Despite panic that she’s a huge liability, I think we are lucky to have Elizabeth Warren in this race.

Bernie is an ideologue, in my opinion. I thank God that he appeared when he did speaking truth to power and paving the way for this complete turnaround in the Democrat’s narrative. But while I can picture him sitting around burnishing his ideas all day long, I can’t picture him implementing them pragmatically within the current system. And it is hugely problematic to me that he just had a heart attack, and that his campaign was not transparent about it. If he was the only choice, I would feel differently — but luckily we have Elizabeth Warren.

Biden is the only one guaranteed to lose, in my opinion. He is the Democratic party trying the same thing over and over and wondering why the results don’t change. Some (biased much?) commentators mistake Elizabeth Warren as a repeat of Hillary’s candidacy, but that is Biden. Luckily we have a better female candidate this time around in Warren.

Though I like Pete Buttigieg quite a bit as an orator, I don’t think he is the leader we need right now; we had Obama, the great centrist collaborator who also served to lead a sea change in the narrative of the Democratic Party. But shock, it took him eight years to learn Republicans are not collaborators. What’s the point of reaching across the aisle if you do not have a trustworthy partner to negotiate with? This is an abusive marriage, and the abuser isn’t going to change based on your good behavior. I also think we should view Zuckerberg’s and Wall Street’s support of Buttigieg as a huge red flag. (see https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/recips.php?ind=F ) Zuckerberg claims his HR help to the Buttigieg campaign does not constitute support, but given his track record I think we can safely view Zuckerberg as a liar. They do not want to be regulated and they, I think rightly, believe Buttigieg will focus on identity issues and the style of our discourse rather than actually doing anything to them. We need someone who will fight.

I can’t tell who will win, but Warren is authentic, competent, smart, and convincingly doing it for the right reasons. She is the least compromised. She is healthy. She is the kind of candidate you wish would get into the ring, because it’s hard to tell what would motivate her to do it outside of really wanting to make things better.

Fears of “big structural change” actually disrupting things even further after the last three years of chaos are misplaced. She will not be able to enact her entire agenda right away, so no matter what she is shooting for, the pace of change will be slow. But having no ideals at all means there’s nothing to guide our movement. Plus, from her campaign style, I do get the sense that she’s a listener, and not rigidly ideological.

Most importantly of all, if we vote for her it will be us asserting our will for this kind of change; mandating that this is the direction we want to go. It’s less about the details of this particular candidate’s plans, so much as giving power to this idea and not the authoritarian direction Trump represents. I don’t think we should fear her “socialism” (she’s a Capitalist who wants to regulate to make the playing field equal and enable Capitalism, not a socialist) any more than Trump’s Putinism as a destructive, destabilizing force. At least we’d be putting our power behind these principals, and underwriting them as our will. And that’s powerful in itself. It will have reverberations throughout the world.

The funniest critique of Warren is those who deride her plans as “pipe dreams.” “She’s living in Oz.” … I know, but not because we can’t find that kind of money. We know exactly where to find it. Getting corporations and the super rich to pay their fair share in taxes — now that is pretty fantastical.

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Wendy A. Schmidt is a Chicago-based playwright. She/Her

Wendy A. Schmidt is a Chicago-based playwright. She/Her