A lot of progressives have been disappointed in Elizabeth Warren’s decision to not run for president. She’s been on the forefront of issues that are important to the working class, and is one of the few elected officials in Washington that follows through on her promises.
But a recent article on Salon.com helped change our perspective on the issue. Maybe the best place for Elizabeth Warren really is in the U.S. Senate and not the White House.
When you think about it, we are running out of real leaders in Washington, and even within the Democratic Party. As the Salon article points out, the last great leader of the Democratic Party was Ted Kennedy who passed away in 2008. So for the last 7 years, the Party has been looking for a leader to fill that void created by his passing.
Yes, we have lots of people who are helping to steer the party in the right direction – Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse – but Elizabeth Warren is someone that is truly in the position to lead the Party from within the Senate. The fact that nearly every statement she makes about her policy proposals makes headlines, and that’s because she speaks with passion, authority, and conviction. This is why she is the best choice to lead the Democratic Party in the Senate.
When members of Wall Street issued their ultimatum to the Democratic Party recently, they specifically singled out Elizabeth Warren as the person causing such a headache among bankers. They wanted the current party leadership to make her quiet down about the rampant corruption taking place at the big banks or else they wouldn’t be so generous when it comes time to make campaign contributions. When you have an entire industry – an industry that basically controls the economy – afraid of you, that shows that you have the power to shake things up.
And that’s what the Democratic Party needs right now as we head into election season – someone who is willing to shake things up. Someone that is willing to stand up to the Goliaths of industry and say “no, we’re not going to sit by or be paid off so that you can destroy our economy.”
That’s what the party needs, and we need that voice in the legislative branch, not the executive branch. As we’ve seen from Obama, Presidents are actually fairly limited in what they can do on their own. A Warren presidency, if coupled with strong Republican majorities in the House and Senate, could prove to be just as disappointing as Obama’s presidency has been.
But if she continues to lead the conversation from the Senate floor, she will have the ability to change the narrative, to force discussion on issues that matter, and to keep some of the most vitriolic and extremist Republicans in check. And that is greatly needed.
And this isn’t meant to undermine any of the other progressive Democrats in the Senate or the House – we do have some great leaders in Washington. But we need a unified voice – someone that we can rally behind to get things done. After all, the lack of a leader is what has caused such a massive rift in the Republican Party between the extremist Tea Partiers and the more moderate, classic Republicans. We can’t afford to continue on without a leader, and that is why Elizabeth Warren is right where she needs to be, as a leader in the US Senate.
The latest available studies tell us that American citizens are actually in favor of progressive ideas, just not progressive politicians because they see them as weak.
The 2014 midterm elections showed this shift in attitude. While many progressive and Democratic politicians were voted out of office, but progressive initiatives were passed by huge margins. Legalized medical marijuana passed in several states, a city in Texas managed to ban fracking, and areas all over the country passed increases to the minimum wage.
The difference between an issue and a candidate is that the issue doesn’t change with the current political tide. An issue can’t flip flop based on public opinion, or make absurd statements that live forever on YouTube. The Democratic Party is filled with wishy washy candidates and politicians who try so hard to be liked that they will change their position to whatever they think voters want to hear. And not surprisingly, that turns voters off.
On both sides of the aisle, voters are looking for someone who stands by their statements, stands by their record, and says exactly what they mean. For Republicans, that is very dangerous since they have some very damaging ideas for how to run the country. But for someone like Elizabeth Warren, it is seen as a breath of fresh air. Warren, Bernie Sanders, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Sherrod Brown are all politicians who stand by their words and have the voting records to back up what they say, and that’s what American voters are looking for. And its up to people like Warren to lead the rest of the party in order for them to continue winning elections.