The New York Times’ Timothy Egan explains why Elizabeth Warren is unlikely to win the presidency.
One of the biggest takeaways from the recent New York Times/Siena College survey of battleground states is that Elizabeth Warren is not connecting with the very people her policies are supposed to help. Trump beats her or runs even in every tossup state but one. The persuadable voters in these states, many of them working class, say political correctness has gotten out of control, and they prefer someone seeking common ground over someone with a militantly progressive agenda.
It’s worth remembering that nearly two-thirds of all American adults do not have a four-year college degree. Warren, the Harvard professor who recently suggested that moderate Democrats belong with the other party, could be more effective with these folks if she showed more of her daughter-of-a-janitor side.
The unhappy truth is that Warren has shown her daughter-of-a-janitor side — she spearheaded the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has returned billions of dollars to those defrauded by slick financial services. She has lived borderline poverty, and done something about it.
What Egan means is she should be more … regular — answer her front door wearing hair-curlers, for instance.
Warren grew-up hearing “Get an education! Go to college! Make something of yourself!” So she did all that — and the people who didn’t are never going to forgive her for it. Though she is the only candidate with a real record of trying to defend the beleaguered middle-class from the serial predations of the 1%, she is the candidate least likely to enjoy their support.
The great divide in American life is education: It isn’t race, ethnicity, gender, religion — it’s education. The well-educated went to schools where they competed for grades against a broad cross-section of races, ethnicities, religions, and both genders, and largely abandoned those kinds of tribalism. Those who didn’t added another box to the tribal checklist: education.
The Constitution’s balance-of-powers relies upon economic self-interestedness on the part of the public, upon the assumption that people will consistently act according to their own best interest. That assumption has now gone awry, with people voting for the very interests screwing them into the ground in order to stick it to the smartypants they despise.
Among the people I love is a sibling who works at Walmart cleaning toilets at night in a thinly populated part of eastern Oregon. She’s been there more than 25 years and has trouble saving a dime and certainly no path to retirement. She’s likely to vote, again, for President Trump.
No matter how much I point out that Trump is trying to take away her health care protections by litigating to kill Obamacare, that his tariffs have made it harder to pay her bills, that he is the most repulsive and creepy man ever to occupy the White House, she holds firm.
She’ll vote against her self-interest in order to stick a finger in the eye of people like her … brother, who writes for the dread New York Times. You cannot reason with people like that; you can only defeat them.