A continual Republican argument for almost four years has been centered on Vice President Kamala Harris.
In the past week alone, former president and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump described her as “speaking in rhyme.”
Moreover, Nikki Haley – the only female candidate on stage at last week’s Republican debate – has repeatedly expressed concern over President Biden’s age, leading to an impromptu Harris presidency.
Kamala Harris and Race
Haley’s recent post on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, prompted a response from high-profile writer Jemele Hill.
When Haley repeated her claim that “a vote for Joe Biden is a vote for President Kamala Harris,”
Hill struck back: “So part of the reason racism is such a terrible sickness in this country is that politicians like this know they can rally a certain base with the fear of OH MY GOD A BLACK WOMAN MIGHT BE PRESIDENT IF YOU DON’T VOTE FOR ME [sic].”
Using the issue of racism as a method to divert criticism is not new. Democrats consistently cited GOP opposition to Barack Obama’s actions as an issue of race, rather than policy, during his eight-year tenure.
Even former president Jimmy Carter claimed that an “overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.”
If the same historical arguments are to be used again, it’s worth looking at why criticism of Harris is valid.
Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Vice President Harris sought to explain how Americans would be directly affected by the conflict.
“So, Ukraine is a country in Europe,” she began.
“It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine. So, basically, that’s wrong, and it goes against everything that we stand for.”
Later that month, another gaffe from the second-in-command went viral on the significance of the passage of time. “The significance of the passage of time, right?
The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time…there is such great significance to the passage of time,” she told an audience.
Politicians must be exceptional orators; after all, how can you get your message across if nobody can understand it?
If the vice president is unable to communicate clearly what her policies are, how can voters be thrilled about the genuine prospect of her taking the presidency?
If someone heard her comments on the radio without knowing who she was or what she looked like, I suspect they’d be saying the same thing.
So no, Vice President Harris’ race is not the issue; it’s simply what many would argue is her incompetence.