A Fighting Chance by Senator Elizabeth Warren is one of those rare books by a contemporary elected official every American of whatever political persuasion should read because it speaks to the power of what an individual can accomplish when the cause is justice and fair play.
Always the champion of doing the right thing for America’s middle class, “A Fighting Chance” offers the content, the contours, and the challenges of Warren’s two-decade rise from mid-western obscurity in Oklahoma City to the corridors of power in the nations capitol to a people’s champion many now consider ready for the White House. Along her rocky road to a professorship at Harvard, Warren became an expert on bankruptcy law by asking early on, “why are so many families going broke?” She included her own.
“A Fighting Chance” is a story of grit and steely determination – a 20th century version of David and Goliath. Warren did lose occasionally but loss only fueled her passion to persevere and to win because, as she often said, “government can do better for working families.”
An equally appropriate title could have been “Yes, I’ll Fight.” Warren’s story is inspiring and centers on a simple notion: “We are stronger and wealthier because of the things we build together. We are more secure when we create a foundation that allows each of us to have a decent chance to build something on our own. We are better off when we invest in one another. It’s economics and values, tied together.”
Warren bore witness to the hollowing out of America’s middle class by the rapacious banking industry and its allies in government whose fealty was to an insatiable appetite for profits and campaign contributions. While vilified by foes in the banking industry and in the Congress as being anti-free market, Warren consistently made the point, the real battle isn’t “pro-business vs. pro-government”, the “real battle is whether everyone pays or just the little guys.”
It was the size of the the fight in the dog that compelled Warren to take on the colossus that is America’s banking industry and its foot soldiers in the Congress to successfully persuade a few key allies in the House and the Senate and the White House to support the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Propelled onto a national stage she did not seek, Warren was implored by a grateful legion of citizens across the country to continue the good fight as the true hero of America’s middle class that she had become. This time, from the U.S. Senate. When asked by a desperate and tearful woman from Massachusetts if she would fight and never give up, no matter what? Warren response was by now classic: “Yes, I’ll Fight.”