Persist, by Elizabeth Warren

Nine stars

Often eager to exercise my grey cells with some political reading, I turned to this piece by Elizabeth Warren. Admittedly, I knew little about her, save that she ran for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 US Presidential Election, and sought to use this book to gain a better understanding. Warren admits that this is not a campaign memoir, but more a means of expressing some of the sentiments she expressed on the campaign trail, as well as using the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic to highlight some major issues America must face head-on. A great piece, full of great arguments about where America’s faults continue to lie and how the average American remains behind the political eight ball.

Warren has a great knack of being able to get to the heart of the matter, with numerous examples emerging throughout the book. She explores her early life in Oklahoma, as well as some of the struggles she faced as a school teacher, law student, and eventually a professor of law. Warren highlights the issues that women faced in the workplace, some of which were newly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These struggles have been apparent, never truly dormant, though many chose to turn away from them and pretend that America could not have slipped back into something so troublesome.

Warren uses her experience in bankruptcy law to highlight many of the financial issues that America faces, going so far as offering some simple (sounding) solutions about how small tax increases on the richest could benefit the masses. While there are times that her arguments sound like political stumping, there is no ignoring the effectiveness of their delivery. How opening the wallet of those who make ridiculously large sums of money could help everyone seems simple, but the pushback has been enormous, even within Congress. It truly forces the reader to wonder whose interests the elected representatives value most.

In a narrative that mixes political, personal, and professional anecdotes, Warren effectively pushes for a change to the way things have been done in America. While she does not deny that the Trump Administration was a major blight, things were broken beforehand and have not been remedied since President Biden took office. Warren’s optimism remains strong, but she is not blinded by Democrat rhetoric that it is a work in progress. There is much that needs doing and it will only occur when the mentality of the electorate and their representatives care enough to take the plunge.

I am not ignorant to the fact that most political books seek to push a specific agenda, especially in an era where division is the only political speak known to American politicians. However, Warren’s arguments are also well-grounded and appear feasible. She has the education under her to show that the points have merit and seems clearly on the path to wanting solutions, rather than simply new ways of baking the same cake. An effective narrative pulls the reader in throughout, using a handful of clearly defined chapters to push key arguments about fixing the American social system. I found myself agreeing with her at various points, both aloud and in my mind, as she makes a great deal of sense without needing to tear others down to make her points. This book has me excited to explore more books of a political nature, which usually forces me to think outside the proverbial box to better understand the world around me. With hints that The Donald will try to steal another presidential election, it’s best to get into the mindset for more mud slinging.

Kudos, Madm Warren, for this enlightening piece of political writing. I will have to get back into the swing of things, as I always learn so much reading political non-fiction.