The Wholesome, Encouraging Rise of Elizabeth Warren
I write about politics an awful lot here on Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place in part because I can. When I worked for The Onion and The Dissolve, both of which were owned and operated primarily as propaganda outlets by Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, I had to parrot the company line. That’s one of the main reasons that my movie reviews were full of glowing references to the Unification Church. Sometimes I never even got around to mentioning the movie I was ostensibly reviewing, I got so caught up evangelizing on behalf of Rev. Moon and his philosophy.
That’s also why I kept writing about the movie Inchon, continually positing it as a misunderstood masterpiece. I mean, yes, I do believe that but I probably wouldn’t have been as zealous about trying to get people to see it were it not for the Unification Church’s central role in getting it made and released.
Looking back, I can see where my loyalty to Reverend Moon usurped my obligations as a journalist. My review of Notting Hill, for example, is mostly about how exciting it was to be part of a mass wedding ceremony inside a Philippine Soccer Stadium to a stranger Rev. Moon picked out to be my bride and how Moon’s instincts are never wrong due to his divine nature.
So you can imagine how exciting it was to branch out on my own. My writing no longer has to directly reflect the opinions of Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church. I am finally free to write articles that reflect my true political beliefs and not those of Reverend Sun Myung Moon. .
So I find myself writing a lot about Donald Trump. My political writing is consequently overwhelmingly negative. That’s because I see it as my moral duty as a writer in times of steadily creeping Fascism and hate to raise my voice in protest and anger as often and as eloquently as I can.
We are living in perilous times. To even profess to be “apolitical” or somehow above it all is deeply immoral as well as disingenuous. We’re all political. Everything is political. And because Trump is President politics have come to seem terrible and toxic, a seething cess pool of hate and hopelessness.
Like a reverse Midas, Trump has tainted and corrupted everything his tiny, controlling little fingers have touched. He’s made people like me ferociously pessimistic about American politics, especially where the presidency is concerned.
I lost a whole lot of faith in the American people and our electoral process when Trump got elected. He has turned me into a sour pessimist convinced that he’ll coast to reelection despite the horrifying, never-ending personal and professional freefall he finds himself in and his near-total mental unraveling over the course of the past few months.
I haven’t had much reason to feel idealistic about American politics as of late. But the rise of Elizabeth Warren has me feeling hopeful about politics and the White House for the first time in years.
Elizabeth Warren’s star has risen dramatically over the course of this campaign for the rarest and most surprising of reasons: she’s really fucking good at what she does, and that makes people think that she would make for an excellent President.
Warren’s appeal is inextricably connected to her preternatural competence. She’s good and she’s smart and she’s overflowing with excellent, practical ideas to make our country better.
We’ve fallen into this awful hole where politics is all about attitude and branding and who has the biggest, most loyal, youngest cult. The answer to that question is Bernie Sanders, who unfortunately did not have the largest voter base last time around. Sanders became an unlikely political rock star in no small part because of his cantankerous, Larry David old cranky Jewish man charisma.
He wasn’t just a man, he was a movement, and a Socialist one at that and heaven knows we have a wonderful record of electing Socialists to high office and taking them seriously. Warren’s growing cult is rooted in something much different. It’s the triumph of substance over flashy style, solid policy proposals over youthful ebullience.
Yes, Warren has been hurt by the whole Native American thing but she has learned from that. She’s not only survived it, she’s thrived. I know people are terrified that Trump would destroy any woman due to our country’s fierce misogyny and the fact that he beat a supremely qualified woman last time around but Warren has made me experience weird feelings of hope and optimism and faith in the American system and its ability to reject hateful incompetence.
Belief is tough. It’s easier to go through life not believing in anything so you don’t get hurt but Warren has me believing all over again, albeit in a way that makes me feel like I need to protect myself emotionally or risk ending up devastated by the cruel twists and turns of American political life all over again.
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