Kamala Harris will write history, but not all of us will enjoy reading it

Kamala Harris will write history, but not all of us will enjoy reading it

In a perfect world, the election of Kamala Harris to the office of Vice President of the United States would be a joyous occasion.

Ah, but for that perfect world.

I was planning to vote for Harris in the Illinois primary and felt robbed when she dropped out of the race.  I am truly delighted that she was Biden’s pick, but view her future with cautious optimism and a bit of trepidation.

Vice President-elect Harris is the embodiment of American ideals, if there ever was such a thing.  Harris brings an elusive inclusiveness, tragically missing from the division and exclusion that were hallmarks of the current administration.

Elusive inclusiveness.  You can use that if you want.

In shattering at least one glass ceiling, VP-elect Harris has both raised the bar and lowered the goal posts for service to country.  She offers inspiration and aspiration for generations of women, children of immigrants and people of color.

Harris is beautiful, smart and quick witted, with a charming and infectious laugh, all of which seem to irritate the lying liars of the Right wing, conspiracy steeped media.

I was in Grant Park (Chicago) the night of November 5, 2008.  Electricity pulsed as news of Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain was announced about 10:00 PM.

It was a moment unlike any other in my lifetime.  In that instant of unity and singularity, a crowd of 125,000 strangers hugged and shared tears of joy.

Oprah Winfrey, standing nearby with beau Stedman Graham said it was the most electrifying and emotional night I have ever experienced.

A record 1.8 million people attended Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, about a million attended his second inauguration in 2013.

For the record, the inauguration crowd in 2017 was estimated at about 700,000, not as Sean Spicer saidthe largest audience to ever witness an inauguration.

There were disappointments during the Obama administration, not the least of which was Mitch McConnell vowing on day one to ensure that President Obama served only one term.

Moscow Mitch thwarted Obama at every turn, slow walked nominations and stole a Supreme Court justice nomination.

Through all that, President Obama remained steadfast and steady; reserved, introspective (to a fault) and for all the world to see, presidential.

He offered leadership, wisdom and, maybe most importantly empathy.  President Obama was and is an exemplary role model for husbands, fathers and Americans everywhere.

In addition to saving the world from a second Great Depression, President Obama saved General Motors, presided over a strong economic recovery, brought health care to 30 million people and preserved health care coverage for 120 million more with preexisting conditions.

His only transgression seemed to be the inappropriate choice of a tan suit.  A tan suit, by the way that he wore very well.

What then, could have engendered such animus from the Right?

Why was every Republican on Capitol Hill able to rationalize treason from a White president, but not health care from a Black president?

The baseless accusations thrown at President Obama, much like Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud appeared nowhere in reality.

Just as it is with Trump’s rants about a stolen election, these were not things that you could see or hear with your own eyes or your own ears.

It was reverberations of the relentless drumbeat of demonization coming from Right wing media and it was tapping into a previously ignored reserve of pent up racial hatred.

Before being booted from his daily clown show on Fox in 2011, Glenn Beck said that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton smelled like sulfur because they came from the depths of Hell.

He actually said that.  And some, no doubt believed it, which brings us to the here and now.

We don’t just have differing political views anymore.  They (Fox “News” viewers) hate us.  We’re not just Democrats, we’re the radical Left.  Socialists.  Progressive Libtards.  Communists.

Their collective and resolute belief is that we are out to destroy America.  And that from knuckle draggers with Confederate flags and swastika tattoos.

Like religion, beliefs based on the absence of proof and superstition can not be dissuaded.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has everything going for her.  And everything going against her.  She represents a plethora of identities that are the bane of the small minded, bigoted and uninformed.

No one can say for sure that Joe Biden will serve out his term, but it is unlikely that he will run for a second, opening the door for his VP to run for the Democratic nomination to fill that spot.

Images of a 2024 debate pitting VP Kamala Harris against former first daughter, Ivanka Trump keep flashing before my mind’s eye.

What  inexplicable allegiance might Trump command, leaving Harris to deal with equally inexplicable bigotry, misogyny, racism and nationalism?

For now, I will wait with bated breath for January 21.

Perhaps we can find solace and a glimmer of hope in the historic successes in Georgia of my brother, Raphael Warnock, my landsman, Jon Ossoff and my namesake, Stacey Abrams.

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