I was raised by a Democrat, my mom, and she was raised by Democrats, including her dad who was a proud union member.
But I somehow rebelled, and became a Republican. I was proud and honored to work for Republican Bill Owens here in Colorado.
Right now we have pretty great schools all over Colorado, in part because we have “schools of choice.” Any student can go to any public school, so now the schools work hard to be great so that they can attract and retain students. That was a Republican idea that Owens made happen.
I was motivated by the ideals of the GOP: Free people. Free markets. Rule of law. A government as small as it can be to be effective.
I still believe in all that. The party of Trump just does not. The federal government is bloating with borrowed money. The rule of law is in tatters. Protectionism and government control of markets through subsidies has run amok.
And people are not more free any meaningful way. Especially the children that Donald Trump's government is separating from their families and holding in cages.
Clearly, as a conservative, my only choice is to vote not only for a Democrat, but for the first time in my life vote a straight Democratic ticket.
But which Democrat at the top?
My first hope was Kamala Harris, and I actually bet £10 on her when I was in London, where such betting is legal. (I also wanted to bet £10 on Hickenlooper, but the odds were so high that the machine would only let me bet £5.) But then Kamala hired a campaign manager AND her sister to run her campaign. Classic rookie mistake, and the kind of thing that shows she’s not really ready.
Bernie? Sorry, but in 2016 we in the U.S. failed to see that the Brexit election was a warning about what could happen here. Bernie is our version of Jeremy Corbyn, and going with him will be a clear sign that we did NOT learn anything. Even Bernie Bros were comparing Sanders to Corbyn before the last election in England. Now everyone else should.
Also, a 78-year-old guy who had a heart attack and won't release his medical history? If you need to pass a physical to be in a movie...
Mayor Pete? Smart guy, but like so many of his fellow Millennials, he’s on the job 10 minutes and suddenly thinks he should be the CEO. I’m not opposed to some youthful energy, but, well, he could run for president in 2024, 2028, 2032, 2036, 2040, 2044, 2048, 2052, 2056 and 2060, and still be younger than Bernie Sanders in every one of those races. Maybe Secretary of State? Can you imagine him flying into a country where homosexuality is still against the law? And then he’ll speak their language? That will be fun.
Biden. Sorry, Joe. You served your country well, and you’ve suffered unimaginable loss. That perhaps explains the blind spot you have about your own still-living son. Even if it’s not the conspiracy theory stuff that Republicans want to say that it is, it is the kind of thing that will dog you every day of the campaign, and just turn off voters. Time to pass the torch.
Bloomberg. Warren’s evisceration of you in your first debate was something you just don't bounce back from. The only way Democrats win is with women showing up in huge numbers. If the choice is between two egomaniacal New York businessmen with long histories of womanizing, I wouldn’t blame anyone for just sitting the election out.
Tulsi? Sorry, I prefer candidates who are at least probably not a Putin sock puppet.
Amy. No real problem with her, but in balance I'm going with Warren.
What did it for me was this tweet:
I felt so proud and emotional voting for @ewarren today. 13 yrs ago, I emailed her asking to join her empirical methods class. I was a transfer and was told that some professors wouldn't give me the time of day. She was kind, encouraging, and responded almost immediately.— Dalié Jiménez (@daliejimenez) February 27, 2020
What really sealed it for me was the fourth tweet in that thread:
Over the years, @ewarren remembered that I wanted to be an academic and checked on me with gentle reminders/encouragement to finish my articles. I'm not gonna lie, I finally submitted my first paper because she and @katieporteroc kept asking me about it.— Dalié Jiménez (@daliejimenez) February 27, 2020
At that point in their lives, Warren was a big shot. She had come up with the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, convinced a president to enact it, and was on her way to becoming a U.S. Senator. Still, she took the time to nudge a former student to keep after it.
She just sounds like the hardest working person in the race, and maybe in any race, ever.
I remember first being impressed with her when she had the idea for the CFPB, but then wouldn’t let her ego get in the way of its creation. She couldn’t get confirmed by the Senate to run it, in part I’m sure because the powers that be knew exactly how effective she would be at preventing them from breaking the law to make money.
(Remember when I said I’m for the Rule of Law.)
Instead of being deterred, she just decided to run for the Senate so that she could be one of the people who decides on things like who gets to run the CFPB.
And then once in the Senate, in her very first time appearing on Banking Committee in the Senate, she asked a question of the regulators of the banks. Watch just the first couple minutes of this:
She knows exactly where the pressure points are. She knows exactly what the government can do to be effective, and she does exactly that, and then no more.
In short, she’s the closest to the ideals that I held that made me vote Republican. Rule of Law. Free people (unburdened by predatory institutions). Free markets (with enough oversight to make sure they operate fairly for all).
We’ve somehow gotten to a place in this country where the vote for President is more about identity than anything. If you live in a city and do yoga, you vote for Democrats. If you drive a big truck or go to an evangelical church, you vote for Republicans.
I see Warren as cutting through all of that, and essentially returning politics -- at least a little -- to governance. She doesn’t want you to feel good or bad for whatever makes up your political point of view, she just wants the government to govern as effectively as it can on behalf of those who put the government in power in the first place.
This is the part that I think will cut across party lines. I think there are a lot of people who want the government to just do a good job when it comes to, for example, managing a pandemic.
Perhaps this is hopelessly naïve, but I've decided to vote not for the person I most identify with, and not for “the best woman for the job.” I’ve decided to put all those questions aside, and just vote for the one who will do the best job of actually being president.