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Kamala Harris, the Right Choice for the Ticket and the Country

On August 11, 2020, Joe Biden ended weeks of speculation by finally choosing his running mate in his bid to become the next president of the United States: California Senator Kamala Harris. She does have obvious strengths, ones that outweigh the baggage that she will inevitably be attacked for during a campaign season that will only become more nasty and polarized.

Harris has her roots in law, roots which have grown into a political career that has the potential to make her the first female African American and Asian American Vice President in American History. Serving her home state of California, Harris began her law career at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office in 1990. During that decade, she rose through the ranks in California’s justice system; after joining the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, she won her first election to become the District Attorney of San Francisco in 2003. After becoming the attorney general of California in 2010, she decided to fully involve herself in politics. Harris defeated fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez to become 29th Senator of California. 

Despite working for a relatively short time in Congress, Harris was the right choice both to defeat Trump and serve as an exceptional vice president for the next four years. First, because of her experience in the courtroom, she knows how to articulate an argument clearly; she excels in forming coherent, spoken arguments that will almost certainly persuade those listening to her. It is no coincidence that she fell under the national spotlight for her tough, relentless question during Justice Kavanaugh’s hearings, delighting liberals and exasperating Trump supporters— including Trump himself. Her penchant for public speaking, combined with her natural charisma, is a breath of fresh air, a total change from the bumbling, insubstantial speech from the president and constant lies that come from his cabinet.

In addition to her speaking skills, Harris’s leftist—but not progressive— policies do not alienate those on the far left or moderate right, helping Biden’s election chances and promising to do a world of good once implemented. For example, she supports common-sense background checks for guns, while pushing back against the detention of children at the border, stances that most Americans agree with. Liberals will also unite behind her other stances that lean more towards the left, like raising the minimum wage and removing college debt. Her policies, still lefist but not as radical as someone like Bernie Sander’s, will benefit the country without taking voters away from Biden’s ticket.

Even though Harris has these qualities, she still comes with some baggage that may turn voters away from Biden. First, although identifying as African American, she doesn’t have direct African ancestry; her father was Jamaican and her mother was Indian. So some people, especially African Americans, may think that she does not share the “African American” experience with them, or view this as another example of the Democrats’ dishonesty. But the biggest problem comes from her time as an attorney. Falling in line with California’s “tough on crime” policies, many accuse Harris of turning a blind eye to police brutality cases. For example, as California’s Attorney General in 2016, she fought back against a bill that would have investigated police officers responsible for the death of a stabber, who was shot 21 times. While not liking Harris based on her ancestry may be a nitpicky and petty reason, her record of not investigating deaths at the hands of police will drive people away, especially after George Floyd’s death sparked levels of civil unrest not seen since the Civil Rights Movement.

All in all, Harris seemed like Biden’s obvious choice for a running mate, and I think the correct one. She has a talent for public speaking, eloquence, youthful energy, and clearly-defined ideas that will help mend this broken country. All of these strengths more than outweigh any possible rejection of her. Let’s hope this benefits Biden’s campaign down the line, so that we may finally have a new day on January 20, 2021. 

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