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Elizabeth Warren would have made an excellent president.

Warren, who announced her intention to run for the presidency this week, spent much of her career before entering politics in law, which she taught at universities around the country, including UT-Austin, Harvard, and Penn. Particularly expert in bankruptcy, middle-class personal finance, and consumer protection, since entering Congress in 2013, Warren has spent much of her time pushing for better regulation of financial institutions. She was, for example, essential to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP), a federal agency designed to protect Americans from unfair, deceptive, or predatory financial lenders and other companies. Trump, naturally, has done everything in his power to kneecap the CFPB, but Warren is one of those rare politicians who doesn't just say she cares about the middle class on the campaign trail; she actually fights for it in Congress. She's smart, qualified, and well-liked in her state—all of which makes her more deserving of the presidency than the spray-tanned ogre currently occupying the Oval Office.

Alas, I fear that Elizabeth Warren's chances of winning the Democratic nomination are slim to none. Not because she doesn't deserve it (she does), but because of her one glaring misstep.

I'm talking, of course, about her claims of Native American ancestry, which became a national story thanks to Scott Brown, her 2012 opponent to represent Massachusetts in the US Senate. During the race, Brown brought this issue up to discredit her, but it didn't work; Warren beat him by more than 230,000 votes. And yet, it is sure to dog her throughout the presidential race, and, I believe, will ultimately lead to her defeat in the primary, if not the general election.

First, let's get the facts straight. Despite Trump's talking points, Elizabeth Warren did not get her job at Harvard because she said she was Native American. How do I know this? Because the Boston Globe, a reputable journalistic outlet, scoured old documents and interviewed dozens of Warren's colleagues at Harvard Law, and found that her claims of Native American heritage had no bearing on her career at Harvard or anywhere else. From the Globe:

In the most exhaustive review undertaken of Elizabeth Warren’s professional history, the Globe found clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools. At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman.

The Globe examined hundreds of documents, many of them never before available, and reached out to all 52 of the law professors who are still living and were eligible to be in that Pound Hall room at Harvard Law School. Some are Warren’s allies. Others are not. Thirty-one agreed to talk to the Globe — including the law professor who was, at the time, in charge of recruiting minority faculty. Most said they were unaware of her claims to Native American heritage and all but one of the 31 said those claims were not discussed as part of her hire. One professor told the Globe he is unsure whether her heritage came up, but is certain that, if it did, it had no bearing on his vote on Warren’s appointment.

Let me repeat that for you: Claims of Native American heritage has no bearing in Warren's appointment at Harvard or anywhere else. While there is no reason to doubt the veracity of the Globe's reporting (and if you think dozens of lawyers would lie on the record to save a colleague's reputation, you don't know dozens of lawyers), many of Warren's critics have pointed out that Harvard used her self-identified Native status to promote itself as diverse. This was clearly unwise, if not willfully dishonest, on the school's part, but how is that Warren's fault? (A) She was a professor, not a publicist, and (B) she genuinely thought she was Native American based on old family lore. That's like blaming me because my dad told me he played banjo in the Rolling Stones (which, for the record, he definitely did).

Now, does having a distant Native American ancestor, as the DNA test Warren released last year confirmed, make her Native American? No, it does not. Much to the chagrin of every white person who claims to be part Cherokee, Native status does not adhere to the one-drop rule, and when Warren released her disastrous video affirming her DNA, the response from actual Native Americans was largely—but not entirely—critical. As Cherokee Nation secretary of state Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement, “It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven." Membership, in other words, isn't based on blood; it's based on family lineage and documented tribal membership.

This, as the Washington Post pointed out, is somewhat of a shift. In 2012, Cherokee Nation principal chief Bill John Baker responded to Warren's claims of Native ancestry by saying, "I wish every congressman and senator in the US had a kinship or felt a kinship to the Cherokee Nation." It was Scott Brown, not Elizabeth Warren, whom he thought should apologize.

Regardless, in 2018, Warren's assertion that a DNA test proved the old family lore correct was not well received by many on the left. It was a dumb move on her part, which is kind of a shame because the whole point of the DNA test was to dunk on Donald Trump, who claimed he would donate a million dollars to the charity of Warren's choice if she would take a DNA test.

Of course, this being Trump's America, even when she took the DNA test, he somehow still won that battle. Did he donate a cent to charity? Of course not. Instead, he denied ever have made that particular wager, his fans believed him, and large swaths of the left bared their teeth at Warren because she offended Native Americans. This was surely not her intention, of course, but intention, as we've learned, is now less important than impact.

Releasing that DNA test and the accompanying video was a clear misstep on Warren's part. She tried to force Trump to pay up and she failed. But, with all due respect to Native Americans, who are completely right to be annoyed when white people claim to be one of them, her misstep seems pretty minor compared to Donald Trump's long history of lies, gaffes, and intentional offenses. Her family told her she was part Cherokee and she believed them.

Should that really be enough to cost her the presidency of the United States? She didn't say that she grabs women by the pussy. She didn't order children to be separated from their parents. She didn't cozy up to authoritarians or abandon our allies both here and abroad. And she, unlike some people, hasn’t repeatedly fought against tribal interests. And yet, she will not be our next president. Why? Because the left requires a level of purity that the right just does not. Republicans can get over huge character flaws and bad policy positions to rally around a candidate. The left will stay home if their ideal candidate isn’t on the ballot—or, in this case, the candidate isn't quite pure enough.

This is a shame, because Elizabeth Warren’s policy positions would actually help the citizens and residents of this country. She's a solid progressive—and not the totalitarian kind. In the long term, she’s in favor of Medicare for All. In the short term, she’s in favor of upholding the Affordable Care Act as well as holding health insurance and pharmaceutical companies accountable for rising health care prices. She’s endorsed a Green New Deal and rebuilding our infrastructure, both of which will create middle-class jobs. She’s for restoring tax rates on the richest Americans to pre-Trump levels and using that revenue to tackle the student loan crisis.

She supports labor movements and renewable energy and ending subsidies for fossil fuels. She's in favor of campaign finance reform and comprehensive immigration reform and using federal regulations like Glass-Steagall to reduce the risk of financial collapse in the future. She's also for criminal justice reform, sensible gun laws, and the legalization of cannabis. She's not a pie-in-the-sky promise-maker with no plans to pay for her it. She's the real deal, and because of this one misstep—because she believed what her family told her—she is unlikely to ever be president.

If you need an example of double standards in American politics, the fact that Elizabeth Warren is likely unelectable and Donald Trump isn't? Look no further than this.