available online on her website and elsewhere. I also wish Warren would give credit where it’s due. Harris, Beto & Castro (to name the main ones in my head) all have completely original policies so I actually think they are more amazing. But it also would have been good if all these people fawning all over Warren for “her” policy ideas had given Hillary the same courtesy and read her policies & listened to her speeches about them when SHE was proposing them, instead of focussing on ridiculous emails & how she dressed & then waiting for some other politician to copy them.

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