Election 2020: Role Play

“Immigrants are a sliver of the electorate, and within the sliver 100% of the vote.”

— Anonymous

Biden made a wise choice.

Now that that comment is out of the box, are we vigilant yet? Have we lost our Hillary foul aftertaste? Are we healed?

Noted among the “bonafides” of Sen. Kamela Harris’s “resume” is a strategic and perhaps historic precedent:

Harris is the daughter of immigrants.

A first, maybe for a VP candidate…I haven’t checked. What we do know is that Harris, like the millions Trump would like to suppress and/or deport, is among the “newly arrived.”

And what we do know about the ‘newly arrived,’ reflecting on our “newly arrived” experience — are shared energy, hope, commitment to an ideal or idea or safety plan. In short the shared resources of solidarity, something we could use some reminders of.

And what we do know about the “welcomers” — those already settled, part of the existing social and cultural landscape is the jaundiced view of the “arriviste”: smugness, disdain, impatience and horror at having to deal with all the “otherness.”

Does the white epithet “exotic” come to mind?

Speaking to the “Kamela” moment, hopefully we will experience role play, aka power sharing.

Progressives are ascending with voters as recent primaries bear witness. Falling to Harris will be the mantle of Joe’s progressive outreach. Of concern for Progressives is that Joe has demonstrated convincingly he will not reach out to progressives: recall his comment about police accountability and defunding. And health care. And…

We assure ourselves ‘but Joe is evolving.’ Not to “un-reassure,” Joe is running out of time. Herein lies Sen. Harris’s second strategic and historic precedent: she is young and younger. And remarkably for youth — showing my ageist bias — she supplies a consistent mix of deference and steely politesse.

As much as Biden is careening towards legacy making, Harris is laser-focused on the moment.

Question is will “Uncle Joe” demonstrate his new role convincingly? Defer to ‘newly arrived’? Prepare to switch roles?

August 12, 2020



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Rodney Clough

Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.