I am an Iowan and, as an Iowan, I had the privilege of participating in our nation’s first caucus. I caucused for Warren. I think she’s brilliant. She’s kind, she listens, she’s thoughtful, she’s truthful. she’s a genius. She’s not perfect, but I like that she’s clearly trying to do better. She is everything in the world that our current president isn’t. She reminds of many of the women leaders in my own field that I admire and if she ever reached out to me in any way for my expertise, I would be at her disposal. I’d be on a plane tomorrow.
Seriously. Call me, Liz.
I don’t necessarily agree with all of her policies. I don’t entirely understand how she would quantify wealth in order to tax the most wealthy among us, and I am not sure Medicare For All is financially sustainable, but I think she’s thoughtful and I think she’d surround herself with wisdom. And, I can clearly remember the moment I became “Ride or Die” for Elizabeth Warren…
It was the moment Bernie tried to gaslight her during a debate and she stood up to him. She approached him and confronted him. It was the “I think you called me a liar on national TV” that earned her my undying affection…and gratitude. I can’t count the number of times in my career I’ve left a meeting and thought, “Did that really happen?” The number of times I’ve second-guessed myself because a man made me feel small. The times I’ve asked someone, “Did you really just say that to me?” to have my concerns dismissed. The number of times I have brought a colleague to a meeting, just to have ears there and confirm that I had an accurate recollection of events. And why? I’m a pretty brilliant woman, myself. I have advanced degrees and am reasonably successful in my career. There’s nothing wrong with my memory. It’s that the gaslighting can be stifling.
It’s because women are constantly gaslit when they point out the shenanigans some of our male colleagues pull in the spirit of their own advancement. I will forever be grateful to Elizabeth Warren for showing other women that we don’t need to accept being treated this way. At that moment I also realized that I can’t support Bernie.
Bernie is a liar. We already have a liar-in-chief. His main concern is his own electability. What’s the evidence for this? He doesn’t talk about how we treat each other. His own rhetoric encourages the worst behavior in our party. He doesn’t admonish his supporters for their behavior toward the pubic and the media. He gives no sign that he respects anyone past their support for his vision. He might want to give you health care and college, but everything else he seems to bring to the table, we’ve already got. In spades, wearing red ball caps. I want no more of it.
Bernie showed his true colors and we have a responsibility not to ignore them.
Biden was not my first choice. I was a Warren supporter and I’m disappointed. But, I feel the need to push back against the current rhetoric that if Warren is a “progressive,” she has no choice but to support Bernie. Or that Biden and Bernie are the same as 70 year old white guys. That’s not true. At the core of progressive politics is respect for personal dignity and the honoring of individual, basic human rights. Bernie is not the only Democrats to advocate for this. He’s not even a Democrat. He is a huge dick and a liar and if there is one thing our country doesn’t need right now, it’s another huge dick and liar in the White House.
I’m disappointed a brilliant, capable woman will not be our president, but I’m also not willing to lump Biden in with Bernie. Cranky ole Uncle Joe is known for his occasional gaff, but he’s also the guy who rode the train to work from Delaware 8,200 times because his family needed him after his first wife died. He’s the guy who gave John McCain’s eulogy and sincerely comforted his family, knowing their pain because his own son had succumbed to brain cancer. He’s the guy who stood up for his second wife’s ability to be referred to as “Dr. Biden” because she had earned her degree. And, he’s the guy who always had the back of our first black president. I’ve shown my children this video of Joe Biden in the years before this election as an example of the integrity and collaboration of two men from different backgrounds and life experiences, working together to try and make things a little better. Sometimes I still watch it when I need a reminder that people can work together. It still makes me teary-eyed. I get teary-eyed because I love our country too. I don’t think we need to make it great again. In ideals, it’s already great. We just need to make sure everyone has access to its greatness and that’s what needs to change.
Biden’s not perfect, but he’s got three qualities I admired in Warren – he’s honest, he tries hard, and he listens. He’s not always made the best choice, but I think he learns. I think he thinks there are things he should have done differently and I think he feels the weight of duty. He may not be perfectly polished, but he has empathy.
I get no sense of that from Bernie. What I do get is a profound lack of self-awareness that will lead him to trample over people that don’t agree with him. He will most certainly trample over women’s voices. We’ve seen it in 2016 and again in 2020. There is no evidence that President Bernie will behave differently than Candidate Bernie.
There is no way to reconcile feminist ideology with a vote for Bernie. None. It’s not worth giving up the ground we’ve gained as women for Medicare for All or dealing with the student loan crisis because I don’t think there is a lot of light between Biden and Bernie on these issues anyway. The execution maybe, but not core progressive principles.
What there is, is a light between them in terms of how they treat women. If you were a Warren supporter, there’s really only one path forward.