The Vice Presidential debate was seemingly and perhaps the only expected normal discussion the United States’ electorate can expect from the 2020 election. Let’s face it, the arguments between Donald Trump and Joe Biden left many staring at their screens like a deer looking at headlights as a truck is about to plow right through them. Well, for those that were able to bare the entire debate and didn’t fall asleep short after it started.
So how did Mike Pence and Kamala Harris really do? Did they display their best to the American people? Were they consistent in the debate with what they have been saying and doing in past?
Well this review is certainly going to be a bit to take in regardless if you are a democrat or republican. It’s not meant to be easy nor to pander to either side. Once in a while we need to hear things raw, even when it isn’t pleasant.
Let’s start with Senator Kamala Harris, she was witty and quick in the rebound of Mike’s attacks. But in her effort to perhaps contradict Pence, it makes us all wonder where does she really stand with the issue of fracking? After all, this is certainly a very controversial environmental issue, and perhaps the most if not the only topic that she seemed to have been consistent as a fierce opponent, until now. She has said multiple times in the past that she is against fracking, yet in a twist of events and while the whole world was watching, she said that she supports fracking.
Now, this new stance might be due to her current alliance with Joe Biden who stated he won’t look to restrict fracking. but Biden wasn’t in the stage last night, she was.
This one issues of fracking, with the lack of better clarity, is enough to question pretty much anything that she says. As Mike Pence pointed out to Kamala, she has a record of convicting African Americans in California for minor offensives, which is a significant contradiction to her cry for justice reform during this year. Now, Senator Harris says she was also responsible for prison and police reform. As a District Attorney, she understood that there was a systematic problem of racism in the justice system which she was a part of. Rather than shaking things up starting with what she had the greatest leverage to enforce change upon, which should have include her departments’ review of cases, she sort to resolve external contributors to the problem. But let’s be intuitive, at that point in her career she didn’t know she would be a Vice Presidential candidate, much less predict what would be today’s most pressing issue nationwide. It was perhaps easier to go with the flow of the times and not rock the boat as they say. Let’s face it, been controversial in her earlier career would’ve perhaps backed fired had she been nominated or decided to pursue a judicial position.
In all fairness, let’s say there is nothing wrong to play by the rules and going with the flow to get ahead. But surely it doesn’t compare with the likes of a Ruth Bader who did reach the highest court despite her tenacity. It really makes one wonder, does Kamala Harris have a self and distinctive identity? Or will she always be someone who follows the status quo? When pressed with the issue of fracking, it may seem like the latter.
Now, how about Vice President Mike Pence? Well, one can say he has certainly follow through with what many, if not everyone would have expected from him. He doesn’t seem likely to change his opinion as far as the issues that face the United States, and he is completely clueless as to what is racial inequality. Perhaps, either because he rather have a divided Nation or genuinely because he really hasn’t experience racial inequality to comprehend it in the first place. One could be very surprised how one individual’s perspective in life could differ astronomically from another person with completely different upbringings. Some may say that having that bliss notion that there is no inherent issue is in itself a privilege.
He, similar to Donald Trump, take every opportunity to glorified all police officers as if they are all perfect human beings and can’t do no wrong (yes that’s a double negative). Let’s be clear, we need law enforcement, and there is no argument that there are amazing individuals that sacrifice their all for public service. But the world isn’t all peaches and cream either. The inability to even listen to a growing number of Americans that believe in the need for police reform shows that the administration doesn’t have the ability to connect and peacefully diffuse tensions in society. In fact, it is often comments from Donald Trump that provoke violence in the first place. Conveniently, Mike Pence who is a senior politician doesn’t see there are problems, just individuals that can’t conform to our system of government, which according to him is not bias.
As an ex-governor he must surely have had to faced issues related to cultural integration and diversity at a state level. In fact, he became the center of National controversy back in 2015 after he signed a law for religious freedom for the State of Indiana that essentially permitted discrimination of individuals and protected anyone who denied service or equal treatment to another base on religious believes. While the law was vague enough to encompassed nearly anything as long as it could be justified by any religious affirmation, it was quite clear that it was intended to targeted individuals of the LGBT community. After being ridicule by both democrats and republicans, Pence then claimed he signed the law by mistake, and it just slip through.
So if this 2015 “Oops” just slip through that was a clear intention to suppress a specific sector of the population, what other “Oops” are there that are intended to suppress minorities that are existing in the books from county ordinances to Supreme Court rulings? Pence has argued that there is no such thing as systemic racism, and he repeated exactly that during the debate. He is certainly consistent.
When asked about what he though about the case of the death of Breonna Taylor, it was a moment for him to shine. He could’ve used the time to show political will and the charisma of a true leader that could bridge the divide of our Nation. Instead, he was polarized to highlight yet again his undeniable faith in the justice system. Then he used the misfortune of an African American woman who lost her business due to the riots. We are not going to go into the particulars of Breonna Taylor’s case, because the question really failed to address the issue head on by the part of the moderator. The underlying question should’ve, in our opinion, been more direct, such as “what would or could a Mike Pence do to help heal the racial divide in our Nation?” This would uncovered the underlying fact that Pence believes everyone in our Country is treated as equals, therefore there is nothing he could do to address an issue he doesn’t acknowledge exist.
So let’s also be honest here, the protests have devastated communities across our great Nation. But isn’t this also a recurring situation that is part of our Country’s history? From the Boston Tea Party to the Civil War to the very Civil Rights Movement, it has taken the pouring outcry of the masses for the voices of oppressed Americans (blacks, whites, males, females etc.) to be heard and for change to come from it. More often than not, and sadly to say, change has come from force. One can say that taking a knee would be similar to the protesting ways of a Mahatma Gandhi, but Pence would say it is outright offensive. Then you just need to ask yourself what does it take for a controversial be heard and blinders to be lifted? It is leaders like Mike Pence who make it very difficult to have a civil conversations, because they are simply too stubborn or arrogant to see social issues through prism which is in fact our society.
Mike Pence is as consistent as the Trump administration, even as far back as when he was the executive of the State of Indiana. Some argue this is a good thing, because good or bad you can predict what you’re going to get. For example, administrations in the past both republicans and democrats have promised to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals, but have caved in over and over again from the pressure of lobbyists. Trump-Pence is the first administration to actually deliver in that promise. On the other hand, this is also the same administration that glorifies fascism, while conveniently denying there is such a thing.
So, in conclusion Kamala Harris seems to work along side of the status quo and Mike Pence is representative of the status quo. Harris will dance with the changing times, and Pence lives and governs as if he wears horse blinkers.
We hope you enjoyed our attempt at a fair evaluation of both vice presidential candidates. What was your take on each of the two candidates? We like to known, after all either one could potentially become your next president.
*Please note that this article contains various opinions to help stimulate dialogue.