Kamala Harris is Schrödinger’s Top Cop

It has to be said: Kamala Harris is not going to stand in the way of criminal justice reform.

“America’s sidewalks are stained with Black blood. In the wake of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s murders, we must ask ourselves: how many more times must our families and our communities be put through the trauma of an unarmed Black man or woman’s killing at the hands of the very police who are sworn to protect and serve them?” — Kamala Harris

If you are like me, you too have seen many conflicting messages regarding Kamala Harris during this election cycle. Kamala Harris is simultaneously too tough on crime to be trusted in carrying out needed criminal justice reform and not tough enough when compared to the 2020 law and order candidate. Kamala’s proposed legislation to a problem that Donald Trump & et al are unwilling to recognize even exists should stand front and center in your mind as one of many clear differentiators between the Democratic and Republican tickets — but it doesn’t — why is that?

Russian Interference in American Elections

It is well known that Russian interference swayed the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump.

Russian active measures has always been around as the Cold War never really ended, but it really ramped up in 2014: from fraudulent social media accounts which delivered hyper-targeted propaganda mapped against stolen voter information, to fake rallies, to agents posing online as democrats to influence Americans decisions. The Russians increased their online political advertisement spending in the American election that year, as well as took harder actions by compromising election infrastructure in all 50 states. The Russians were in a position to even alter American votes, however, it was concluded they did not. The Russians went on to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections, and they continue to interfere in the 2020 elections in support of Donald Trump.

Russian Active Measures Against Hillary Clinton

To put the Kamala mental-conundrum into perspective you really need to think about the decades of animus against Hillary Clinton and the measures taken to leverage that in the 2016 election. Putin hates Hillary, of which it has been argued stems from Hillary standing up against Russian’s illegitimate elections process — and Putin got you to hate Hillary too. The Russians deployed a lot of tools to influence the 2016 election; one of the more effective propaganda attacks leveraged against Hillary was questions about her health and mental stability. The attack hasn’t aged well — imagine if Hillary had been elected: would she have made better decisions than the Trump administration has during the ongoing pandemic?

Hillary, like all women contending against glass ceilings, was an incredibly decorated candidate. She was hated enough to win the popular vote and lose the election to someone way more mediocre than her. She was the First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States (while having to live through national shame of her husband’s infidelity), a Senator and Secretary of State. I can’t name many presidential candidates that had that kind of resume when applying for the top job. I’m going to draw a lot of highlights from both the right and left here as pulled from Reddit, but to go further: she brought forward health coverage for millions of kids, worked at the Children’s Defense Fund, worked with teenagers incarcerated in adult prisons + families with disabled children, helped 9/11 first responders get healthcare, went to China and boldly spoke truth to power remarking that ‘Women’s rights are human rights’, made LGBT rights a focus of foreign US policy as Secretary of State, had a role in killing Osama bin Laden, created and implemented tough sanctions on Iran, was instrumental in getting the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Equity Act passed, at the Department of Justice she created the office on Violence Against Women, she fought for minimum wage increases and climate change policies.

Hillary looked Donald Trump in the eyes and called him a puppet before we had the overwhelming confirmation of links between his campaign and the Russians. This woman is not afraid of anything, and of which, unfortunately, makes her an easy target for fragile men: unlikable, overconfident, cold, shrill, bossy, etc. We Americans hate her, and most can’t put a finger on exactly why (Benghazi?). This should set the stage for us to ask ourselves why Democrats are questioning Kamala Harris’s abilities to deliver criminal justice reforms.

Russian Active Measures Against Kamala Harris

Let’s talk about another incredibly overqualified female politician. Kamala Harris is not likable, is overconfident, is not black enough, is of a questionable ethnicity — all unfounded things we have heard said of other female candidates, yet, are still being used successfully to influence the American psyche. But there is something different happening in the ongoing smear campaign, I really want to highlight something more alarming: the Kamala ‘is a cop’ narrative. The Cop Narrative was led by the “2020 version of Jill Stein” — none other than Tulsi Gabbard (who was just primaried). This narrative has all the markings of a Russian interference play: find organic concerns to amplify and use it to fuel false equivalencies between the Republican and Democratic parties, all delivered cheaply over social media as to influence Americans. It looks an awful lot like the Hillary health play in 2016. Kamala’s actual stance on police reform is currently being drowned out by misinformation. Misinformation against Kamala has been lightly reported on. Reporting on it or not really doesn’t matter as ongoing efforts to reign in on all foreign interference have been scuttled in the Senate. It makes sense that the Russians would target Kamala beyond her being Biden’s new VP. She has been tough on Russia, and is featured in many of the PDFs linked above outlining their nefarious activities in American elections since at least 2014. She also has not backed down in speaking truth to power particularly against Brett Kavanaugh, William Barr, and even Joe Biden. I could go on, but I think you get the point now and it is still early days for X-US concerted efforts against the Democratic ticket. The attacks on Kamala Harris are only going to ramp up further so please pay attention to the signs of foreign interference.

Also, please wear a mask AND stay six feet apart, and write to your senators demanding we protect our elections.

Drexel Psychology 2010, Penn Ed Policy 2015, Harvard Health Management 2018, Yale Blavatnik Fellow 2020