I’m endorsing Elizabeth Warren because she is an organizer, knows how the U.S. government works (and doesn’t work), and knows how to listen and how to communicate. I believe she will be a great partner to activists of all kinds on all our basic needs and to local and state governments. She is a model of women’s public authority.
ENDORSEMENT 2020: Elizabeth Warren for U.S. President
Two weeks ago, I woke up from a Sunday nap realizing that, in my sleep, I had decided to endorse Senator Elizabeth Warren for president in 2020. I was surprised because it went against all my past history of not publicly endorsing candidates. This has largely been because for most of my voting life—since 1972 when I turned 21—I have waited until election day, when I enter the voting booth, to make my choice. I like the shared experience of Election Day and I like to give myself as much opportunity to gather information as I can. This is especially true in a primary, especially in the crowded Democratic primary of 2020.
Waking up from my nap, I was also surprised because I had not felt any urgency to make a decision before the March 17th Illinois primary. But it seems as if the universe did feel some urgency about my decision. So here it is:
I endorse Elizabeth Warren for President in 2020 with enthusiasm, with anticipation, and with a sense of the best ideals of the U.S. finally being born organically (from the earth by women) rather than constructed (on a limited foundation by patriarchy).
Warren’s platforms are well thought out and concrete. The details are discussable, not framed in platitudes. More than any presidential candidate in my memory, Elizabeth Warren seems willing and interested in sharing power and working together.
Here is the link to Warren’s New Farm Economy plan, which is very good, although one farmer friend (George Naylor) thinks she (and other candidates) would do well to understand the difference between COSTS of production vs. COST of production (Clarity on Parity blogpost, price support vs. income support, Jan. 21, 2020). Civil Eats is documenting and analyzing candidates’ food & farm platforms here including other planks that impact rural communities. I agree with most of their analysis.
Most importantly, Warren is not afraid to criticize the U.S. or to use the word “corruption” to describe our current reality.
In short, she seems the model of women’s public authority that I aspire to, a clan mother as described by Prof. Barbara Alice Mann: “a mature woman acting in her official capacity…public in every way” including duties that are “political, economic, judicial, and shamanic” (spiritual) (p. 16, Iroquoian Women).
More reasons to vote for Elizabeth Warren
Here are some clips of Warren as well as links to others’ endorsements.
Eliz. Warren on financial regulation, 1792 to present
The Daily Show 2008
Eliz. Warren on women’s dominion over our bodies & abortion rights
New Hampshire debate Feb. 7, 2020
New Hampshire voter Twitter thread (10) by RL Abramson
Jan. 31, 2020
“EW would be a more effective executive/manager.”
Gaslit Nation podcast (Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa)
2 min. audio, Jan. 22, 2020
This candidate helps us sleep at night.
Need to view issues holistically.
Begin to gut out corruption and cruelty at its roots.
Will choose other good people.
Rep. Jamie Raskin
6 min video, Jan. 22, 2020
Who will break our downward moral and political spiral?
Who can work with Congress and the people to make America an instrument of strong democracy and freedom in the world again?
Who will recapture the moral center of America?
practical institutional alternatives
organized the Senate, organized the House even before she was a senator
guts, courage, political skill
Des Moines Register Jan. 26, 2020
Endorsement: Elizabeth Warren will push an unequal America in the right direction
Lawrence O’Donnell — MSNBC host
Jan. 26, 2020
‘Warren is a real government mechanic who wants to get under the hood.’
On-going Issues with Warren’s Campaign
Here are a few issues I still have about Warren’s campaign. None of these are deal-breakers, but they need to be addressed. I will be questioning her campaign about them over the next few months.
1. THE MONEY QUESTION
Even though Warren clearly understands government finances and financial regulation better than most (if not all) candidates, I don’t think she has yet asked The Money Question:
— Who creates new U.S. dollars?
— How do new U.S. dollars enter the economy?
This is not a personal failing since most U.S. voters and officials in the 21st century haven’t asked themselves that question. But it was a common and real question for the first 100 years or so of the U.S. Unfortunately, in 1913, when the Federal Reserve was created, counterfeiting by commercial banks became legal (fractional reserve lending). Now, in the 21st century, more and more people—grassroots, scholars, economists, etc.—are asking The Money Question. It’s a disconnect for Warren to tout her belief in capitalism without understanding this core and long-standing method of currency manipulation.
For some weekly history on U.S. monetary policy, I highly recommend
— Monetary History Calendar (free)
2. GREENING THE MILITARY
I agree with Afghan veteran and conscientious objector Rory Fanning. On podcasts and in articles, Fanning has been very dismissive of Warren’s plan to green the military. In a Jan. 15, 2020 Truthout article he wrote:
“Many in the climate justice movement are drawing the connections between the U.S. military and the warming planet. They are challenging our elected officials to do more to shut down the 800 military bases around the world that are polluting more than 140 countries combined.”
“People are recognizing that there is no such thing as a green military, and there never will be.”
3. RELATIONS WITH INDIGENOUS U.S. PEOPLES
I think there is a good deal more healing that needs to take place for Indigenous U.S. peoples to feel comfortable that Warren will be an advocate for them. I believe the entire country will benefit from prioritizing Indigenous needs, specifically:
— honoring past treaties
— restoring sacred lands
— recognizing Indigenous cultures as leaders in climate chaos mitigation
4. INTERFAITH COUNCIL
It’s understandable that Warren’s interfaith council (just recently announced) might be predominantly Protestant Christians from Massachusetts. These are religious leaders who have endorsed Warren’s candidacy and are most likely to know her. It’s likely that most religious leaders, of all faiths, are taking their time to endorse. Many may not even endorse in the general election, let alone the primary.
As others have noted, however, the first iteration of Warren’s Interfaith Council included no Muslims, no Catholics, 1 Jew, 1 Buddhist, and no pagans. I look forward to seeing this council grow and I hope Warren’s team is working on including more spiritual diversity.
I will add that, as a secular Jew with relatives in Israel and who is very critical of the Israeli government, I was very pleased to see that Warren is the first candidate who’s agreed not to attend the March 2020 AIPAC conference. AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) has a long history of “Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, militarism, and right-wing partisan politics” (Feb. 7, 2020 coalition statement by Working Families Party, MoveOn, IfNotNow, and Indivisible).