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The United States deserves a mean­ingful choice of direction in 2016. The 2016 field of pres­i­dential con­tenders con­tains many can­di­dates with indis­tin­guishable policies. Hillary Clinton, who announced last Sunday with an imper­sonal video on social media, does not excite any Democrats and has mounds of political and social baggage. Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton have the advantage of name recog­nition but neither of them brings any­thing new to the table. They both support middle-of-the-road policies that don’t chal­lenge the minds of the American people. Laura Ingraham said at the Con­ser­v­ative Political Action Con­ference, “Jeb and Hillary should run on the same ticket.”

The Repub­lican pres­i­dential field already con­tains an inter­esting lineup of unique ideas; they range from the socially-author­i­tarian pop­ulist Mike Huckabee to the lib­er­tarian-leaning Rand Paul. However, the current Demo­c­ratic fron­trunner, Hillary Clinton, who receives unques­tioned, yet unen­thu­si­astic, support from the base, stands vir­tually unop­posed. There is one woman that makes pro­gres­sives gen­uinely excited: Eliz­abeth Warren. Her bold stance against banks and cor­po­ra­tions, her struggle for the rights of the middle class, and her hardline prin­ciples make her the most qual­ified and invig­o­rating can­didate for the Demo­c­ratic pres­i­dential ticket in 2016.

Crony cap­i­talism cor­rupts the Wash­ington political machine down to its core. Democrats speak about the necessity of closing tax loop­holes for the rich and reg­u­lating banks but never accom­plish any­thing. Repub­licans don’t see these ideas as polit­i­cally or ide­o­log­i­cally expe­dient; in fact, many can be found on the cam­paign trail with their hands in Wall Street’s pockets. Warren shines among the crowd in her hatred for crony cap­i­talism, big business, and Wall Street. When she recites the Lord’s Prayer in church, it probably reads as follows: “And lead us not into temp­tation, but deliver us from Wall Street.” All the while, three out of the top four of Clinton’s most gen­erous donors since 1989 are Cit­i­group, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which are among the largest banks in the world. From this it is clear Clinton has no intention of mean­ingful reform on Wall Street.

Warren has a back­ground in bank­ruptcy law and helped establish the United States Con­sumer Financial Pro­tection Bureau. She under­stands the financial col­lapse in 2008 arose from the dereg­u­lation of banks, and her edu­cation and pro­fes­sional back­ground allows her to explain this clearly. She firmly advo­cates Wall Street reform by means of extreme reg­u­lation to protect the middle class. Warren doesn’t even flirt with the idea of “too big to fail.”

Banking issues seem far from the wallets of the middle-class, but Warren hits home with her support for working fam­ilies. She sup­ports an increase in the minimum wage; she stated that $22 per hour fits properly with worker pro­duc­tivity, but advo­cates for an increase to around $10 by 2016. Warren’s ideas about health care reach further left than the Affordable Care Act. She has said, “The most obvious solution [to the healthcare debate] would be uni­versal single-payer health care.” Warren also sup­ports the expansion of Medicare and Med­icaid, and she denies any pri­va­ti­zation of Social Security. All of these pro­grams come at a cost, but Warren devotes her political career to raising taxes on those who can afford to pay a little more so that children and seniors can receive the ben­efits they need. She will balance the budget if she becomes pres­ident by raising taxes and respon­sibly cutting waste, without harming enti­tlement pro­grams that keep our lower and middle classes stable.

The dif­ference between what I have just stated about Eliz­abeth Warren and Hillary Clinton is that one can actually outline the posi­tions of the former. Warren comes across genuine and trans­parent, while nobody even knows where Clinton stands on each issue. Warren sup­ports policies based on their merit, and not their elec­toral prac­ti­cality. Warren hon­estly admits she admires the socialist democ­racies of Europe, and declares the United States can learn from them. She does not have Benghazi, email scandals, or a cheating husband to hold her back. Warren has actual leg­islative expe­rience, while all Clinton has is a tragic career as Sec­retary of State, a mean­ingless tenure as a car­pet­bagging New York senator, and a stay as First Lady, which really is not a position at all. As Sec­retary of State Iraq crumbled and a war started that some have coined “Hillary’s war in Libya.”

Eliz­abeth Warren rep­re­sents real policies and people. Clinton rep­re­sents large business and deep pock­et­books. A matchup between Clinton and Bush resembles choosing between a kick in the groin and a kick in the head (one would choose one over the other, but neither of them is any good). On the other hand, Eliz­abeth Warren running against, say, Rand Paul shows the true spirit of com­pe­tition in American pol­itics.

America deserves the chance to make a pur­poseful decision on dis­tin­guishable can­di­dates. Eliz­abeth Warren is that can­didate for the Demo­c­ratic Party.