Why I’m for Elizabeth Warren
It’s hard for me to say exactly when, or how, I first became aware of Elizabeth Warren. I was living in Belgium at the time of her first Senate run. The West Wing had birthed in me an interest in — an obsession for — American politics. I found ways to watch MSNBC; I listened to The Rachel Maddow Show as a podcast, not just religiously but with the fervour of a zealot.
So it’s safe to say that it’s probably in one of those places that I first heard about Elizabeth Warren. But I know I was paying attention when a video of her speaking in Andover 2011 went viral. It seemed, suddenly, to be all over social media.
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. … You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
To hear someone say these kinds of things not just out loud, but firmly and with conviction, made my leftie heart sing again. Reading Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope had done a year or so previously. Watching The West Wing did that, too — it had awakened in me something long dormant. I’d been passionate about politics in my teens and twenties, and Aaron Sorkin’s words, characters, and idealism reignited that.