My entrance into hands-on political engagement began in 2008.
President Barack Obama was the first president I could vote for after I turned 18. I volunteered for him in both 2008 & 2012 & shook his hand at a rally a week before the 2008 election. His hand was soft & wrinkly & thin. I didn’t wash my hand for a week for good luck (ok, yes, I know that’s gross).
I grew up overhearing whispers about President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, his iconic, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” soundbite & then the grumbling about President George W. Bush’s “nuke-yule-er” pronunciation & his politics.
Obama restored my patriotism. I remember wanting to be a proud American again during his campaign and after his first election.
In college (2007 – 2008) I researched media portrayal of US womxn running for President & Vice President. There were only four to research: Shirley Chisholm (#BlackHistory), Geraldine Ferraro, Sarah Palin & Hillary Clinton. Since then, the number of womxn who’ve viably run for president has more than doubled.
For me, since college, jobs, moves across the country & buying my house; I’ve continued to be politically involved in different ways.
I know how politics work on the inside, from the outside, is what I’m saying.
I give this backstory because I’ve endorsed Elizabeth Warren for President & I want you to know what went into my decision. I share my previous experience because I wanna say this: good politics are a master mix of policy & a dance of emotions & relationships.
I also strongly believe stories are what change minds & hearts, & that happens by directly connecting with people & learning from them.
Elizabeth Warren does that.
The best politics are also about well-planned systems changes. Warren has demonstrated that she thinks through her plans in a way that will allow them come to fruition in the most logical way.
Case in point: Medicare for All:
Liz believes in it & I love that she’s taken the time to think about how it would realistically happen. She knows transitions take time & she’s built it right into her plan!
The key is that the best politics are about way more than the words on a page or speeches. They’re about how the person thinks, interacts, responds to criticism, changes their mind, speaks, & listens to constituents.
Good politics involve listening, collaboration & willingness to change. I love the story Rebecca Cokley (Tweet thread below) shares about reaching out to the Warren campaign about Liz’s problematic use of “special needs.”
And how Warren changed her terminology because of advocates like Rebecca.
At the end of the day I want a president I can talk politics with over a homemade heart-shaped cake & know that we’ll both be open to listening & potentially changing our minds about important things.
I want a president who, when challenged for using disrespectful words, asks for help in changing terminology. I want a president who connects with people on a personal level, someone who can laugh & show joy while discussing serious issues.
I want a president who I know has my back both on paper & in relationship with people who disagree.
Finally, I want someone fighting for the presidency who I believe will win.
Someone who responds to bullying with humor or witty tactics & doesn’t take the bait.
Someone who’s been doing this politics game long enough to know the ins & outs of policies, facts, history, & current SocioEconomoPolitical issues.
Someone who doesn’t come across as a canned politician, but authentic all the time.
As a public figure myself, I know how the work of being “on” all the time can wear on you. I know the stress of losing my personal life to my public one & the strain of trying to maintain who I am privately vs my public “brand.”
In Liz I see a person who’s maintained personality & fervor for her work & life – a kind that’s rare to see in a politician these days – because of her celebrity & not in spite of it. Her ability to interact with people in gentle but assertive ways is unique & I’m so jealous.
I want that immediate connection in a president in addition to amazing policies & the gumption to fight for them not for the sake of politics, but for the sake of humanity.
Liz makes you think you’re the only person who exists when she’s talking to you & it’s not a performance. Even more than that, she follows her listening up with action.
Lastly, I’ve focused majorly on Warren‘s Protecting the Rights and Equality of People with Disabilities plan (& all policies impacting disability), created in partnership with disabled people, because that’s the most important issue in my life. And Warren’s disability plan includes doable things she can actually accomplish.
I’m #AllInForWarren because she’s real, she connects directly with people, her political game is a good balance of policy & emotion, & she consistently demonstrates a desire to learn from the most marginalized.
Learn more about top Warren’s plans HERE.
Learn about disability issues & candidate stances HERE.
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If able, I encourage your donation to the Warren campaign now (even $1!), or any campaign you’re supporting.
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