Guys, We Need To Stand Up For Elizabeth Warren — And The Women We Love

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So, we’ve been hearing a lot recently about Elizabeth Warren’s “electability” and whether men would “vote for a female candidate.” Those of us who have been volunteering for Warren’s campaign know that there are many men who plan to vote for her and an even larger number of men who would like her to be our next President.

Research backs this up. Studies and polls have consistently shown that men will vote for a female candidate, and often prefer the female over the male. In one study, when participants were asked if they had a magic wand who they’d make President, Elizabeth Warren was the top choice.

The desire for a female president extends to Barak Obama, who recently argued for female leadership at the top. “Now women, I just want you to know; you are not perfect, but what I can say pretty indisputably is that you’re better than us [men].” Obama added that he’s “absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything… living standards and outcomes….If you look at the world and look at the problems, it’s usually… old men not getting out of the way.”

There’s a glitch, though: while most voters prefer female candidates, many think that other voters won’t vote for a female candidate. We have a dysfunctional feedback loop, a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, at work. As Nate Silver has noted, “If voters start to see other voters supporting Warren (in polls and eventually in primaries), their concerns about her electability may lessen.”

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That’s why it’s so important for men to talk more openly about why a Warren Presidency makes sense for them as well. After all, electing our first woman president is not just a “woman’s issue.” There’s a lot in it for men — particularly when that women is Elizabeth Warren, whose policies would make the world a lot better for men as well as women.

Warren wants to restore a competitive capitalist economy, taking on the monopoly capitalism that has created an economy of low-paying jobs and makes it so hard for innovation and creativity to flourish. She wants to help families flourish by cancelling student debt and making public colleges free, and by providing universal childcare free for some and affordable for all. She wants to restore our democracy by ending the corruptive role of money in politics. Her plans to deal with climate change (while also providing well- paying jobs) are thoughtful and broad.

And she can do this all with her “two- cents” tax on the Uber- Wealthy. (Really: the amount of money sequestered in the super-rich is astonishing.)

Oh, and she’s wants to fix our bloated and obscenely expensive health care system that is a burden on us all, even people with “good policies.” And, no, she is not going to take away your health care: her plans for health care reform start with some crucial immediate changes such as lowering prescription costs and strengthening Obamacare, followed by a transitional period of years with negotiation and discussion leading to a carefully- planned single payer system.

You don’t have to be female to want to live in a more just and equitable and humane society. These are not just women’s issues: when they really look at Warren’s proposals, guys can dig it.

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And, dig this, too, guys: how would it feel to live in a world where the women we loved did not feel second-class and worried about control of their bodies and futures?

In her recent New Year’s Eve speech in Boston Senator Warren asked us “to imagine how you could thrive, if America was safe for everyone…How would you live your life? If you were no longer stretched to make ends meet, who would you be?”

Similarly, I’d ask men to imagine an America in which the women we love and admire do not feel marginalized and kept from power, prevented from having a clear voice where decisions are being made about their lives. Imagine how our wives, our mothers, our daughters, our women friends, would feel at seeing a woman in the White House. And imagine how we would feel knowing that they have such inspiration.

It’s time for men to step up and speak out. Time to put on a Warren for President button. Time to get a yard sign. Time to donate. Time to talk with your friends, your neighbors, and, yes, people you meet every day, about electing Elizabeth Warren for President.

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Author, Father (grandfather!), Spouse, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Faculty, Stanley King Institute

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