The Thought Leaders Issue: Emily Ratajkowski

The writer and entrepreneur on President Trump, taxing billionaires, and encouraging political education.

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“Voting this year is particularly important because there is so much at stake. Four more years of a Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Senate could be permanently detrimental to our country. I endorsed Bernie in both 2016 and 2020. I was very disappointed when he and Elizabeth Warren left the race. While Joe Biden is not the progressive candidate I had hoped for, I’m hopeful we can push him further to the left with pressure from the growing progressive movement in this country. Ultimately, I can’t sit this one out and watch the country move further to the right without doing everything in my power, (however limited my personal power may be), to get Trump out of office.

“I think in some ways this is a very exciting time. People are pissed off. They’ve learned about our oppressive history as a country and capitalism, and now they’re thinking big and demanding systemic change. I want to see billionaires taxed and big corporations regulated by the government. Their unchecked greed is connected to so many crucial issues our country is facing right now: climate change, the exploitation of the working class, the privatization of healthcare, the opioid crisis, systemic racism, and an ever-expanding class divide.

“I’m particularly worried about the way in which we dismiss people who’ve moved to the right in recent years and the whole ‘us vs. them’ attitude that is rampant on both sides of the political debate. I want the left to reach out to those who’ve felt disillusioned by the political establishment rather than dismissing them as ‘stupid.’

“Educating yourself and focusing on the belief system you build personally and connecting to others who hold similar political ideas can help you stay connected and feel less disheartened at the inevitable hurdles we will continue to face. Sometimes the most important work is internal—ask yourself questions you’re afraid of that you don’t hear enough people asking. Read. Encourage progressive thinkers to take positions of power and support them! We have a whole lot of old white male politicians in power. You can’t keep encouraging people to vote if there is no one they like running! We need to see fresh faces in politicians and positions of power ASAP.”


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