Clare Ravizza is a sophomore Philosophy, Politics and the Public major. She is a guest writer for the Newswire from Green Bay, Wisconsin.
There is one memory that has especially stuck with me from the 2016 Presidential election — a moment that struck me in an emotionally resonant way. During the Democratic National Convention, after Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination, a series of images flew across the screen. They were the faces of all the former presidents of the United States, from George Washington to Barack Obama. And then, shattering the images of all these men — complete with sound effects alluding to breaking the glass ceiling — appeared Clinton’s face.
Though Clinton did not win the presidency, there was something I found immeasurably moving about the vision of a woman in the United States’ highest office. It is almost laughable to think no woman has held either the presidency or vice presidency in the history of the nation. While Clinton did become the first female candidate to win a nomination for a major party, she still fell short of that final and greatest achievement.
However, with the promise of the 2020 election on the rise, there is one candidate who might succeed where Clinton failed. That candidate is Elizabeth Warren.
Elizabeth Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, is in the running for the Democratic nomination in 2020. She’s a dynamic speaker, recognizable for her hand waves that seem to seize her whole body, the selfies that have become a fixture of her rallies and her common refrain, “I’ve got a plan for that!” Warren’s umbrella message is that of structural change, of fighting the corruption that she argues permeates the American political system.
Besides all that, Warren is a candidate who inspires and excites the electorate — not solely because she’s a woman, but because her passion for the issues simply oozes from her. In short, she seems like a candidate who cares, and voters are beginning to notice.
In recent weeks, Warren’s rallies have been growing dramatically in size, gathering crowds of 15,000 to 20,000 — numbers much higher than her fellow Democratic candidates. Further, while former Vice President Joe Biden has consistently been polling the highest in the Democratic primary field, the most recent Iowa poll shows Warren surpassing Biden for the first time.
Warren closes out all her rallies with an important message regarding the 2016 election: “We can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in just because we’re too scared to do anything else.” It’s an important message, especially for those who argue that a female candidate simply couldn’t win the presidency or beat Trump in 2020 solely because of her gender.
Even as the numbers at Warren’s rallies continue to dwarf those of her fellow Democrats, even as she rises in the polls, many still hesitate when confronted with a female candidate. As voters, we shouldn’t vote for a candidate merely because we believe them to be the safe choice; we ought to vote for a candidate who we believe in, who actually motivates us to get out and vote, who will fight for us.
2020 is the year. America is ready for its first female president. And Elizabeth Warren is the woman for the job.