Kamala Harris: The First Step Back from the Precipice
The Start of the Long Road
I wrote a few days ago (and also posted a podcast) about why I strongly disagreed with Wade Davis's conclusion, in "The Unraveling of America" in Rolling Stone, that America was so far gone, in ways that the abysmal treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic epitomizes but didn't initiate, that nothing could reverse that decline. Nothing, including and especially, the upcoming Presidential election. I explained why I thought such a conclusion was not only dangerous but wrong, and cited FDR's election in 1932 as a ringing example of how a Presidential election can indeed make a difference, in that case, lifting us out of Great Depression, and enabling us to the lead the free world to defeat the Nazis.
I offered that argument two days before Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris to be his VP running mate. I see that selection as America, via Joe Biden's wise decision, taking the first step back from the precipice. In an ideal world, a person's ethnicity and gender wouldn't matter. All that would count in anyone's being a candidate for any job, would be the candidate's talent and capacity to do the job as effectively and as excellently as the job could be done. But we don't yet live in such an ideal world, and, in order to get there, we need people in public positions who come from ethnicities and genders (i.e., women) who have been shut out from such public positions, because of the racism and sexism from which our free society emerged, and which is still very much with us. In such a world -- which is this, our world, our country -- Kamala Harris breaks an wide array of barriers, an array amazing for one person. She is an African-American woman, with an Indian (Asian Indian) heritage.
But Kamala Harris would be an impressive candidate even if she were a white man. She is articulate, sharp as whip, reflective, passionate, and strategic in her thinking. She is an ideal balance for the more deliberative Biden, and will make an ideal governing partner when they both get into office. (Note added: If you want an idea of how Harris stands up to the current Vice President, compare her heartwarming speech of a fighter, just delivered in Wilmington, Delaware after Joe Biden introduced her, to the unctuous pap that daily comes out of Pence's mouth.)
So, to return to Davis, elections do make a difference. A Democrat in the White House, with a black woman as his Vice President, and a Senate and House of Representatives in Democratic control, can and will turn this country around. But to make that happen, we have to get out and vote.
About the author
Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code & The Plot To Save Socrates; his LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context, The Soft Edge, & Digital McLuhan have been translated into 15 languages.