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.