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Women's History Month: Senator Elizabeth Warren

Updated on March 2, 2020

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday

This summer I had the opportunity to hear Senator Elizabeth Warren speak to 13,000 people at Macalester College in St. Paul. It was a huge wall of humanity which was the back drop of her campaign speech in Minnesota. This college is a private college which often hosts large events. She wore her standard outfit of a sweater, top and dressed pants. She told her life story and talked about the issue of health care. Contrary to what some people are saying she does not oppose Medicare for All at all. In fact she has her own plan which is detailed in a report containing over 40 pages. This woman does her research and it is not surprising considering her abilities to get the job done. The plan details reveal that the money for the plan will come first from your employer and then wealth taxes from wealthy individuals and large corporations. There are no co-pays or premiums in this plan. It is much like Medicaid and Medicare for those 65 which we have today. You can choose your own doctor rather than ones the insurance company thinks you should visit.

Minnesota is unusual in many ways. We have a Minnesota Care plan for low income individuals who make more than those on Medicaid. We also have a state senator, John Marty, who has developed the Minnesota Health Care Plan which covers all licensed practitioners and is a single payer health care plan. He is going to try to get a waiver to implement this plan if the right people in on state and national levels get in who will agree with the waiver.

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. You can vote for a Presidential candidate for the Democratic and Republican parties. You can also re-vote tomorrow for another candidate if your candidate has dropped out and you voted in early voting. The polls are open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in your precinct. Check with the Secretary of State website of your particular state for the location of your voting place.

Health care is just one of the many issues of concern for many voters. Climate change, Social Security, civil rights, campaign finance, government corruption and equal pay are some of the issues people will be considering when they vote tomorrow. Some people will vote for personalities who deliver big speeches or for who they think will beat Trump. Most Democrats would actually beat Trump. It is a matter of choosing the candidate who has the best door knockers and phone calling personnel. This is probably the most important because voting is about who shows up at the right time.

We do not always understand who the candidate is from a personal view point. Senator Warren's story is an amazing story of a woman who persisted despite her challenges and succeeded and even broke stereotypes of what people think a woman should be or accomplish. In many ways she is a great example of someone who overcame adversity every step of the way. She was born in Oklahoma City on June 22, 1949. Her birth name is Herring. Her father was a salesman and later became a janitor. When she was 12 years old, he suffered a heart attack. They lost the family car and almost lost their house. Her mother had to work outside the home because of the situation as a customer service phone agent at Sears. Her dad could not work for quite a long time.

She received a college debate scholarship because she was excellent at debate, but dropped out of college at 19 to marry Jim Warren, her high school sweetheart. Like her mother she answered phones. Eventually she attended a commuter college for $50 a semester. She eventually became a public school special education teacher. She had two children, Amelia and Alex. She attended Rutgers Law School, practiced private law out of her house and then became a law professor.

Her first marriage ended in 1978. She met her second and current husband, Bruce Mann, at the University of Houston Law Center. She proposed to him after she saw him teach and they married in 1980. She taught at a number of different colleges and universities. Eventually she obtained her dream job of Law Professor at Harvard Law School. She taught there from 1995 to 2012.

In 2007 she outlined her idea for a federal agency to protect consumers. In 2008 she was appointed to a Congressional Oversight Panel on Troubled Assets Relief Program. In 2010 President Obama appointed her as an assistant and special adviser to the Treasury Secretary to develop a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In 2012 she ran for the Senate in Massachusetts against Scott Brown. When she ran against him, he was 17 points ahead of her in the polls. On Election Day she defeated him by 7%. She has written a number of books including: A Fighting Chance (her memoir) and This Fight is our Fight. On February 19, 2019 she launched her presidential bid in a Lawrence, Massachusetts rally.

She runs several miles a day and is in perfect health. I even saw her keeping up with a young guy running on a university track. It is truly amazing how fast she can run. She has a golden retriever dog which has been quite popular on the campaign. She calls her small donors personally and does selfies for supporters after her speeches. She even called supporters in Minnesota after they voted her her first in early voting in Minnesota.

One of her biggest topics she wrote about in her books and articles was how the banks and big corporations have set the rules, so that they could trick consumers into paying large fees. The Consumer Protection Bureau returned $12 billion to consumers who were cheated by these entities. Of course, President Trump decided to eliminate this bureau. After all he is a billionaire who has greatly benefited from bank loans.

You have a chance tomorrow to choose a better future for our nation. In the primaries and caucuses you have the most choice. Many delegates will be assigned tomorrow. If a candidate has at least 15% of the vote, he or she will receive delegates in proportion to the percentage received by the candidate. A candidate must receive a majority via the primaries and caucuses to be automatically nominated before the convention.

If that does not happen, then the super delegates will decide on a candidate. They could decide to choose the person who has a plurality of votes from the primaries. This is the person with the most votes, but not necessarily the person who has received the majority of the votes. They could also choose a different candidate who they feel would most likely beat Trump. They could choose a moderate for President and a progressive for Vice President. Voting is important no matter what happens in the primaries. To defeat Trump we must show up on large numbers of Election Day. Democracy is what is at stake in this election. It is very crucial to show up and take your stand for progress.

I have voted for Elizabeth Warren because she has the intelligence, social skills and congressional experience for the job. She has shown persistence over time. She has plans based on town hall meetings with uncensored questions from the public. I wish more would follow her example of focusing on the issues using such a format. A President must work with members of Congress of both parties. Having the social skills is something she certainly excels at more than any other person in the race. Foreign policy requires knowledge of diplomacy and the cultures of other countries. Domestic policy needs to be visionary to achieve progress and yet be practical, so that it is implemented for the best outcome for the general public. The moneyed interests and the environment needs regulation. One more thing she has which is important: good health. She has the best health of any candidate running in the race. The common good is what Hinduism is all about. I think Senator Warren is the best candidate to achieve this balance of demands. If she does not become the Presidential candidate via the primaries or convention, she may very likely be our next Vice President. Sometimes women have to go through the back door to get to the front door. Wishing her the best in life!




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