August 21, 2020 / Source: The Bizz USA
By Elizabeth Insuasti; Edited by Haarika Kalahasti and Adya Kumar
The upcoming 2020 election is arguably one of the most important elections. In late April, Joe Biden kicked off his search for a Vice Presidential candidate; the process was long and led him to miss his scheduled announcement. His thorough search lasted several weeks-- he had done over 120 hours of interviews and had 11 potential candidates. Eventually, the candidate that succeeded was none other than Senator Kamala Harris.
The Co-Chairman of the Biden campaign believed Biden knew exactly what he was looking for in a vice president, having been himself. He described Biden analyzing various aspects: points: "one, who he could work with; two, who could help him win; three, who could help him govern; four, who he clicked with."
The long-awaited decision was announced on August 11th. It was met with positive feedback from a large portion of political left-wingers, and former President Obama tweeted: "[Kamala Harris] is more than prepared to do the job. She's spent her career defending our constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. This is a good day for our country. Now let's go win this thing."
Who is Kamala Harris and what does she stand for?
Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, currently serves as the senator for California and had previously served as the former San Francisco district attorney and the former attorney general of California. The potential Vice President describes herself as a "progressive prosecutor." Harris is often perceived as a hard worker and "a fighter for the ordinary American citizen."
As Harris launched her presidential campaign last year, she took pride in being a candidate with the potential to make history. Now, she is the first Black and Asian-American woman to run for Vice President. She strove to appeal to both progressives and moderates to dismiss Trump's agenda and rebuild America. Her policies sought to reduce the struggles faced by marginalized groups, such as women, people of color, and lower-income groups. Harris's goal was to overcome economic difficulties with these groups in mind and bring them "to the table."
Additionally, healthcare affordability has become a significant talking point in the United States, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19. Millions have started to feel more isolated from the current system, with many opting not to go to hospitals or their General Practitioners in fear of the costly bill they may receive at the end of their treatment. Liberal politicians, such as Senator Bernie Sanders--who had run in the Democratic party election before suspending his campaign--have supported Medicare for All. This would include the replacement of private insurance-based medical practices with a system similar to that of the UK: healthcare free at the point of use.
Senator Harris's initial position on healthcare was an endorsement of Sanders's proposition; however, her stance has since changed. Instead, she would allow the American people to choose between a tight-controlled private system and a public one. Throughout her career, Harris's main priorities have been immigration, healthcare, and other progressive issues such as consumer protection. She is considered to be on the left of the spectrum regarding immigration, has gained attention for being a tough interrogator after her sparring sessions with the Trump administration's immigration and homeland security officials. She was also the leading voice against Trump's policy of separating children at the border and was seen protesting at immigration shelters.
However, not everyone was pleased with Biden's choice. President Trump described the nominee as "nasty," the "meanest," and the "most horrible" candidate. Even on the left-wing, opinion has been divided, with some describing Harris as a "cop" who is not trustworthy. Some believe her history as a prosecutor makes her selection inappropriate, as the Democratic Socialists of America maintain their stance on "defunding the police." The Progressive Democrats of America and RootsAction issued a statement in which they claimed Harris had previously failed to hold police "accountable for gross misconduct in California." These liberal branches, though unsatisfied with Biden and Harris, still have chosen to settle for them as they still believe it is a better option than President Trump.
For many, Harris is seen as the person who includes marginalized groups in important decisions, instead of further ostracising them. Supporters of Biden believe she can help rebuild America after COVID-19 while giving the ordinary American fair economic opportunity. Nobody can be certain as to what the outcome will be, but with the Democrat narrowly ahead in the polls, America may have a Biden administration by November, supported by the first-ever female Vice President of color.