How social media pushed this voter off the fence.
For months, I watched slightly qualified person after slightly more qualified person enter the Presidential race. I was underwhelmed as I waited for that 'aha' moment. The moment when someone would enter the race and I'd throw myself into singing their praises with reckless abandon. That moment never came. And then I saw #NeverWarren trending on Twitter.
For all of Bernie Sanders' belief that women can be elected president, he has done an objectively terrible job of tempering his base when they vilify women frontrunners.
The fervor over Elizabeth Warren's prior Republican affiliation sounded familiar — a little too familiar. A former Bernie supporter in 2016 (who voted for Clinton in the general election), I've decided to throw my support behind Elizabeth Warren in 2020. For all of Bernie Sanders' belief that women can be elected president, he has done an objectively awful job of tempering his base when they vilify women frontrunners.
I believe Elizabeth Warren to be the true blue progressive she presents herself to be. I believe she is qualified to lead this country based on both her experience in Congress and her stated commitment to marginalized people and people of color, to include Black folks explicitly (for additional context on why POC and Black people are not synonymous, might I recommend this piece by Lecia Michelle). And, if I'm being honest, I see my own political evolution in her story. Being a born and bred Alabamian, I've embraced far more conservative beliefs than the ones I have today.
Did Bernie Sanders say a woman cannot be President, as alleged? I really don't know. But neither do most of you.
As a matter of fact, I once thought Elizabeth Warren too radical. The year was 2012 and I was living in Boston. Warren was running for her Senate seat against the incumbent, Republican Scott Brown. I can still recall the numerous TV ads about her ultra-liberal ways. What I can't recall are talks of her being a stealth democrat or a snake, as some have recently implied. So, imagine my surprise to learn of her conservative beginnings from the same folks who amplified the Goldwater girl days of Hillary Clinton. Did Bernie Sanders say a woman cannot be President, as alleged? I really don't know. But neither do most of you.
Here is what we do know: two people had a conversation a little over a year ago. They clearly had different takeaways from said conversation. You know what else we know? The current administration is detaining children and families indefinitely, freezing out refugees, working to drastically reduce the number of families who can access food stamps, boosting wealth among the richest Americans and, to put a cherry on this awesomely terrible sundae, leveraging the Office of the President for his own political gain.
#NeverWarren is a consequence of the media (with the help of Russian bots) manipulating the narrative on Warren's electability and her commitment to progressive policies. Elizabeth Warren may not be a perfect candidate. But guess what? No one is. I sat on the fence, for nearly a year, waiting on the right candidate to emerge and, in an instant, she did.
Like Warren, I hope we all have a few skeletons lurking about — serving as reminders of who we used to be and how far we've come.
If Bernie Sanders wins the nomination, I will obviously vote for him. But I will not abandon a good candidate because of a few skeletons in their closet. While I have no plans to run for office myself, I'm increasingly aware of the many questionable opinions I once held — political and otherwise. But I choose to see them as reminders of my own growth. Like Warren, I hope we all have a few skeletons lurking about — serving as reminders of who we used to be and how far we've come.