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The case for Elizabeth Warren

If you’re a Democrat like I am, you may be going into primaries with a mix of hope and terror–the nominee we choose can make all the difference in November’s election outcome, and the fate of the Trump presidency rests in our hands. Thus, I understand the trepidation accompanying many voters’ decisions of who to support. I’m here to tell you why I’m voting for Elizabeth Warren, and how the results of the Iowa caucus could potentially change my vote to one for Bernie Sanders.

Why Warren? To quote Warren herself, “We need a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected.”

The growing economic disparity in America has dire consequences for those not of high socioeconomic status. Absent government funding, fundamental rights like healthcare and education come at a high cost, making social mobility very difficult. 

Additionally, people of color–especially if they’re a gender minority–are disproportionately affected by socioeconomic inequality. I believe a progressive candidate like Warren would help make fundamental structural changes to alleviate the many layers of oppression that exist in our society.

Understanding the necessity of a progressive Democratic nominee, the decision comes down to whether to support Warren or Sanders, both of whom have relatively similar stances on major issues, call for major structural change and run grassroots campaigns.

Both support Medicare-for-all and free college, but Warren’s plans for paying for it and implementing the policies are much more feasible and likely to gain bipartisan support than Sanders’s. For example, while the idea of a wealth tax has bipartisan support, people are much more likely to support Warren’s plan than Sanders’s–hers is much less extreme as the richest tax bracket is taxed 3% versus 8% and those with lower net worths are taxed substantially less.

Contrary to popular opinion, Warren is more progressive than Sanders in many key ways. First, Warren is the only candidate who has promised to not give ambassadorships to wealthy campaign donors. Unlike Sanders, she also believes in reparations for slavery. Furthermore, Warren believes that registration requirements should apply to not just assault weapons but all guns–Bernie is the only candidate besides Biden who believes the contrary.

Electability is hard to predict. For example, will voters prefer someone who provides a greater contrast to Trump in appearance and demeanor, which Warren would present as a female candidate utilizing more politically palatable rhetoric? Will Sanders’s identification as a democratic socialist deter voters? Even utilizing pols, electability cannot be predicted with a great enough certainty to inform my support for any given candidate.

As it has in past years, the results of the Iowa caucus will inform the ultimate Democratic nomination. My fear is that if Warren does not place well in Iowa while Sanders does, voting for the progressive candidate less likely to win the nomination (Warren) could split the progressive vote and result in the nomination going to a centrist like Biden. Thus, if Warren’s favorability plummets, I would happily vote for Sanders. However, unless the favorability discrepancy between Warren and Sanders is particularly significant, I intend to vote for Warren on March 3 and urge you to do the same.