Today brought the devastating news that Senator Kamala Harris (my personal favorite) is ending her campaign for the Presidency. Even though she was part of the 5 candidates who actually had a shot at the nomination (Biden, Buttigieg, Warren, and Sanders being the others), and routinely polled anywhere from 5th to 2nd throughout the entirety of 2018, she is quitting. [Makes you wonder why on Earth there are still 16 Democrats running if one of the top 5 felt she had no chance.]
BUT I had planned to do a series on the entire top 5 and what their presidencies would look like, so why not go ahead and think on what might have been?
–A robust commitment to Civil Rights. Just a cursory glance at Kamala Harris’s 2020 campaign showed that she hoped to capture the black and Latino vote (not unsubstantial in the Democratic Party) primarily by appealing to Civil Rights concerns. As a former prosecutor and Attorney General for the state of California, many Twitter loudmouths wrongly seem to think Kamala would be overly focused on crime and punishment (the hashtag “Kamala is a cop” is peak-ignorance masquerading as wokeness). In fact, her time as San Francisco’s District Attorney routinely had her butting heads with the white female power establishment (Pelosi, Feinstein, Barbara Boxer) who constantly wanted her to be less liberal. She even got into it with Feinstein over her refusal to seek the death penalty for a suspect in a cop’s death.
And as a California constituent, I can tell you firsthand that Kamala cared more about Civil Rights and Justice than most California politicians because her AG successor (Xavier Barrera) has not responded to numerous requests I’ve sent his office to investigate a Civil Rights matter. It also involves the Bureau for Children’s Justice (which Kamala started) and he has run into the ground. The BCJ has no listed phone number, and is completely unresponsive to emails. Likewise, Diane Feinstein’s office also quickly refused to investigate the same matter when I sent it to her, even though Kamala’s office is still looking into the matter…so that’s something. A representative for Gavin Newsome literally hung up on me when I called his office.
Kamala knew firsthand about the issue of school busing, and I do believe she was the best candidate in the field to make a difference on Civil Rights, if only some of the voters who claim to care about that issue the most would’ve given her a chance.
–Decent, measured foreign policy following the “Don’t Do Stupid Shit” Doctrine. Foreign policy may not have been Kamala’s strongest suit, but I believe she knew more than anyone not named Joe Biden about foreign diplomacy and threats. It’s also revealing that Russian puppet Tulsi Gabbard seemed to really hammer Kamala–a sure sign that Putin and Trump did not want her to be the nominee.
Odds are strong that Kamala’s foreign policy would’ve followed in the Obama Doctrine of “Don’t Do Stupid Shit.” Which would’ve probably meant 1. Suspicious distance of Russia and China without outright antagonizing them, hoping they collapse on themselves. 2. Targeted drone attacks on Islamic militants without invading any new Middle Eastern countries and probably a reduced presence overall. 3. A much, much better relationship with conventional US allies like Canada and Europe.
—Also, maybe a stronger relationship with India. This is pure speculation based on absolutely nothing, but since Kamala would be the first American president with any Indian lineage (her mother is Hindu Indian), could we expect a closer relationship with them? Let’s hope so, since India is actually the country America needs to ally itself with the most: we share all the same antagonists (namely China and Pakistan, but Iran, Russia, and Islamic militants to a secondary), and India is routinely listed as the world’s most polluted country, meaning no serious tackling of climate change can be had without them. [If America and India are united on this, it puts even more pressure on China to stop being an enormous polluter.] Not to mention they may soon surpass China as the world’s most populated country, and a population that massive can’t be ignored if climate change is going to make refugees out of 10-to-20% of the world within 50 years. Any way you slice it, America must strengthen ties with India, and Kamala perhaps stood the best chance at doing that.
Overall: We may not have seen huge structural change that Bernie and Warren are promising, but there’s lots of reasons to believe Kamala would’ve been a lot more liberal than Biden and Buttigieg. I truly believe she stood the best chance at uniting the ultra-liberal and center-left lanes of the Democratic Party, and could’ve brought us all together. She…will…be…missed. Excitement for a Kamala Harris Presidency: A