Reframing racism

Charles Bruner is a longtime advocate for policies that support children and strengthen families. He has endorsed Elizabeth Warren for president. -promoted by Laura Belin

Iowans like to see presidential candidates in the flesh, but sometimes their surrogates offer perspectives that deserve as much attention.

In early January, Heather McGhee spoke on behalf of Elizabeth Warren to a small group of Iowans at Smokey Row in Des Moines. Her message, however, was one that deserves to be considered and heeded by Democrats and progressives more generally.

Continue Reading...

Why I am supporting Elizabeth Warren

Amanda Rex-Johnson is an activist in central Iowa. -promoted by Laura Belin

I started volunteering on presidential campaigns last year long before I had identified my favorite candidate. My goal was to support folks getting more involved in the Iowa caucuses while advocating accessibility needs directly to the campaigns.

Not all the campaigns were easy to engage with. Despite multiple efforts, I was unable to connect with a top candidate’s operation here in Des Moines. When I found out that one of his top staffers would be a guest speaker at a training I was attending, I was excited to finally have a chance to ask how to volunteer and what they were doing to make their campaign more accessible for volunteers and organizers.

Continue Reading...

Why I will caucus for Elizabeth Warren

Matt Chapman is a Democratic activist in Waukee. -promoted by Laura Belin

A few years after the great recession kicked in, I was listening to the latest Ry Cooder album while mowing my lawn and came across the song “No Banker Left Behind.” It spoke perfectly to the mood of the time, and I remember shutting the mower off and going inside to listen to it a couple more times.

The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill had passed a year earlier, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created (an idea Elizabeth Warren came up with). At that time, Professor Warren was asked to help set up the bureau, made a temporary chair, and given some liaison responsibilities. But she was never given the role of director.

Luckily for us, efforts to recruit Warren to run for the Senate instead paid off. Now she is campaigning to be our first woman president.

Continue Reading...

The true cost of incrementalism: defeat

Stacey Walker is a Linn County supervisor who has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. -promoted by Laura Belin

There’s a popular expression that not paying attention to politics is a privilege. In this time and moment, this is an obvious truth. Only those in the gilded classes are protected from the pervasive social and economic harms that haunt and oppress most Americans. This enormous shield of privilege allows for the bliss that comes with inattentiveness; a sedative that can lull us into ignorance and apathy.

A comparable privilege which I’ve struggled for years to articulate is the one that comes with being able to wholeheartedly support a candidate for president who espouses a politics of incrementalism. An endorsement of this sort of politics suggests an immunity to the social and economic harms I referenced earlier.

The Democrats I know supporting Joe Biden have health insurance. They have good jobs and they don’t have any fear of life or limb when interacting with the police. While this may not seem like much to some, for many Americans this basic sense of security is a Maslovian dream.

Continue Reading...

Why didn't Cory Booker take off in Iowa?

My father used to say the most optimistic person is the guy on the brink of bankruptcy. He’s always thinking the next sale or the next deal will turn everything around.

Cory Booker remained “incomprehensibly upbeat” on the campaign trail, in the words of Rebecca Buck, who spent a year covering him for CNN. The senator from New Jersey wasn’t just another unsuccessful candidate falling for his own spin. Booker made believers out of many who were closely watching the campaign.

Continue Reading...

With Iowa as unsettled as it has ever been, a critical debate

Make no mistake: Iowa debates matter, writes Dan Guild. What’s at stake as the candidates take the stage in Des Moines. -promoted by Laura Belin

If you are familiar with the history of the Iowa caucuses, you know just how unprecedented this cycle is:

  • A two-term VP of a popular president cannot break 25 percent in Iowa.
  • Incredibly, three Iowa polls have been taken since the start of the new year, and among the four candidates the highest any has received is 24 percent and the lowest is 15 percent. There has never been a race this close among four candidates.
  • With the caucuses a mere three weeks away, only about 40 percent of voters say they have made up their mind.
  • Is there any trend here? Bernie Sanders is up in all three most recent polls, and there are significant downward moves for Pete Buttigieg in two of them.  For the most part, though, this is a glorious mess.  Who is ahead? No one knows.

    Continue Reading...
    View More...