The Underdogma of Elizabeth Warren

At American Family Voices, we are doing a series called “The Aggressive Progressive” to feature the speeches of bold progressive leaders, but with a twist. I add graphics like stylized portraits, charts and animations – if you are familiar with VH1’s “Pop-Up Video,” it is essentially pop-up video for politicos. In this edition, we feature a particularly fiesty Elizabeth Warren, who takes down GOP leading men Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz in her speech at the recent Humphrey-Mondale Dinner in Minnesota.

Normally the Massachusetts senator reserves her ire for bankers and their minions, regulators included, but here she deploys it, with a comedic touch, on the irrationality of Ryanic and Cruzian arguments against unemployment insurance and Wall Street regulation. I’ve seen many of Warren’s speeches and none have approached this level of glee in dismantling Republican dogma, chiefly the party’s unflinching defense of so-called ‘free’ markets. To be critical of free markets or to advocate for better regulation, like Warren, is not to be anti-capitalist or Communist – we do not live in a binary world, despite GOP efforts to characterize it as such.

Regulation must exist in order for society to function. Any time a law or regulation is enacted that has an economic impact, it is necessarily a government intervention into the market. To have a purely free market requires anarchy. Thus, ‘free’ market is a relative term, depending on which interventions your party deems to be okay. If you are Paul Ryan or Ted Cruz, ‘regulation’ is a dirty word, but not regulatory action. Acceptable intervention boils down to whether or not it impedes or improves the profitability of corporations and special interests. For example, the administration of New Jersey Governor and alleged free-market advocate Chris Christie recently banned sales of Tesla electric cars in the state, at the behest of the powerful auto dealer lobby, whose profits are threatened by Tesla’s direct-sales model… That doesn’t sound very free market to me, GOP.

There are winners and losers to every law; it is impossible for legislators to satisfy every constituent. However, when legislators consistently put the profits of powerful corporations and special interests ahead of the greater good, they are furthering plutocracy and weakening economic competition, thereby weakening our democracy. Elizabeth Warren is the true free market advocate here. Ryan and Cruz have dogma; Warren has underdogma. Watch Sen. Warren in the clip below, and subscribe to AFV on Youtube…

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