Opinion

The CP Edit: We’re for Warren

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Bringing an end to the long, national nightmare that is Donald Trump begins with choosing the strongest standard bearer from an impressive array of Democratic candidates. Even though logic and common sense ordinarily would dictate that even the weakest contender could beat Trump, we live in anything but ordinary times. Trump’s persistent popularity with his base of unapologetic deplorables and the inexplicable acquiescence of otherwise normal Republicans makes his reelection a distinct possibility. This would, of course, be a cataclysmic outcome that engenders a clear and present danger to the republic.

With absentee voting about to start for Michigan’s March 10 Democratic presidential primary, choosing the most competitive candidate from the top tier of Democrats isn’t easy. Nearly all of the leading could-be-presidents impress us enough that we would be delighted to see any of them elected. Two of the candidates, however, stand above the rest. True progressives to the core, U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts both offer a compelling vision for a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable nation. Each has the requisite qualifications and experience to command the highest office in the land.

We have immense respect and admiration for Bernie Sanders, a man of unwavering principle, deep conviction and unquestioned integrity. Though we worry about his sometimes curmudgeonly demeanor and recent health troubles, we wholeheartedly subscribe to his unabashedly progressive agenda. Yet we are concerned that America isn’t quite ready to embrace the self-described socialist. To be clear, we have no problem with Bernie being a socialist. Sadly, too many Americans ignorantly conflate socialism with communism, making the left-wing appellation a damaging pejorative and an electoral liability at a time when defeating Trump must countervail all other considerations. His age – he would be 79 upon taking office — and his recent heart attack also give us pause.

Which brings us to Senator Warren. Her prodigious intellect, passion for social justice and endless moxie make her a formidable candidate indeed. As evidenced by Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote in 2016, America is certainly ready and willing to elect a female president. We are, too. Warren brings unbridled energy to the campaign trail and isn’t likely to make the strategic and tactical mistakes that doomed Clinton’s bid.

Throughout her distinguished career, Warren has been a powerful and consistent voice for every day Americans, advocating for improved access to education, solving the student debt crisis, fair taxation, and raising the minimum wage. The arc of her life story, from Republican homemaker to celebrated academician and author to progressive Democratic senator, offers a compelling narrative of personal growth, determination and achievement that broadens her appeal beyond the Democratic base to independent voters and to Republican women who are disgusted by the puerile proclivities and deeply disturbing behavior of the nation’s pussy-grabber-in-chief.

We’re particularly impressed by Warren’s unflinching support for single-payer, universal health care, popularly known as Medicare-for-all. Her refusal to back down in the face of withering criticism from all quarters over the projected costs of her bold plan is courageous. She could do a better job defending her plan by noting that every other industrialized country in the world is capable of providing universal health care to its citizens without bankrupting the nation. If they can do it, so can we, but it will require a systematic attack on the exorbitant underlying costs of this country’s greed-infested, profit-driven health care industry. We think it’s better to think big and push for revolutionary change than to merely nibble around the edges and hope that an incremental approach will rein in out-of-control medical costs and improve access to affordable health care.

We’re also confident that Warren will be a commanding and respected figure on the world stage in the fashion of Angela Merkel, Germany’s inimitable chancellor, and will immediately begin to repair the wreckage of Trump’s damaging attacks on our closest allies, rebuilding confidence and trust in America’s global leadership.

While our choice is sure to disappoint the legions of Bernie Sanders fans among our readers, rest assured that we will enthusiastically support his campaign if he wins the nomination. Nonetheless, because we are convinced she is the most progressive candidate who can still beat Trump, we endorse Elizabeth Warren for president of the United States and encourage early voters to cast their absentee ballots accordingly.

For our sane Republican readers, we offer a strong endorsement for William Weld. He has no chance to defeat Trump in the primary, but you can vote for the moderate and eminently sensible former governor of Massachusetts with a clear conscience, knowing you did your part to stop the madness.

Whomever one chooses in the primary election, we urge all citizens to embrace the uncomfortable truth that we are a nation in the midst of a political, constitutional and existential crisis. Because it is a foregone conclusion that the U.S. Senate will not vote to remove Trump through the impeachment process, the only path to restoring America’s sanity is by kicking him and his scurrilous band of swamp-dwelling sycophants out of office this November.

Send letters to the editor on this editorial or any other topic to letters@lansingcitypulse.com. Please limit them to 250 words.

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