Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren's Terrible Policy Views Are More Disqualifying Than Her Dubious Ancestry Claims

A DNA test says the senator from Massachusetts is maybe, slightly, Native American. Who cares?


Ron Sachs/SIPA/Newscom

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) has released the result of a DNA test proving that she does indeed possess Native American ancestry—way, way, way back.

The results are vague enough that everyone can go on believing their preferred narrative (choose "Fauxcohantas exposed, at last!" or "Take that, Drumpf!" as suits you). According to The Boston Globe, Warren's family tree probably includes a Native American ancestor six to 10 generations ago. A sixth-generation ancestor would make her 1/32 Native American. A tenth-generation ancestor would mean that Warren is only .097 percent Native American. (The Globe initially miscalculated this, due to a math error.) In this latter case, Warren wouldn't be any more of a Native American than the average U.S. citizen. But even in the more favorable scenario, 1/32 is generally not good enough to establish tribal membership.

Liberals have been hailing this as a #Resistance victory—Donald Trump has constantly belittled Warren for falsely claiming Native American blood—while conservatives are pouncing on the weakness of The Globe's claim. I say this is all a distraction from the real issue: Warren's actual public policy views, which are quite bad.

We can't say for sure that Warren is a faux-Indian, but we can say for sure that she is a faux-populist. Despite railing against big business, Warren failed to take a stance against the cronyist Export-Import Bank, a program that essentially provides welfare for Wall Street.

Warren had no interest in killing a government handout to big corporations, but she does enjoy going after the corporations themselves. The senator recently unveiled a truly awful plan that would force businesses to massively reorganize, ostensibly to give the public a stakeholder interest in large firms. The plan could cripple American innovation. The Niskanen Center's Samuel Hammond calls it "bad economics and worse business ethics."

I'm not convinced that Warren actually used her alleged Native American ancestry to advance her career at Harvard, though it does look like the administration was keen to tout her as a diversity hire after the fact. In any case, Elizabeth Warren's most elaborate deception is not her attempt to portray herself as a Native American. It's her attempt to portray herself as a trustworthy steward of the economy. That is what should disqualify her from the presidency.