Fatoumatta: How Could Senator Kamala Harris Be The Most Powerful VP Ever:
-As US Presidential Historian, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. once described America’s Vice Presidency As “a resting place… VP Dan Quayle said, “the Job is just an awkward job.”
Alagi Yorro Jallow
The Democratic Party presumptive nominee Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris for its candidate as his Vice President of the United States is formalized for November 3, 2020, Presidential election. However, this winning team also might be one of the most enlightened ‐and creative political ploys of American history. A bicentennial celebration presided over by a white ‐American President, and a female black Vice President is something that this nation would not soon forget, maybe the country is much more ready for an integrated Presidential ticket reminiscent to Barack Obama and Joe Biden ticket 2008 Democratic ticket.
The Trump and Republican lobbying attack machine is having some difficulty getting its story together–even though they have known for months that Senator Kamala Harris of California was the most likely Vice President candidate for the Democratic ticket. Does it seem she is an extreme-left socialist or a liberal extremist or many be a snub liberal extremist? The GOP cannot decide. She is an extreme-left socialist herself. However, her selection was a thumb in the eye to the Sanders/Alexandria Ocasio -Cortez wing of the Democratic party, because she is not an errand girl for Wall Street and the big banks. She was too tough on criminal defendants as a prosecutor, and she is also anti-police brutality against civilian protesters. She is not authentically black African American, having no American slave ancestors. However, she works for hand in glove with the most radical activists of Black Lives Matter. And so, on and so forth. However, then, we should remember that logical coherence does necessarily make for political capital.
Senator Kamala Harris is a unique kind of black woman. Her credentials as Attorney General and US Senator representing the most significant state in the United States would have to be impeccable; and yet she would also have to be the sort of person who could appeal to the white American majority as representative of that vast number of Americans, both white and black also Hispanic voters. They believe in reconciliation and fraternity, which transcends though by no means eliminates —racial, religious, social, ethnic, and geographical diversity.
There are several such potential female black Vice‐Presidential candidates available. The one who comes most obviously to my mind since last year when she declared her presidential aspiration on the national stage is Senator Kamala Harris amongst her colleagues. This woman refuses to hate, no matter what the provocation. She is one of the most remarkable and impressive human beings I have followed her media outings and her book titled” The Truth We Hold An American Journey.”
I believed her imaginative political strokes are many breaking three centuries-old barriers to become the nation’s first black and the first female vice-presidential nominee representing a major American political party.
The first female black Vice‐Presidential candidate and first black vice president would have a tremendous symbolic impact on race relations 1n the United States. Men do not live by symbols alone. We cannot eat symbols, live in them, or take them as medicine. However, man is still a symbol of creating animals. He orders and interprets his reality by his symbols, and he uses the symbols to reconstruct that reality. A female black moderate running for Vice President would be a potent symbol of the possibility of achieving racial justice and harmony in American society. A symbol by itself, of course, would not create either justice or harmony. However, it might create an atmosphere in which justice and harmony (by which, of course, one means relative justice and relative harmony) would become possible.
A national ticket made up of white male-American, and a female black American might go a long way toward polishing the tarnish off America’s international luster. Is there another major (or, for that matter, minor) nation in the world which would have racial integration in its two highest positions? And such integration at that. A male white ethnic for President and a female black woman for Vice President would say a great deal to the rest of the world about the possibilities of cultural pluralism.
Not only would a female black Vice‐Presidential candidate almost automatically guarantee the support of the liberal wing of the Democratic party and most of the young activists, but it would also appeal quite strongly to the vast majority of the millennial voters who are not activists but who would still be powerfully moved by such a vigorous and imaginative stroke on the part of the Democratic leadership. The youthful enthusiast could not say that the Democrats offered nothing new and provided no meaningful alternative to the Republicans instead of revenge of the Obama coalition reactivating the army of young volunteers. The latter formed the backbone of his 2008/2012 elections.
A female black Vice-Presidential candidate could go a long way toward winning the permanent allegiance of many of these new voters to the Democratic party—just as Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama won their support and solidarity.
Besides, political symbols are two‐edged swords. For just as an integrated ticket for November 2020 would co‐opt blacks for the cause of the Democratic center, so it would necessarily commit the Democratic center to the cause of blacks in a more profound way than it has been committed in the past.
A female black Vice‐Presidential candidate like Kamala Harris on the television screen and in political events would unleash all kinds of positive and constructive forces within the American political system. It would not satisfy those who believe society can be reformed only by first destroying it. However, they are a tiny fraction of the population, no matter how vehement and articulate they may be. A Biden/ Harris Democratic Presidential ticket 2020 which powerfully symbolizes the possibility of both change and harmony, both justice and reconciliation, both militant loyalty to one’s community and a sense of brotherhood for one’s fellow human beings, regardless of race or religion or geography or social class, would be extraordinarily attractive to a vast majority of Americans, no matter what their color.
At least, in the United States, if the President does not like the smell of the vice president, he cannot stop him from performing his duties as the President of the Senate. Roger Sherman, one of the framers of the American constitution, noted this fact in his famous argument for giving a role to the vice president. He said starkly: “If the vice president were not to be president of the Senate, he would be without employment.”
However, despite having employment in the Senate, what has been the experience of previous holders of that office? US presidential historian, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., once described the country’s vice presidency as “a resting place for mediocrities.” As uncharitable as that is, he would appear to be echoing the frustration of the past and the hopeless apprehension of the future. I will quote a few of these US vice presidents. America’s first vice president, John Adams, famously said: “My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived, or his imagination conceived…I am vice president. In this I am nothing, but I maybe everything…” Another Vice President, Thomas Marshall, added his voice, telling a morbid story: “Once there were two brothers. One ran away to sea; the other was elected vice president of the United States.
Moreover, nothing was heard of either of them again.” Harry Truman, another VP, said: “Look at all the vice presidents in history. Where are they? They were about as useful as a cow’s fifth teat.” Furthermore, Dan Quayle, who was vice president to George H. W. Bush, said, “the job is just awkward, an awkward job.” Indeed, to Theodore Roosevelt who was the vice president in 1901 before moving up later to be President, it was a matter of regrets: “I would a great deal rather be anything, say professor of history, than vice president…” it is “not a steppingstone to anything except oblivion.”
He was not entirely correct. He stepped on that stone to become President in 1905 – just like his predecessor, William McKinley. However, another vice president, John Nance Garner, in regrets, said: “The vice presidency is not worth a bucket of warm piss.” For him, taking the job was “the worst damn fool mistake I ever made.” Joe Biden was Obama’s Vice President. Early October 2014, he was at Harvard, Massachusetts, taking questions from students. Then a young man got up, introduced himself as the vice president of the students’ body. The man asked his question. Biden looked intently at him and said: “Isn’t it a bitch, I mean … that vice president thing?” When he saw the audience erupting with laughter, he readjusted himself and added: “I am joking. I am joking. I am joking. The best decision I ever made.”
Democratic presumptive nominee Joe Biden picked a tenacious pitbull, a defender of the rule of law, to build America back better. The Joe Biden/Kamala Harris Democratic ticket 2020 is the America we are, not the America we were. Go Kamala!
Fatoumatta: How Could Senator Kamala Harris Be The Most Powerful VP Ever: