Wednesday 12 August 2020

Vice President Harris

 My thoughts on Kamala Harris as Biden’s vice president:

I like Kamala Harris. I have voted for her many times, and it’s been a pleasure to watch her eviscerate craven, powerful men with her expertise and without mercy. 

She was not my first pick for veep. Nor was she my choice in the presidential primary; I still believe that Elizabeth Warren is the leader made for this moment, and there’s no one I’d rather have in the presidency or within one heartbeat of it. Even as I type this, my nails are freshly painted in Liberty Green.

However, I am heartened that my Senator and my hero work well together. It pleases me greatly that they have consulted with one another on bank-busting legislation and other policies. I will take the table with at least two brilliant women already seated there any day of the week. I deeply believe in the power, strength and magic of black women and girls; indeed, this country would not exist without them—and we have much atonement ahead for how that occurred. This moment is historic and vital, and it occurred in response to widespread calls to elevate a Black woman to our second highest office.

Contrast this with Agolf Twitler and his creepy Made-in-Gilead fundamentalist automaton sidekick. As a woman who values my own bodily autonomy as well as democracy, I see considerable improvement in fortunes ahead when the orange oaf is trounced and the Democratic party can once again engage in repair work following disastrous Republican white supremacist kakistocracy. 

I like a future with a whip-smart, ambitious woman like Harris at the helm, with Warren free to take on the Treasury or Commerce or whatever cabinet post she pleases. I am already seeing a Democratic platform shaped by Warren’s policy initiatives, as Biden has had his ear bent by her intellect and energy. This shows up in things like discussions of universal child care and pre-k, and the basic understanding of how economic justice is imperative to our nation’s wellbeing. I believe that Harris will fight hard for those things; the plans are all there, and Harris contributed to many of them.

I have not voted for a white man (nor even a conditionally white man) in a presidential primary or election since Kerry in 2004. I go for smart women with plans, because policy is my love language and I deserve to be represented by people who understand that women’s rights are human rights. 

I found hope in Obama’s America, and I’d like to see that hope restored to whatever degree is possible, so I’ll break my streak to affirm his vice president who demonstrated that he could abstain from centering himself in the presence of our first Black president.

Biden has the glorious luxury of deep bench of talent in a diverse Democratic party; this is where unity can occur, in restoring government by legitimately valuing expertise and promoting it. The center can hold, and lots of voices can be at the table, as indeed they already are. We can subvert the paranoid rightwing narratives and roll forth with progressive policies that in fact poll well amongst Americans generally, but that are also life-changing and equitable.

Trump’s hideous swamp party has crushed us economically, emotionally, and internationally. It is depressing. The last four years of rampant corruption have left a New Deal-sized opening for Biden and his administration. Biden has moved with the Democratic party over his many decades in office; on this count alone, he could head the most progressive administration we’ve ever seen, simply because that is where the conversations and pressure are in this moment.

Look to the words of FDR, and see how essential it is to link notions of dignity to our national recovery. Look at how economic justice, environmental justice, and reproductive justice are joined. It is time for those conversations to retake our highest office, even as we acknowledge that maintaining those discussions will require vigorous agitation.

I’m voting for Biden for the sake of all of that possibility. I’m going to do what I can to get out the vote, and to see that it happens safely. After Election Day, I hope to have the opportunity to demand better from a man who is actually capable of meeting that challenge. I hope you will, too. 

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