What a pleasure to present 2011′s Number 1 Hero of the Year. One of the rare people who has won multiple Hero of the Week Awards, Elizabeth Warren has been a model of the principles of TSM. Stymied by obstructionist Republicans (who clearly feared she would actually do her job) when she was nominated by President Obama as head of the new Consumer Protection Bureau, she has breezed past this setback. As an outspoken advocate for the 99%, she consistently demonstrates her understanding of good governance and meaningful social policy.
In September, she spoke out eloquently about the social contract:
I hear all this, you know, “Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.”—No! There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody…Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea—God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
More recently, she demonstrated her clear understanding of the intersections of oppression, specifically as they relate to marriage equality:
No one – no one – should be discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or religion…As other states grapple with whether to support marriage equality, I’m ready to move to the next step: End the two-tiered system created by the Defense of Marriage Act.
A rare public figure of principles who is determined and articulate, Elizabeth Warren sets a standard that every liberal in America should strive toward. It will be a delight to see her crush Scott Brown (a BWA winner!) in the Massachusetts Senate race next year. Who knows where she may go from there? My sincere hope is that the United States will be fortunate enough to see Warren as POTUS.
Flashback to 2010: Our Hero of the Year was another strong woman, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.