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HESS: Elizabeth Warren is the progressive the nation needs

In a crowded primary field filled with negative media coverage, Warren manages to stand apart through her many policy proposals and vision for the future of the United States

<p>After four years of Trump, voters may be looking for an alternative anti-establishment candidate to fight against the inequalities that exist in this nation — Warren is that option.</p>

After four years of Trump, voters may be looking for an alternative anti-establishment candidate to fight against the inequalities that exist in this nation — Warren is that option.

Biden, Bernie, Beto, Buttigieg — the four names that are constantly being thrown around the news channels. The current news cycle would lead one to believe that these are the only four viable candidates, but they are failing to give enough attention to the only candidate who is actually presenting a future for all Americans through specific policy proposals — Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) . Warren is one of the most progressive candidates in the field, with a long history to support her claims. Even with such critical and negative press, she is still making her case for why she should receive the nomination — and we should believe in her.

Warren formally announced her candidacy in early February, and since then has gone above and beyond the typical expectations for a presidential candidates by presenting a roadmap for the future of the country with a plethora of detailed policy proposals. This contrasts with other candidates, some of whom have not even bothered to create a policy section on their websites. She has detailed plans on student loan debt forgiveness to breaking up big tech and affordable housing. Warren is showing that candidates do not have to champion just one issue, but they can rather provide a complete vision that includes optimism as well as substantial policy ideas to support it.

These potential policies are not just typical Democratic mantras, but rather new ideas that would fundamentally change how our nation is functioning economically and socially. For example, Warren’s Ultra-Millionaire Tax would directly target the unequal wealth distribution that exists in the United States with a plan that would tax 2 percent on every dollar of net worth above $50 million with a 3 percent tax on every dollar of net worth above $1 billion. 

Economists predict that this plan would bring in an an estimated $2.75 trillion that would be invested directly into rebuilding the middle class. Warren is also proposing a plan that would give workers the power to elect at least 40 percent of a corporation’s board, strengthening the say workers and unions have in their wages and benefits. She also wants to reform our criminal justice system by taking steps to decriminalize marijuana possession and hold big corporations accountable for their actions. These plans may seem extreme and perhaps impossible to some, Warren is running on a theme that can make policies like this gain traction through public support — the system is rigged against the middle class and it is time to change that. 

Warren has always embraced progressive populism throughout her political career in her own unique way that allows her to act as the perfect foil to President Donald Trump’s supposed brand of populism. Trump claims to stand up against a rigged system and still claims he is going to “drain the swamp,” but with massive tax breaks for the wealthy and huge corporations, all what he has proven as president is that he is just another player in keeping the system rigged in favor of the wealthiest Americans and the nation divided as a whole.

Warren, on the other hand, is able to bring forth ideas that serve as alternatives to the current state of affairs — rather than give tax breaks and incentives to the ultra-wealthy, go after them directly. A Warren-Trump race would force these two different definitions of populism to clash. After four years of Trump, voters may be looking for an alternative anti-establishment candidate to fight against the inequalities that exist in this nation — Warren is that option.

Some may say someone like Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is able offer to offer the same things that Warren brings to the table, but Bernie does not delve into specific policy proposals. He rarely speaks about how he will bring his ideas into fruition like Warren and he chooses to stick to a purely economic message rather than presenting a future that tackles issues such as women’s rights, voting rights and other social issues. 

If Warren wins the nomination, it will not be smooth sailing by any means. She will still have to deal with her claims to Cherokee heritage and DNA test. While she has apologized for this, she can do more by reiterating the fact that she is sorry and ready to move past that by fighting for all Americans. She will also have to face the same sexist hurdles former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced in 2016, but Warren is the candidate that offers a future that includes all Americans by making the playing field even, and if elected, she would work to make these changes become a reality — changing the structure of American politics and society for the better. 

Hunter Hess is an Opinion Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. He can be reached at