Watching Elizabeth Warren refuse to shake Bernie Sanders’ hand after the recent presidential debate only confirmed my view that she’s the perfect candidate to run against Donald Trump in 2020. While even Fox News admits that most Americans want to see the president impeached, Warren can lead Democrats to a crushing defeat in the general election.
It’s not just a matter of policy—though, to be sure, Mrs. Warren’s policies are batty. Her signature issue, “free” college education, wouldn’t just ludicrously expensive; it would also be completely unproductive. Of course, a Warren administration wouldn’t place any conditions on what the beneficiaries of this “free” education would study. The result would be millions more teenagers going to C-list liberal arts colleges to smoke pot and complain about the patriarchy for four years; they’ll come away with degrees in 20th-century Mongolian poetry and a big, fat sense of entitlement. True, they won’t have student debt. But they’ll still be saddled with an enormous tax burden on their $15.75 an hour job while trying to pay $1,500 a month for a studio apartment in Brooklyn—all because President Warren told them to live their best little bourgeois lives.
If Warren were a real leftist, she’d be fighting to bring back honest, blue-collar jobs. But Mr. Trump already has that lane pretty well stitched up. So she’s left propping up the crumbling artifice of late capitalism like the upper-level bureaucrat she is. (What need have coal miners of a Harvard professor who got paid $400,000 to teach one class?)
And when she meets Mr. Trump on the debate stage, she won’t even have the chance to make her case for socialized education. The president will wipe her from the history books before she finishes her opening statement, because Mrs. Warren is by far the most unlikeable candidate to seek the White House since Walter Mondale (who, incidentally, endorsed her right out of the gate). And Trump is the only politician in modern history who would tell her that.
Now, what I’m about to write, I endeavor to do in the spirit of Christian charity. I have nothing against Mrs. Warren personally, except that which I have against all of my fellow Massachusettsians: that we’re nasty, cold, and smug.
Pot-and-kettling aside, the problem with Mrs. Warren is that she’s a professional scold. She’s the very avatar of a screechy, preachy schoolmarm. Everyone’s met a social studies teacher who fancies himself an expert on labor relations because he lectures 14-year-old children about the Homestead Strike. The American people won’t be much more impressed with Professor Warren because she lectured 25-year-old children in bankruptcy law. She’s still a quintessential academic elitist who thinks she’s morally superior to the unwashed masses because she has a bit of paper from the University of Pennsylvania on her wall.
So it is with Bernie Sanders. No one really thinks the senior senator from Vermont said that a woman can’t be president. He might have said something that sounds very much like it, in a kind of ham-fisted, virtue-signaling way—“Sometimes I fear the American people are still too bigoted to vote for a woman,” or something like that. Yet every Clinton staffer was muttering the same thing under her breath at 3 a.m. on November 9, 2016.
What’s more, Mrs. Warren never denied that Mr. Sanders only ran in the last election cycle because she declined to do so. Nor can anyone forget how vigorously he campaigned for Mrs. Clinton, even after she and the DNC rigged the primary against him. If Mrs. Warren and her surrogates at CNN are claiming that Bernie meant that a person with two X chromosomes is biologically incapable of serving as president, they’re lying through their teeth.
This is how Liz treats her “friend” Bernie—and when he denies that absurd smear, she refuses to shake his hand and accuses him of calling her a liar on national television. Then, of course, the #MeToo brigades line up to castigate him for having the temerity to defend himself—further evidence, of course, of his sexism. I mean, like, Bernie is, like, literally Weinstein.
Then there’s the “Latinx” thing, which is the absolute summit of progressive elites’ disconnect with ordinary Americans. In case you didn’t know, Mrs. Warren has been roundly panned for referring to Hispanics by this weird neologism, which was invented by her comrades in the ivory tower as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina. The thing is, Spanish is a gendered language. What’s more, a poll by the left-wing market research group Think Now found that just 2 percent of Hispanics call themselves “Latinx.” (In fact, most prefer the conventional “Hispanic,” which is now verboten on the Left because it hearkens back to Christopher Columbus’s discovery of La Española.)
So here comes Professor Warren—white as Wonder Bread, the mattress in her Cambridge townhouse stuffed with 12 million big ones—trying to rewrite the Spanish language because she thinks it’s sexist. How she’s made it this far in the primary is absolutely mind-boggling. She doesn’t care about Hispanics, much less their culture. Like every employee of the modern education system, she’s only interested in processing American citizens into gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness.
Of course, if one of her primary opponents or a cable news “Democratic strategist” (whatever that is) dared to say as much, they’d be hung, drawn, and quartered. Partisan Democrats have trained themselves not to think in such terms. That might not matter much if Mrs. Warren was facing Mitt Romney or John McCain in the general. But she’s not. If she wins the primary, she’ll be up against Donald Trump. And if you don’t think he’ll say all of this—and a whole lot more—you should apply for a job at CNN.
Again, I don’t want to be cruel. But in the Trump Era, we must be prepared to face a certain amount of callousness in politics. Just imagine all the terrible shots Mr. Trump could take at Mrs. Warren:
“Liz, I like you a lot. I think you’re a nice person. But you need to calm down. I don’t know if you take any medication—your blood pressure must be very high. I’m worried about you. I really am. Relax. Put on a nice sweater, have a cup of tea, grade some papers.”
“I went to Wharton, okay? A much better school than Harvard, by the way. Harvard used to be a very good school. Now it’s failing, because of people like you. And I did very well at Wharton. Very well. I don’t need any more lectures. Save it for your students, professor.”
“Professor Pocahontas, I call her. Iron Eyes Cody had more Indian blood than Liz! Remember him? ‘Keep America Beautiful.’ That was his thing. I like that. He would vote for Trump. But maybe he’d vote for his fellow Native American. I don’t know.”
“I’m doing very well with the Latino community, even the Latina community. Not so much with the Lateen-ex community. But that’s okay. Liz can have them. All seven of them. What do you do with a Lateen-ex? Blow your nose with it?”
And on and on.
What then? What would happen when The New Yorker responds by calling Mr. Trump a sexist and a racist? The same thing that always happens when The New Yorker calls him a sexist and a racist: nothing. Nobody cares, unless they already hate Trump, because there’s nothing sexist or racist about it.
None of this has anything to do with the fact that Mrs. Warren is a woman. None of it would come into play with Amy Klobuchar or Tulsi Gabbard—or Hillary Clinton, for that matter. Mrs. Warren is singularly and excruciatingly unpleasant. She has no gift for communicating beyond her small circle of East Coast ideologues. She’s the kind of politician who takes videos of herself drinking a beer because you would never, ever catch her drinking beer in the wild. (“This is a, uh, beer we have here. I drink one every New Year’s Eve. Very cold and refreshing. A cerveza, if you will—or cervezx, preferably.”)
For all my reservations about Mr. Trump—his lagging commitment to protectionism, his shafting of Amy Coney Barrett, his deportation of Iraqi Christians, his burgeoning hawkishness, his total lack of decorum—he’s infinitely preferable to anyone the Democrats could nominate. Going up against a Biden or a Klobuchar, he might have his work cut out for him. Even a Sanders or a Buttigieg could be a close call. But running against Mrs. Warren would be a walk in the park.
So my progressive friends, do the right by your country and vote for “Big, Structural Change.” It’s the only way to be sure we’ll get none.
Michael Warren Davis is the editor of Crisis Magazine. Read more at www.michaelwarrendavis.com.