Nevertheless, We Persisted
My endorsement of Elizabeth Warren for President of the United States of America
|Amee Vanderpool||Jan 28|| 38||12|
The following is my original piece that will be published in the upcoming book “PRESIDENTIAL: Elizabeth Warren & The Changing Face of American Politics,” by Regan Arts available for purchase here.
November 9, 2016 was rough. To be fair, the collective depression really started the night before when everyone realized that Donald Trump was actually going to be President of the United States of America. The gut punch of the election was especially immobilizing for me as a woman. I had expected the Access Hollywood tape to damage Trump, to cut him at the knees when our country collectively refused to support a man who was capable of assaulting women and then bragging about it on tape. Not only did this not happen—people rewarded him for it. What Trump represented was an intense hatred for empowered women in this country. The War on Women had officially been declared.
I don’t think anyone expected the last few years to be a marathon rather than a sprint. Nothing seems to hold Donald Trump accountable for his bad decisions, his abuse of power, and his illegal activities. As we inch closer to the next election, we are faced with the realization that this next one is for all the chips—-if we don’t correct the trajectory of where America is headed in 2020, there may be nothing left to fix. As drastic as that sounds to anyone reading this, know the stakes are ten times higher for the women in this country who have seen how little we matter to those on the right, who claim to care about family values and moral correctness.
As women we know the truth: we are used in political rhetoric to appeal to single issues while we are continually overlooked in the workforce and economy. The election of Donald Trump represents a systematic attack on the female gender entirely, which is constantly being sacrificed for issues that primarily serve men and their agendas.
(Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to guests during a campaign stop at Sudlow Middle School on January 26, 2020 in Davenport, Iowa. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.)
The 2016 election happened in a moment when women were so close to finally securing the representation they deserved—when we were about to put a woman in the Oval Office. As racist as America still is, it is nothing compared to how sexist we remain as a nation, and the proof of this is the fact that we were able to elect a black man to office, while a particularly qualified woman was beaten by Donald Trump. For this reason, a debt is owed and must be paid in 2020. For this reason, women have a right to demand more this time, to push the needle farther over in their own favor. For this reason, women who have often collectively looked out for others before themselves are entitled to stand up and say, “not this time.”
Women play so many critical roles in society that are so valuable yet overlooked in the leadership arena. We are mothers, teachers, and caregivers. While we typically embrace those traditional roles, we also embody all of the typically male attributes that push us to demand more and to work harder. We have to actually be ten times more qualified and hard-working because we don’t get access to the field without being the best.
Elizabeth Warren embodies these traditional and modern traits. Warren is a woman who chose to go back to school as a young mother because she recognized that she wanted more from life. She is also someone who understands the critical role that Community Colleges have to play, because she benefitted from that access to education. Warren went on to teach because it was her passion. Her ability to relay detailed and complicated plans to large crowds shows that teaching is also her gift.
(Democratic candidate for President Senator Elizabeth Warren does a pinky swear with a little girl while walking through the Iowa voters at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday August, 10, 2019. Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images.)
Warren’s education in the law is also a necessary asset, critical to the next President of the United States. Trump was able to gain so much momentum on the premise that he was the antithesis to typical leaders in Washington, but this has only emphasized how necessary legal training is for an official entrusted with making and enforcing our laws. The fact that Warren specialized in Commercial Law as a professor at Harvard also reflects her astounding ability, but really showcases her extensive understanding of how corporations often operate to the detriment of consumers, and how the breakdown of certain protections have helped to erode the middle class.
The choice to pursue politics and represent people in Congress was made at a time when Warren had much more lucrative options. But she has proven that her passion and commitment are at their best when she is advocating for others. She takes on the Wall Street executives, who continue to manipulate the rules in their favor to line their pockets with profits snatched from the little guy. Warren knows how to stop this because she is smart enough to understand the con and brave enough to challenge those who only care about rigging the system in their favor.
To restore the stain of Trump’s intentional ignorance, we need a teacher. To correct the lawlessness of Trump’s complete disregard for rules, we need a lawyer. To correct the ego-driven tirades and attacks we’ve suffered for these last few years, we need a true public servant. To balance the scale properly again after Trump’s blatant disrespect of women, we need a woman.
Elizabeth Warren is all of these things, and more than that, she threatens men in power. When she backed Mitch McConnell into such a corner on the Senate floor, he panicked and inadvertently created her infamous catchphrase that became a rally cry for women everywhere. In the process, Warren proved she was the woman for this job.
(Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., gives her victory speech at a Democratic election watch party in Boston Election on November 6th 2018. Via Michael Dwyer/AP/REX/Shutterstock.)
As women, we have fought too hard to collectively persist through a nightmare of unequal pay and sexual assault to return to the status quo, and as a country, we have lost too much dignity not to realize that a change in the type of leaders we choose is paramount. This is about more than one powerful woman declaring, “Nevertheless She Persisted.” Now it’s about all of us coming together to proclaim, “Nevertheless We Persisted.”
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Amee Vanderpool writes the “Shero” Newsletter and is an attorney, contributor to Playboy Magazine and analyst for BBC radio. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @girlsreallyrule.