Last night Joe Biden made his acceptance speech that he must give to make it official that he was the Dem candidate for president…….and that means that it is also official that the VP candidate is Kamala Harris….and there is where we pick up this post.
I have written several times that I do not support Biden nor his VP pick…..there are many reason, probably too many for a short post but I will hit n the main points….at least for me.
Since I am a foreign policy wonk let me start there….
Kamala Harris’ foreign policy record is coming under closer scrutiny now that she has been named as Biden’s running mate. The record shows a mix of fairly conventional liberal internationalist commitments with encouraging signs of opposition to some of our more reckless policies overseas. Harris has made some relatively hawkish noises on certain issues, such as North Korea, but her voting record on Yemen and Saudi Arabia over the last few years has been quite good. Joe Cirincione reviewed her record earlier this week, and he described her opposition to the war on Yemen:
It is worth underlining here that Harris was an early opponent to arms sales to the Saudis. That suggests that she could influence a Biden administration foreign policy in the right direction when it comes to reassessing the relationship with the Saudis. She has said that “we need to fundamentally reevaluate our relationship with Saudi Arabia, using our leverage to stand up for American values and interests.” It remains to be seen if she and Biden would follow through on that, but it is the right position to take. Her opposition to the war on Yemen could help keep Biden from backtracking on his belated pledge to end U.S. involvement in the war. She objected to Trump’s quasi-withdrawal in Syria because of the process (or lack thereof), but she has also said that she wants to get U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
It seems that all pundits are happy with her choice to satisfy the “identity politics” thing……but why?
To me it appears to be another incident of “tokenism”……
To be sure, having a woman of color is something that in other circumstances ought to be celebrated. The US does indeed lag behind comparably developed nations when it comes to gender equality. But this is a clear case of tokenism when taken in a broader context. Though neither Biden nor Harris have spelled it out, it appears that race and gender were the major factor behind this choice.
After all, Harris performed poorly in the 2020 Democratic primary, failing to win a single state before pulling out in early December 2019. So she bucks the trend of a presidential contender picking a running mate who came up runner-up, or at least was a serious contender, in the party’s primary contest. Harris even attacked Biden during the primary for his close partnership in the senate with southern segregationists (which was, in fact, close friendship in at least one case). In short, she hasn’t done anything to endear herself to Biden nor demonstrated that she has significant broad support based on her own merits as a candidate.
I am not one of her supporters….and I read that black men are not thrilled with her as well……again I ask….but why?
Sen. Kamala Harris has a problem with Black men. Rather, Black men have a problem with Sen. Kamala Harris.
Since her selection as presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate, I’ve received a deluge of phone calls, text messages, and WhatsApp group chats from Black men — only two of whom had positive things to say about her. One was from someone who sees himself in Harris; like her, he has one parent from Jamaica and another from India. The other is totally aligned with her policy positions. Everyone else, though, is down on the pick.
This conversation is tough. Emotions are high. Nuanced discourse is rare. The discussion is either black or white. That all-or-nothing approach is already common on social media, but now it’s jumping into my real-life conversations. It’s shocking, even disheartening, but it’s not surprising.
Black men, let’s establish what we know. As Malcolm X said, the most disrespected, unprotected, neglected person in America is the Black woman. And yes, Harris is Black, so let’s stop with any false narrative that she’s not. Bad actors seeking to create dissent will do a good enough job spreading false propaganda without our assistance. It’s already beginning with the birther movement; the once-silent dog whistles have turned into a blaring sound system used at President Donald Trump’s rallies, White House press briefings, and on the presidential Twitter account. Therefore, we must have her back at all times during this election.
This is something that means little to most people for they are in the mode of “anybody but Trump”…….principles be damn!
As much as I dislike Trump principles still mean something to me.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”