Written By: Anton Sawyer
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Like a cold winter wind breezing through the air, my spine froze to the core when I first heard current President-Elect Joe Biden say he had chosen Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in August of 2020.
Having studied Harris's history during the Democratic Party Presidential Debates earlier the same year, I was somewhat surprised that they picked her specifically. As the political wing that takes pride in their research and fact-checking, it's going to be hard for them to overlook all of the incredibly questionable practices and tactics she used as a prosecutor, an Attorney General, and a Senator. Though there are a number to choose from—not holding police and prosecutors accountable for misconduct, along with her infamous jailhouse informant scandal as examples—there are two specifically that I see as most contradictory to the Democratic base.
The first was Harris's reticence towards the support and implementation of state-wide body camera laws for police officers in 2015. She favored local agencies taking the helm, and not the state, who she said wanted to utilize a "one-size-fits-all" solution to the problem. Because of her stance, and the bills' ultimate demise, she received harsh criticisms from her colleagues.
The second was when Harris had worked with the Legislative Black Caucus of California in 2015 on helping to make changes when it came to police shootings. “There is no question that we need to have changes in the system so that there is greater fairness,” Harris said. “That is a lot of the work that we have been doing.” Yet she staunchly opposed legislation that would require her office to independently investigate fatal police shootings.
These factors (along with the real possibility that Biden could pass away in his first term), make me incredibly concerned as to what would come to the nightmarish state of the already horrific American criminal justice system under a Harris presidency.
With all of this, I'm trying to understand the disconnect that is in the Democratic base.
In 2016 it was made abundantly clear through an email information dump on Wikileaks that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz—head of the DNC at the time—was doing everything to get the committee to stack the deck to ensure Clinton would win, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders would not stand a chance.
With the Democratic base touting the equality illustrated by the DNC in this pick, there has to be a breaking point where the past is going to eventually catch up, and people will start asking questions. It's been made pretty evident that the Democratic Party isn't afraid of doing what they think is in the best interest of sustaining the influence of the party as a whole, in spite of their base. After the aforementioned emails were released, the level of indignance the party showed when confronted with the fact that many average Americans had soured on them was breathtaking. There was a level of finger-pointing and arguing to be found, but it was an election year and they had already put every last chip in on Clinton. So, they did what any pro would do; scapegoated Wasserman-Shultz (who really wasn't punished too terribly and is still serving in congress as of this writing), and pulled out every last stop until election day. Another fact that showed how they only cared about controlling the narrative was that all polling throughout the election cycle indicated that Sanders would have beaten Donald Trump in the election handily, but the margins for Clinton winning were always slim.
The old guard; Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Shumer, Dick Durbin, etc. want to make sure that the advancement of the party is not only done, but done in a specific kind of way. It has been shown time and time again through tweets, recorded conversations, and other storage mediums of mankind, that newcomers like The Squad (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) have really been a thorn in their craw since day one. It seemed like the Old Guard thought the newcomers were quaint but didn't have a clue as to how things "were done." The only problem is, the New Guard didn't care. Eventually, after using the media to make their point completely understood, the Old Guard maneuvered themselves in such a way that the New Guard fell in line to a degree that was tolerable. This entire exercise did allow the senior class to keep an eye out for troublemakers or those who might not be as apt to persuasion as they'd like.
That last sentence perfectly exemplifies why they liked Harris so much—she'd play ball.
She had the moral aptitude that was just such to where she could promise one thing in public about her policy-making, but totally push a different direction, and then look at someone directly in the eye when asked about the past and deflect with the ever-classic, "My record speaks for itself." She also carries the bravado of someone who knows they have the entire backing of half the nation behind her with the heads of the DNC.
If you re-read those last paragraphs, almost every one of those descriptors translate to feelings that Hillary Clinton gave to people, and why they had a problem electing her president ... if you are a supporter/member of the Democratic party, really let that sink in.
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