What’s with all this positive Warren media coverage now?

Dear President Trump,

I think you’re just going to have to bear with me for a bit here since I’m still mostly focused on Elizabeth Warren and the fact that her campaign couldn’t get the traction it needed when it comes to votes cast. We are coming up on Washington State’s mail-in ballot deadline this next Tuesday (3/10/20) and I want to let you know that I made a conscious decision not to wait until after Super Tuesday to vote; I went ahead and voted for Warren, knowing full well she might be out of the race by the time Washington’s votes are tallied. Yes, this flies in the face of what I said a few days ago about how voters in later primary states might have their votes mean exactly nothing if they vote for candidates who are no longer in the race. And yes, I still think that if we keep this stupid, staggered primary system we need to switch to a ranking procedure. However, voting for Elizabeth Warren meant something much more important to me than having my vote tip the scale toward one or the other remaining candidate.

Elizabeth Warren isn’t a unicorn. There are other dynamite, brilliant, passionate women politicians who have made or who are making important differences in people’s lives (Hillary Clinton in her time, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Porter, Primala Jayapal, AOC, and so many others now, today, as I type this), some of whom many of us can see stepping up and punching through that damn highest, hardest glass ceiling of ours to become POTUS. So yes, assuming I get to live another 20 or 30 years, I should get to cast a vote for another strong woman presidential candidate and maybe even see her win the whole thing, but it felt important to cast this vote for this candidate now, if for no other reason than my own sense of agency and commitment to voting my conscience. In my opinion Warren was the most qualified person in the race at the time I voted so I chose to support her and I have no regrets about this. Full stop.

It’s been pretty amazing to see all the positive press about Warren since this past “not- so-super” Tuesday (thank you Connie Schultz). There are articles lauding her keen intellect, her drive and passion, her compassion, her ability and willingness to put solid plans for just about everything together and to put them out for public for scrutiny, her ability to make things happen through coalition building and solid strategy. There are articles detailing her life history and recounting her f*cking brilliant, paradigm shifting economic analyses pertaining to middle class families in America. There are countless articles about her commitment to marginalized groups and her particular resonance with children, including her incredibly sweet (and now tear-inducing) pinky-swears with countless little girls. There are photo essays of her on the campaign trail engaging with, as in holding in her arms and gazing into the eyes of, people of all ages, from all walks of life. From all this laudatory post-exit coverage one wonders where the hell these journalists were the last 12 months and if there was perhaps some “thou shalt not cover the best candidate in the race positively because she is not a man and therefore cannot beat DT” gag order in place.

Seriously, no one else who has exited the race has been showered with this kind of positive attention – not by a long shot. I think it demonstrates that the media (and likely a good half of Americans) knew all along that Warren is special and that she has what it takes to lead intelligently and nobly. However, as Stephen Colbert quipped, she made two mistakes – she was able to finish a coherent sentence and she didn’t have a penis. Check and check. Smart, strong, assertive, articulate, ambitious women are threatening as all get out, aren’t they? Laura read me a Julius Goat Tweet this morning about how fragile men’s egos are as evidenced by so many having lost their minds for weeks over the remake of Ghost Busters starring women (OMG!) as ghost busters. Do you remember that? It was insane, but yeah, if a remake of a silly movie gets guys’ gym shorts in such a tight twist, the implications for getting a woman all the way to the Oval Office are daunting indeed.

So here we are. Actually, here I am, nursing my anger and sadness, not yet ready to move on.

May we be safe to be sad. And angry.
May we be willing to keep pushing against toxic masculinity and the patriarchy.
May we foster and celebrate healthy, strong people of all gender identities.
May those who need to, make peace with equitably sharing the air we all breathe.

Tracy Simpson

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