Hope in the Time of Corona

First there was the lock down due to Covid-19. After hunkering down at home for a couple months to flatten the curve, we were told the economy had to reopen. States started opening back up and Covid cases started rising largely due to the Trump administration’s poor response, or maybe more accurately, non-response. In the midst of this George Floyd was killed by a police officer and white people finally joined their voices with people of color demanding an end to police brutality and institutional racism. That racism is endemic in the US is obvious from the fact that people of color have being dying at disproportionate rates due to Covid. Our society’s deficiencies are all becoming more apparent as women and people of color are disproportionately bearing the burden of the economic fallout and health insurance is being cut for many just when they need it the most.  

Those days when there were so many candidates running to be the Democratic nominee for President that they couldn’t all fit on the same debate stage seems so long ago, an almost forgotten memory. Back then the thought that we might have Kamala, or Kirsten, or Elizabeth as our next president made me giddy, but it was obviously too good to be true. Even the anger women felt, as one by one these talented, intelligent, experienced women dropped out of the race, has almost been forgotten. Covid has eclipsed everything.

In the months and weeks leading up to Joe Biden announcing his running mate, it seemed there were as many opinions about who would help the ticket the most, as there were pundits trying to convince us they knew best. Political analysts all had ideas of what was needed and who had it. Experience was necessary, the ability to hold their own in a debate, against all the scrutiny, the ability to help Biden with the black vote, the liberal vote, whatever vote anyone thought of as a unit, rather than made up of individuals. My heart had been with Elizabeth Warren from the beginning, but as Covid went on and the racism steeped into our country became more and more undeniable, the need for more black women in leadership is indisputable. Still, the one thing that seemed true looking at that list of potential candidates was that they were an incredible powerhouse of smart, capable, talented, and commanding women. In the end, Joe Biden really couldn’t have gone wrong. We need all those women and many more. We need them in charge of this country, instead of the talentless, spineless, uncaring and bordering on imbecilic men we’ve got thanks to Donald Trump.

Jim Hightower, as progressive a Democrat is there ever was, stated “It is predictably Joe: Cautious, corporate-friendly, unthreateningly-progressive politics. At least it tells us straight up what our job is: Use this ticket to oust the maniacal Trump kakistocracy, then form a grassroots bulldozer to oust them.” I usually agree with Jim, but I’m a little more optimistic with Kamala. I think as Sean King said, she has the ability to learn, the ability to change and grow. She can get us to the next step. Sean tweeted, “Among current United States Senators, I would rank Kamala Harris in the Top 3 on justice reform issues. As we know, she has a mastery of the system, but has evolved and grown a great deal on this. Her remarks on justice over the past 4 months were the best of ANY Senator. … I’ve done political work all my life. It’s rarely things dreams are made of. Kamala Harris is the most progressive VP nominee in American history.”

So, what makes Kamala Harris the best choice. Joe Biden and Donald Trump both made that clear. According to Biden “She’s smart. She’s tough. She’s experienced.” God knows, with what’s going to be coming at her, with the double standards women in politics face, even or especially among liberals, she’s going to need all of that. In the process of vetting candidates many male Biden supporters kept lamenting that Harris wasn’t “remorseful” enough for attacking Joe on the debate stage. Women are always supposed to apologize it appears for doing their job, for being good at it, for not feeling like that need to play nice and worry about men’s feelings. It says a lot for Joe that he didn’t hold that against Harris. It says more for Kamala that she never felt the need to apologize.

But Donald Trump’s statement that Senator Harris was “horrible” and “nasty” in her questioning of Brett Kavanaugh is even more of a ringing endorsement for Kamala. Somedays the only reason to watch a Senate hearing is to listen to Kamala’s questioning of the prime suspects that appear over and over again before the Senate, either as nominees for some position they are uniquely unqualified for, or as government officials testifying on the latest horror they, as a Trump appointee, have caused. She does so with such authority, intelligence, precision, and directness that there’s always a feeling she is in charge. She knows what she is doing and she doesn’t feel a need to apologize or to be nice. Even for those of use who have never been enamored with Joe Biden, the fact that he picked Kamala Harris as his running mate gives us hope.

Even this Covid-19 pandemic will be easier to live through with Kamala Harris as Vice President.