Why I’m supporting Elizabeth Warren for president

Many months ago, at the commencement of the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, I firmly entrusted my support in Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year old Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. With his sensible progressive policy agenda, military experience as well as Harvard and Oxford education (on a Rhodes Scholarship, no less), what wasn’t to like about Mayor Pete? Sure, he didn’t possess the largest political background, but I was (and remain) of the view that the ability to lead stems from more than just experience in selling policies.

Towards the end of November, however, I started to feel more and more disillusioned with the direction in which Buttigieg’s campaign was moving. In my view, his policies were becoming either poorly redesigned versions of what his more prominent opponents were proposing, or simply not in line with my views — a sentiment that many former Buttigieg supporters seem to hold. At that point, I felt it was time to move on from Mayor Pete. But with all the other candidates, actually deciding who to shift my support behind proved to be a slight challenge. Notwithstanding that, I eventually reached a conclusion.

Joe Biden.

Sure, I didn’t think he was by any stretch a great candidate (nor do I currently), but I knew he’d get the job done and pose a formidable challenge to Donald Trump. His policies are to effectively continue and build upon the work of the Obama administration, and for the most part that ticked all my boxes.

Later, though, I realised that it should not be about just ticking the right boxes. This election is about who will inspire the most Americans with the hope of a better future. It’s about not just promising but acting to create legislation which increases living standards for the many, not the few. It’s about making the individuals and corporations at the very top of society pay their fair share. I can tell you now, neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden will do all of those things. So, who will? Elizabeth Warren.

Warren brings to the table an inspiring plan to rebuild working-class America — lots of American Dream type stuff. Meanwhile, Biden just aims to keep things more or less the same, making changes here or there, but primarily going with the flow. As I mentioned earlier, this ticks the boxes for me (anything that’s not Trump does at this point), but why stop there? Why pick the merely satisfactory option, when an option which is so significantly better lies just beyond it.

Some might wonder why I care so much. After all, I’m neither a citizen nor a resident of the United States. That’s true, but for better or for worse, the United States remains the undisputed leader of the free world, and as long as that remains the case the onus is on us, as members of a democratic society to maintain a key interest in monitoring the state of affairs in the US (without interfering) because what happens there is all too often mirrored here in Australia.

In that spirit, it’s my view as a non-American that the America which Elizabeth Warren is aiming to create is one which promotes equality, freedom and justice for all. An America where you’re paid enough to be able to feed your family, keep a roof over the heads of your children and enjoy world-class healthcare. An America where those at the top end of town pay their fair share.

Elizabeth Warren’s vision for the United States is progressive, sensible and inspiring, and it’s for that reason that I am supporting her campaign to become the 46th President of the United States.

Lost leader exhibiting a lack of leadership

A week ago, I posted a thread on Twitter criticising Scott Morrison for his notable lack of any useful contribution to the bushfire crisis. Almost no visits to impacted areas, no real public displays of support and concern, as well as point-blank refusing to accept legitimate realities surrounding the situation.

So, what would I have Morrison do? It’s so incredibly simple: unify the country. Have people put their political divisions aside to support those impacted in whatever way fits best. At this terrible time, strong and unifying leadership is almost all I ask of you, Scott.

Unfortunately, Scott Morrison has proven himself to be completely inept at practising leadership at that level, or even a level close to it. It’s not just his leadership that’s missing, either. The man himself has taken a “well-earned” break with his family, an opportunity that so many Australians will not have this Christmas as a result of their astonishing bravery and generosity in putting themselves on the line to battle the fires. Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone deserves a holiday every now and again, but this, a national crisis, is the sort of thing I would expect the Prime Minister to return from a holiday early from, certainly not to begin one during.

I’m not the only one who thinks this sort of thing isn’t on, either. Here’s Scott Morrison on the ABC’S Q&A programme in 2010, criticising then Victorian police chief Christine Nixon for going out to dinner during the Black Saturday bushfires.

It’s almost like he’s criticising her for abandoning her post during a bushfire-related emergency, right? How good is a hypocrite?

Scott, I’m seeing a lot of burning right now, but none from you. I’d be very surprised if Dutton and Porter aren’t counting the numbers right now.

Malcolm, you’re welcome back any time.