Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the Democratic primary race after discouraging results in the Super Tuesday primaries. Since this happened, I have heard various reactions as to how Warren should act moving forward, and who she should endorse. My Twitter feed has been shifting between people either pressuring Warren to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders, or her supporters commenting on this pressure as a lack of respect towards her candidacy.
This constant back-and-forth has made me reflect on where I stand on how Warren should move forward.
I became a committed Warren supporter early last summer when I got the opportunity to hear her speak in Elkhart. She had everything I wanted in a presidential candidate: energy, enthusiasm about her work, and plans for everything. She also told me that I should never crouch for a picture with shorter people, which was a plus.
From that point forward, I knew that she would make a fantastic president. This only became more evident to me during the Democratic debates, where she continued to detail her ideas for racial justice, universal healthcare, a wealth tax, canceling student loan debt, and so on. Where Biden was rambling, she was clearcut; where Bernie was angry, she was level-headed yet aggressive; where Buttigieg was apathetic and robotic, she was passionate.
Now back to the current debate about endorsements.
The reality of the situation is that Bernie’s supporters are made up of a much higher number of young people, people of color and people living in poverty or in the working class compared to Warren. Comparatively, Warren’s supporters were of higher socioeconomic status’ and mainly white. I hope these don’t come off as generalizations, because both campaigns had more diversity than many of the other candidates, but this comparison is still important to recognize.
It also needs to be said that sexism was a real and powerful player in Warren’s unsuccessful bid for the presidency. In many ways, Warren seemed like a highly qualified candidate who constantly went above and beyond in her policy plans. But when it came down to it, she was always held in Bernie or Biden’s shadow. Something about her was never “enough” for most voters in the United States, and that something was her gender. There is no doubt in my mind that she would have garnered more support and eventually would have become president if she were a man.
Since March 3rd, I have seen people framing Warren’s decision not to endorse Bernie as a privileged position that leaves fellow progressives in the dust as the field narrows. I’ve also seen the argument that her appearance on Saturday Night Live this past weekend means that she is choosing to have fun rather than helping Bernie’s campaign. In response, Warren supporters are calling out this “absurd” pressure on her, given that she has already spent so much time in this fight, and that a short appearance in an SNL sketch doesn’t necessarily mean that she is ignoring her power.
While I do hope she endorses Bernie as a fellow progressive candidate (and soon), she is also being heavily critiqued, and my impression is that the level of pressure being put on her campaign is driving a wedge between progressive voters. I would imagine that if Warren’s supporters actually believe in what she was championing, they would switch to Bernie in a heartbeat. However, the lack of respect towards her supporters is proving to be harmful to the overall progressive movement.
I hope that progressive supporters can come together no matter where Warren lands. If successful, this will be a strong statement to defeat the Democratic establishment backing Biden and his supporters. We can then move on to dealing with Trump.
Elizabeth Warren has been, is, and will continue to be a powerful force in government and I hope that this is not the last time that she considers running for president. Thank you, Elizabeth, for continuing to push progressive ideals, sharing your plans for the future, and also single-handedly destroying Michael Bloomberg’s regressive, Trump-like presidential campaign within the span of 2 hours. Your campaign meant a lot to so many people, and we really messed up by not electing you. This country still needs you and needs to support more women like you, even though it refuses to do so now.
I wish I could be voting for Warren, but I will be voting for Bernie in the Indiana primary as he is the only viable option left who will make a lasting improvement in this country.
If you are able to, vote. Even if you are not personally affected by the current administration and the policies it is imposing, it is your responsibility to use that privilege to stand against the harm our current president is causing for so many people. Voting is of the utmost importance during this election year and will drastically change the lives of many people in this country and in the world.