• Prabhpreet Singh

Kamala Harris: A Character Profile


A huge win for the people of colour,

but can we say the same about America?




Introduction

Kamala Harris is an American politician and lawyer who was born on 20th October,1964 to parents of Indian and Jamaican descent. She is the Former Vice President and current Presidential Candidate Joe Biden's running mate and is the first ever woman of colour to be on a major party ticket, the Democratic Party. She’s a former attorney general and the former District Attorney for San Francisco before being elected as the Senator for the State of California in 2016.


Her Policies

Kamala Harris pitches herself as the candidate who can appeal to both moderates and progressives. Her policies cover a plethora of issues ranging from reform efforts and death penalty to LGBTQ+ and Privacy Rights.


  • She is well known for her successes in the increase in violent and narcotics crime and felony incarcerations, but this comes without any actual decrease in crime rates, suggesting that the arrests might be mostly for inconsequential and “low-level criminals”. While the murder rate has in-fact gone down but only by a few points.

  • While she pushed leftward on issues like gay marriage, the death penalty and increasing taxes, she sometimes enraged liberals by not going further, the main points of concern being her closeness to the Police force and accusations of being unfair to minorities as a Prosecutor.

  • Ms. Harris styled herself as a pragmatic problem solver. In many ways, she's indicative of how Democrats have broadly moved to the left, even if she remains more moderate than the most vocal progressives in the party.

  • As far as her policy on the economy goes, rather than trying to upend the economy, her policies sought incremental, targeted results, particularly focusing on historically marginalized groups like women, people of color and low-income Americans.

  • She is also Anti-fracking and was strongly in favor of the Green New Deal for the environment.



Why was she chosen?

Candidate Joe Biden promised that he would pick a woman as his running mate, and he was under huge pressure from the democratic party, to choose a woman of colour, and the choice of Kamala Harris was considered to be the conventional one. Here are some of possible reasons she was chosen:


  • Her moderate policies, as described in the previous ‘Policies’ section, specially with her stance on the Police and economy.

  • She has run for President herself. Kamala Harris started her own Presidential campaign in 2019, but had to withdraw due to financial troubles in December, 2019, the deeper reason for her withdrawal was her constantly shifting stance on healthcare.

  • She has won hard-fought elections throughout her career, she has won three state wide elections in California, starting with her first election win for the Attorney General Post of the state in 2010 and re-election in 2014, and finally, her election into the Senate in 2016, giving her the necessary skills required to fight elections and win over supporters, skills required in large amounts to get into the White House.

What does this mean?

Having a Woman of Colour on a major party ticket is an historical achievement for the United States of America, the importance and significance of which cannot be understated. This will certainly give the Biden Campaign a boost in the swing states to steer the election more in his favor. But despite this, the Trump campaign will try to portray her and the Democratic Party nominee, as a part of a ‘Radical Democratic Left’ despite their moderate policies.

Sources

The New York Times

The Wall Street Journal

Britannica Encyclopedia

The Washington Post


~Prabhpreet Singh

@prabhpreet_16