I Voted for Elizabeth Warren. Now What?

Nivi Achanta
3 min readMar 6, 2020

On November 8, 2016, I celebrated my first voting-age birthday.

I basically bounced over to my polling place in Davis, feeling the sun and excitement of exercising democracy in America.

I voted for Hillary Clinton.

She wasn’t my perfect candidate. In fact, I agreed far more with Bernie Sanders’ plans and policies, but I was excited to vote for her in the general election. I believed, without a shadow of a doubt, that this woman, with all her flaws, had the experience, grit, and political know-how to win by a landslide over Donald Trump.

You know what happened next.

That night felt surreal. I came home to my backyard transformed into a magical collage of candles, cheese and crackers — a surprise birthday celebration for me, bringing together my closest college friends, giving us an excuse to begin what we assumed would be a night-long celebration of democracy. We were basking in the glow of soon-to-be-realized power: you know that feeling in your nerves when you know something big is coming? Jittery, anxious, tingly.

We felt anticipation; we received dread.

It was wrong on so many levels. Here was a person who had been in and around politics longer than I’d been on this Earth. Here was a former US Secretary of State, losing to a career fraudster. She wasn’t The Ideal Candidate on so many levels, fighting one scandal after another, but she was strong. Fierce. Resilient.

She was all the things a woman needs permission to be.

I don’t think I quite understood, at the time, how We Are Not Ready for a Woman President. I sort of understood the Hillary Clinton backlash. I figured, you know, maybe people were voting for Donald Trump’s candid demeanor over her coldness. Maybe it wasn’t because she’s a woman.

When Elizabeth Warren announced her campaign, I thought in my heart that this would be it. Her policies are impressive. Her selfie-taking with candidates were warm and wonderful. The video clips of her telling every little girl they can be president too melted my heart. And she absolutely DESTROYED Michael Bloomberg.

If there was ever a woman who was experienced but not too old, progressive but understanding of the other side, funny but politically serious, confident but not overly aggressive, charming but dangerous, appropriately dressed but not extravagant, it was Elizabeth Warren.

Source: bloomberg.com, just for the heck of it.

I’m reeling from her losses this week. It’s not just that she dropped out of the presidential race — it’s that her Super Tuesday performance, simply, sucked.

She didn’t win a single state. She only finished above 20% in Massachusetts. We say we want to have a woman president, but when it comes time to cast a vote, we get cold feet.

America is not ready for a woman president, because we’re unwilling to vote for her. We think she can’t win…because (you guessed it) we’re unwilling to vote for her.

The reality is likely that Elizabeth Warren’s policies will live on through the voices and pen strokes of white men in power. We’re talking about it already. Although I’m optimistic about her political legacy, we simply cannot continue to be a society where we listen to women’s voices only when it’s convenient. And when it is, we dub over them with a male voiceover.

What’s next?

I’m mourning this, big time. But I’m so grateful we have another, equally accomplished, morally consistent progressive in the mix, to hopefully move our country in the right direction. I’m looking forward to November, for another opportunity to exercise my right to vote.

Hopefully this time, I won’t be disappointed.

I want to put all my frustration and indignance towards voting for the same platforms Elizabeth Warren championed — we can’t let this loss turn us apathetic. We can’t give up — she isn’t.

In the meantime, here are my top three moments from the Warren campaign:

  1. When she turned ScareMikeBloomberg.com into her campaign donation page

2. When she talked to Stephen Colbert about her billionaire tax over ribs and slapped his hand out of the way because he was eating “universal childcare, you jerk!”

3. Every pinky promise video. Ever. (Okay, I cheated, that’s more than top three.)



Nivi Achanta

I’m the founder of Soapbox Project (www.soapboxproject.org), host of Get Schooled Podcast, and passionate about helping people do more with their limited time.