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After the debate

I'm still hopeful for a progressive candidate. There are two to choose from. I'm still planning on voting for Warren in the primary.

America is a fundamentally conservative country by policy, but I don't believe this is the case by population. There's a reason why Bernie Sanders is America's most popular serving politician (according to 11 polls in a row). The electoral college and our weird post-civil-war systems of representation have created a tyranny of the minority.

Beyond the obviousness of the Trump administration's deficiencies, I find American conservative values to be completely unacceptable. I'd love to find someone on the Republican side who I share any ground at all with, but I haven't been able to. Consistently, it's the party of corruption, racism, bigotry, fundamentalist religion, and abusing the poor. There's nothing there for me.

Similarly, the center path. Centrists in America are far to the right of centrists in most countries. Perhaps they're more balanced between the two ends of the spectrum, but those two ends are not equally weighted. The systemic injustices in this country are so pronounced and ingrained that accepting their continued existence is bigotry in itself. And American nationalism is so rancid that it demands a strong rejection.

Anyone who's lived in any other developed nation for any length of time - and if you have the means, everyone should - can see through the common lies. I know what living with universal healthcare looks and feels like, and I know that it enabled my entrepreneurial career. (I could not care less about turfing people off their existing plans; a universal plan will be better.) I know what free university looks and feels like, and I know that living without significant student debt allowed me to make riskier decisions that created millions of dollars in value. And I know that America is not the only, or even the most, democratically free country in the world.

We don't lose freedoms by having stronger social infrastructure: we make the majority of Americans more free. These protections will create jobs, enable entrepreneurship, and build a stronger economy. The only thing we curtail is the right of the very wealthy to build their wealth in a way that harms the majority. As Warren rightly puts it: capitalism without rules is theft. And it's time we built an environment where the rules serve the people of this country. We don't have that today - but it's within our grasp.

I roll my eyes at flag-waving bullshit, but I believe that a truly progressive America really would be the best country in the world. But we have to build it. And we can.