The Michigan Daily sat down with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, to discuss the Nov. 3 election and the impact of the election on the future of the Democratic Party and the nation as a whole. Warren has been in the Senate since 2013 and is a prominent progressive voice in the Democratic Party. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

The Michigan Daily: When looking at 2016 and the 2020 election cycles, how would you say the two Democratic campaigns have differed in campaigning? And how do you think the different campaign strategies will impact the results of this 2020 election?

Elizabeth Warren: We’re in the middle of a pandemic. 225,000 people have already lost their lives. Trump has lied, and we’re eight months in, and Trump still has no plan. That puts lives all across the country at risk. In addition, his health care plan is to take away coverage from tens of millions of people. Trump is fighting to replace the Affordable Care Act, which will knock millions of young people off their parents’ insurance plans and (allow) insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. This election in 2020 is about the health and well-being and even the survival of young people across the country.

TMD: How do you think the events of this election cycle will affect the future of our democratic processes and political atmosphere, especially as it pertains to undermining institutions like the post office or refusing to accept election results?

EW: Donald Trump cares only about Donald Trump. If he breaks our democracy, he’s willing to do that to stay in power. Another reason to support Joe Biden for president is to reestablish our democratic norms: that we are a nation that leads in the peaceful transfer of power, a nation that believes in leaders who tell the truth, a nation that believes in a president who has human empathy for all Americans.

TMD: What do you think the future of the Democratic Party is given the growing rift between the progressives and the moderates? You’re an established member of the progressive camp and are supporting Biden, but many voters are finding this increasingly hard to do. What does Biden need to do to bring these two coalitions together? 

EW: Democrats are united to get Joe Biden and Kamala Harris elected, to get Gary Peters to return to the Senate because we face crucial issues like the climate crisis. Donald Trump and the Republicans are trying to make it worse. Joe Biden and the Democrats have already committed $2 trillion to attack the climate crisis head-on. Democrats want to cancel student loan debt and make public colleges and universities tuition-free. That’s how we believe we build a stronger future. And Republicans want to keep that to the boss’s Secretary of Education to squeeze dry and put public money into private schools. The differences between Republicans and Democrats are enormous. I believe that the Democratic Party is a party of opportunity for everyone. And we will stay strong on that core value long after the election.

TMD: Last question. Are you excited to be working within the Biden administration?

EW: We have the chance to make Donald Trump a one-term president and put Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House and return Gary Peters to the Senate and turn the Senate from red to blue, to expand the majority in the House and win up and down the ticket. That’s where my focus is.

Daily Staff Reporter Julia Forrest can be reached at juforres@umich.edu.

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