Time to make humility and respect cool again–and Elizabeth Warren is doing just that

Healing and unity sound “soft” but when you talk FDR or Dr. King or Dolores Huerta or Dorothy Height or Margaret Sanger, that is EXACTLY why they were so beloved to get people through wars and depressions and tough times. It’s always toughest before great change. They didn’t whip people up into an angry, unchanneled frenzy. They didn’t go it alone. They built alliances. They knew how to work with power structures and systems even as they fought to change them. They were painstakingly detailed in their strategy. They knew the power of words and crafted them as much as their plans.

One of the most admirable qualities of Elizabeth Warren is that she LISTENS to others…she LEARNS from others. Warren has rolled into her platform the ideas of Kamala Harris (reproductive rights), Kristen Gillibrand (paid family leave), and Julian Castro (pre K and early childcare) with the permission from and credit to each of them. Her plans are developed through coalitions and teamwork, talking to the actual communities affected as well as the experts.

She knows any human institution, like the Democrat National Committee, is subject to flaws but she believes what’s more flawed is the electoral process (unsafe, based on money, and the outdated electoral college) which she plans on fixing.

She also has hope for the now-defunct GOP which are almost all Trump lackeys. As Sheila Blair wrote, former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. with senior appointments in four Republican and Democratic administrations: Elizabeth Warren simply wants the market to work for us all. Right now it’s only working for the top-shelf wealthy and stacked against the working and middle class. In that, Warren is the great unifier.

As fun and deliciously rewarding it was to watch, Sen. Warren’s performance in the debates that I care about. She’s been fierce all along if you recall. She just also possesses the highly underrated quality of discretion as to when and how to bring it out.

I believe in the necessity for humility in leadership. She didn’t “decimate” Bloomberg in the debates to be all badass: she brought up facts that had to be paid attention to then she spoke to him afterward in a real conversation. It speaks volumes that the next day, he didn’t retaliate but grew in his respect for her. This clip about how she engaged with Bloomberg even after pointing out his unworthy candidacy is what leadership looks like. After a crass bully at our helm, our country needs this kind of leadership now more than ever.

I’ve seen her talk to Nobel Prize-winning economists who focus on alleviation of poverty as well as children she got down on her knee to talk to — as well as nonprofit boards, governors, CEOs, homeless families, and celebrities all alike. WHY is that important?

Great leaders like Sen. Warren know when to show their righteous indignation. For those of us who are “tired of being overlooked, dismissed, ignored, and left out,” who are survivors having PTSD every time a family separator, racist predator elected to our highest office shows his face, who watch teenagers get more time in jail as our treasury is emptied through unchecked, public corruption — Warren is here for our anger.

She is also here to show us how to channel our anger — not at each other or those in a different wealth class but so we can create change from the ground up. She knows how to battle so that our fervent hopes can actualize into reality. Anger can destroy us if unchecked. What good is anger unless it provides respite from our suffering, a solution to our problems, or balm for our healing?

Most of all, great leaders know what the public needed. Inspiration. Hope. Caring. Healing. Discretion. Ability to wield words that unite. Connection. Policies and visions are not enough.

The question isn’t how to get rid of Trump; it’s how to get rid of what caused him

New York Times op-ed today asks: Why Don’t We Know Which Democratic Candidate Can Beat Trump? This is not the question to ask. We need systemic change not just a regime change. The question that will get us on track isn’t how to get rid of Trump — which is a band aid until the next Trump in 2024 — but how to get rid of the factors that caused him? From the broken electoral process down to social issues, Trump is the symptom not the cause. The factors that caused him all very much remain. So the next president not only has to move us forward but undo so much that set us back AND address long term solutions at its core which still exist and have worsened.

In terms of political strategy: yes ask how to beat Trump because it’s a numbers game in terms of electoral votes; factors like districting and voter suppression affects numbers, which is why they’re partisan issues; how many people come out to vote etc.

In terms of us: NO. Worry about doing your part. For us, go out and vote for the person you most believe in. Trust me: it’s worse out there than you can think. Much worse. So why am I filled with optimism and continue working for pennies on this? Because the numbers are on our side—if we show up. You just have to show up and urge others to do the same. From the local on up.

Right now, droves of Republican voters are turning out for Trump. Why? “The massive turnout is a reflection of organic enthusiasm among conservatives and a sophisticated effort by Trump’s campaign to rev up its get-out-the-vote machine ahead of the general election. Read: support, enthusiasm, and showing up to vote.

Get rid of this “electability” illness. This “electability” situation is often predicated on what the polls say. “I want to vote for her but I don’t think she can win” is a cop-out and misinformed. The numbers we often hear in relation to “electability” are polls. Who conducted them using how many people in which region at which time asking which questions in a pool from which demographic? No idea, right? Thus: Not to be trusted much less go on as to who to vote for. Even Gallup has been wrong more times than right. JUST DO YOUR PART.

Independents: pick a side. The non-Trump base also suffers from “the independent.” Are you an independent as in Switzerland, who wants everyone’s money and stands for nothing yet has no skin in the game? Because that is not an independent. Or are you an independent in that you don’t want to affiliate with one party but have values you believe in and a candidate who most reflects you and your self-interests? That means: put your teeth into it.

There’s a lot at stake. There’s a sickness caused by our systems. It’s why crimes are now daily committed in our face and nothing is done about it. It’s why we even got to 2016. There is an economic injustice that is suffocating us, and most felt by communities of color and women across the board. Travel around to random counties and you will see. Hell, travel to San Francisco and step over tents of homeless on your way to the $9 coffee. Bernie and Warren get it to the core. As much as we all want to say vote any Dem, yes of course but not any Dem will get to the root problems.

Most people I’ve met live paycheck to paycheck. One diagnosis or accident away from losing it all. No way of coping, no support, no time to get informed as to how to deal with mental issues or whatnot. Fox is their only news. I don’t judge because many factors led up to their lives just as many have led to mine and we each are blinded by our own biases.

Most of all, It breaks my heart because my child will have so much access to basics that their children will not; access to support and healthcare and all of that which enables us to be thoughtful or generous instead of living with constant stress and trauma and fear. What a tragic loss of potential. It’s our loss as much as theirs. You cannot see it if you’re too busy living it.

Yet that’s also where they fight the most. And yes sometimes that fight is for Trump. Who else listened for decades. And like it or not, blame this or that but know this: We will not have any progress on any climate or social justice issue if their desperation is not tended to.

Voting in a Dem is one step in a long haul ahead. No one who benefits from systems—and that includes me and many of my social circle—are afraid of change. It will be a fight even from “good” folks. And def from the power structure. Grand plans will be meted out by legislation and fought in the Supreme Court. We’ll need 8-12 years to see any of it through.

So yes whatever: vote any Dem but know there are only two who get it and will do their level best to fix it at its core. And for me only one with the plans and ability to see a good chunk of it through: Elizabeth Warren.

It’s because I’ve met with so much anger and sadness and desperation I’m so invested in her winning. She not only gets it like Bernie but I’ve seen it. She connects. She can unite. Those qualities can not be underestimated.