The Daily Iowan

Guest Opinion: Elizabeth Warren has won me over

UI Senior Herbert Meisner writes on why Elizabeth Warren won him over for the Democratic Primaries.

Sen.+Elizabeth+Warren+%28D-Mass.%29+speaks+during+a+campaign+rally+in+Cedar+Rapids%2C+IA%2C+on+Sunday%2C+February+10%2C+2019.
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Guest Opinion: Elizabeth Warren has won me over

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks during a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, IA, on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks during a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, IA, on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

Shivansh Ahuja

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks during a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, IA, on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks during a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, IA, on Sunday, February 10, 2019.


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I was excited when Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., announced her presidential exploratory committee on New Year’s Eve, but I wasn’t persuaded yet.

I loved that the first major candidate to throw a hat in the ring was a smart, progressive woman with a story to tell about how to rebuild the middle class and end the corruption that has captured our government. But I also knew a whole bunch of qualified candidates were certain to jump into the race after her, and each would bring something to the table for me to review and consider before making a decision.

Well, now it’s May, the field has grown to 20 [-plus] candidates, and I know exactly where I stand: I’m backing Warren for president.

What got me there? It started with Warren’s wealth tax — the plan she rolled out in January to levy a new 2 percent tax on fortunes of more than $50 million. The tax would ask the 75,000 wealthiest families in the United States to give just a little more back to the country that has given them so much. This would provide a huge resource to pay for high-quality, affordable, universal child care, universal free public higher education, and broad-based student-debt cancellation. And even with all those proposals fully paid, the wealth tax would still generate another $1 trillion for funding meaningful programs and services to ensure opportunity for everyone.

So, the wealth tax got my attention and persuaded me I needed to listen closely to what Warren had to say. I had the privilege of meeting many candidates in the field, and during her visit to Iowa City, I met Warren in person, and that’s what won me over.

Warren is a real person (I call her “Elizabeth”), and she has devoted her life to the issues she’s fighting for now as a candidate for president. She’s kind, she’s genuine, she listens, she cares, and she’s smart as hell. She grew up in a middle-class family in Oklahoma, built her life with grit, determination, and public education. She then became a special-education teacher, a law professor, a U.S. senator, and she’s now one of the strongest, most inspiring candidates for president that I’ve ever seen.

She came to electoral politics under a decade ago. In the Senate, she has built a strong record of defending the middle class, holding the powerful accountable and working across the aisle when she can. Already in this nomination race, she’s distinguished herself as the candidate with progressive plans that would make a real difference in people’s lives.

Warren knows why she’s in this fight. The problems she wants to solve are problems she has experienced firsthand. The opportunity she wants to provide are opportunities that she received and that helped her get where she is today.

I wasn’t planning on putting my money, effort, and time into one candidate this early in the primary. But after watching the way Warren has run her campaign — on substance, empathy, and policy — I know she’s the best candidate for students, for Americans facing economic hardship, for people with marginalized identities, and for those who care about the moral future of the United States. She checks every box.

I’m committed. I’m all in for Warren. I think we all should be.

— Herbert Meisner, UI senior

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