It’s not new or interesting to remark that the 2016 election broke many people’s brains. No where is that more evident than in the absolute obsession with labeling virtually every criticism of most mainstream democrats as either in bad faith, or from a Russian spy. It’s bizarre, and would serve as a nice spectacle if the heat death of the planet was imminent and who holds public office tragically matters. With Trump struggling to keep the hamburger heat lights on, it’s more than possible he’ll lose, which means the primary democratic candidates needed to undergo some sort of vetting process, and this is site is particularly well positioned to that, at least in the case of Harris.
There are many who support Harris, and who supported Clinton, that work and write for CSUITEMUSIC. This site has hosted documentaries about both candidates, and released positive articles on both. What naturally follows is the natural vetting process of examining not just candidates strengths and weaknesses politically, but ethically, and try to come up with a fair guess as to how they’ll perform in an election, and potentially in office. The fact that this really reasonable process has been stalled by so many who would consider themselves on the left is bafflingly.
The two main arguments against vetting democrats is that it’s not sincere, and that it’ll hurt their chances. Of course these are closely related. How could anyone possibly have criticized Clinton unless they actively wanted her to lose to Trump? It’s hard for many liberals to even fathom that there are people on the left who are authentic in their disagreements and frustrations with Clinton, Obama, and soon Harris, Booker, Biden, and even Warren. Convincing any of them that this critique alone is in good faith misses the point, as this is not unique.
The idea of a pragmatic praxis, based around simply doing whatever it takes to get a democrat elected no matter what that looks like, is understandable to some degree, but it’s ultimately based in myth. Most candidates undergo a vetting process, and at this early stage, not only is anyone who says they know who is going to win lying, but the criticisms are largely ineffective at actually doing anything. They simply exist to help others understand who a candidate is. With all that said, here are three good faith criticisms of Kamala Harris.
She's a Cop
This is actually the most charitable possible approach to examining Harris’ history as California’s “Top Cop.” By lumping several issues into one item, it probably passively undermines how serious some of these charges are toward Harris’ credibility as any sort of leftist or even a progressive. Still, it’s an efficient way to look at it.
The biggest issue most have with Harris’ time at several levels of the prosecutor’s office is that she seemed to have little to no regard for the progressive policies left leaning district attorneys have put in place in places like Philadelphia.
She fought hard for tough sentences for drug offenders, and even more egregious, truancy offenders. Both of these crimes disproportionately target communities of color, with truancy in particular potentially being devastating to families. She also was an advocate for prison labor (“the slaves prisoners with jobs are escaping…”), citing the increased cost to the state as a reason for keep people in prison. These aren’t light charges, and they call into question how she’ll act with executive power.
One of the biggest charges against Trump has been his rampant imprisonment and breaking up of immigrant families, including children. This has caused a visceral reaction in many, and fairly so. While Obama deported many during his presidency, the visual of children cages never gain prominence. Harris’ policies also put children in cages, broke families apart, and denied people of their rights. She should distinguish herself from Trump and Obama if she wants to gain any sort of traction as a candidate who will do something besides maintain the status quo when it comes to law enforcement in the United States.
She’s Targeted the Transgender Community
The Trans community has had a rough go of it over the last two-hundred years or so, yet somehow it’s actually gotten worse under Trump. Between being the punching bag of every YouTuber hoping to earn a presidential pardon, and seeing a stark increase in violence directed towards them, including at the hands of the state, it’s one about as unsafe for the trans community as it’s been since the term became household. While Harris has talked a big game of wanting to be the LGBTQ candidate, her record when it comes to the trans community says otherwise.
The most consistent and egregious action she’s taken has been to systematically deny trans inmates their medical rights, even when the courts have come down on the side of the prisoners. Denying a transgender inmate medical care, especially as it relates to the ability to safely and healthily transition, is not only horrific, it comes across extremely targeted.
While California is hardly the blue fortress the right likes to paint it as, supporting, or at least not actively targeting, the trans community isn’t exactly a way to gain traction at the state level. There are of course anti-trans politicians here, as there are everywhere, but most are limited to the middle of the state. The voter strongholds that made Harris a senator would likely have been apathetic or supportive of her if she had been a trans advocate, let alone had she just not aggressively targeted trans individuals.
Again, this is an area where Trump has gained particular scrutiny. The trans military ban, with more policy targeting trans individuals likely to follow, Trump has rightly be painted as an especially bigoted candidate on this issue. Harris needs to differentiate herself from Trump when it comes to the trans community, and the fact that this is even a statement that needs to be said should give a lot of people who count themselves as allies to the LGBTQ community pause before rejecting on its face criticisms of Harris.
Her Healthcare Stance is Incredibly Vague
Not to relitigate the 2016 election, but one of the primary defenses Clinton has employed when it comes to get outflanked on the left by Sanders on healthcare is that what he’s proposed is unrealistic. Clinton even compared it to Sanders promising everyone in the country a pony. Even if one is buys into this baseless theory that Sanders was proposing unrealistic (even a Koch brothers sponsored story stated Sanders’ plan would save $2 trillion; it’s also worth noting the last government shutdown cost $11 billion in roughly thirty days, so the money is clearly around), it’s irrelevant because at least he proposed something tangible. Harris is yet to do so.
She’s been incredibly vague as to what she means when she says she supports Medicare for All. That can mean a lot of different things, such as medicare for all those who work, or medicare for all those who can’t reasonable afford private insurance. The goal should be to eliminate private insurance entirely, but Harris won’t commit to answering that specific question.
Thus far, the best argument in favor of Harris’ healthcare plan is that Fox News seems to hate it. That’s as good an advertisement as any, but in what promises to be a crowded field with several candidates jumping on board with some form of universal or single-payer healthcare, it’s necessary to use the primary process to force candidates to flesh out these plans and articulate them in a meaningful and clear way. Literally how else could a voter who reasonably thinks they shouldn’t have to worry about going bankrupt due to healthcare costs, or dying due to the inability to pay them, decide who to support? Harris has to clarify what she means on healthcare.
This is an incomplete list. It’s not meant to be every criticism, or even a deep dive into the ones focused on here. This is just meant to serve as good faith criticisms from the left to help voters decide who to support in the primary. There is no question or doubt Harris would be a far better option than Trump, if for no other reason than she’ll be less likely to actively pass the Professor Chaos climate change plan, but that’s true of just about everyone. Which specific candidate is going to be the most reliable when it comes to getting elected, and getting progressive legislation passed is a question that can only be answered through the process of good faith criticism, and there’s honestly plenty of it to go around.
Dylan James Harper is the Political Editor for CSUITEMUSIC.com
Read more from Dylan at http://www.dylanjamesharper.com
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official views of CSUITEMUSIC or its partners and collaborators.