Don’t give Harris credit – yet


Photo / Creative Commons

Kamala Harris made history as the first female vice president of the United States.

After 49 vice presidents and 321 years, America has finally elected its first female, Black, and Asian vice president in Kamala Harris. Serving under Joe Biden, she is the highest ranking female government official in American history.

This is a step in the right direction regardless of political affiliation. Electing a nonwhite woman as vice president opens the door and sets the precedent for more diverse voices in politics in the future. It’s no secret that, historically, America has a problem with diversity in positions of power – especially government. It cannot be overstated what effect this will have on the future of our government.

With this in mind, it is important not to become complacent or give Harris any free passes. While she has certainly earned her way into office, having served as attorney general to California from 2011-2017 and as a U.S. senator from 2017-2021, she is far from immune to criticism. It can feel as though by criticizing Harris and her policy, you are attacking what she represents for diversity in our nation. But this could not be further from the truth.

To step away from our nation’s polarized political climate and look at the situation more objectively is to begin to understand that not everything — and not every person — can be painted in black and white. Attempting to paint good versus bad in politics is futile and reductive. Harris is a woman of color with a questionable past. Those two statements

can coexist.

But no longer are political conversations

about the policies of the people you’re

voting for — instead they are based on personal insults. As cable news becomes increasingly biased and untrustworthy, I ask you this: being honest with yourself, how much do you know about Kamala Harris’s policies? Probably less than you’d like to think. And yet, if you were to research, you may be surprised with what you find — if you lean democratic, she has been supporting increased access to health care for years. If you lean republican, she openly supports the rights of gun owners to concealed carry. It is truly so important in today’s world to step back, take a moment and realize that people, even politicians, are multifaceted. They cannot be summed up simply, and learning the facts is more complicated than you might anticipate.

America has never been a perfect nation, and remains deeply flawed in many ways. However, this doesn’t make it bad as a whole. In fact, taking note of your nation’s flaws is an integral part of the process required to make the country better. That’s something to be proud of. The same logic applies to Kamala Harris. Yes, Harris being in office is a major step in the right direction. But that doesn’t make her above reproach. And in the same way, your political views may be set in stone, but that doesn’t mean you have an excuse to be cruel to the person rather than understanding and criticizing her policy.