Predicting Kamala Harris years before she was recognized as a legitimate contender was fun. As she has become a top-tier candidate however, my confidence in the success of her candidacy has actually weakened rather than strengthened. It’s mostly on account of my not doing my homework earlier. When I first started making the prediction, I’d admittedly mostly just read her history, not watched her in action. Some readers tried to warn me but I waved them off. She’s exotic and there isn’t an Original Sin she doesn’t lambaste heritage America for. It was obvious she wanted to run. How could she not win if she did?
Through a combination of political flatfootedness and rhetorical overextension. Referring to America as a historical crime scene is the kind of thing an endangered pale male trying to outdo a member of the POC ascendancy should go for. When a black woman says it, though, normies get nervous.
Speaking of black, let’s get to the real reason I’m getting hot under the collar. A recurring theme here for over a decade now is how the path to the Democrat nomination goes through black primary voters. Their vote is close to monolithic, both in the primaries and in the general. Hillary beat Obama among whites and Hispanics in 2008 but he crushed her among blacks and so he got the nomination. A remarkably similar thing happened in 2016, when Sanders narrowly beat Hillary among whites but got destroyed by her among blacks. Well, here are current approval ratings among blacks for the top Democrat candidates:
The daughter of a mixed Jamaican father and a south Asian mother who is now married to a wealthy Jewish man and who grew up in Canada and has spent her adult life in a state with a relatively small and shrinking black population may not be legitimate enough for South Carolinian blacks. Who knew?
Approval ratings among Democrat pols are reliably high across the board among blacks. It’s conceivable that Harris’ resonance as “one of us” has yet to resonate with blacks, but will do so between now and South Carolina. We’re still further out from the 2020 election today than we were when Trump descended the elevator in 2015, so a lot could happen. I must admit I thought she’d be the de facto black candidate by now, though, and she’s obviously not there yet.
Additionally, Beto’s cuttlefish routine is going to fail. There will not be an American Justin Trudeau. That moment has passed. Parenthetically, he’s going to have to pull Trump’s rhetorical shiv out of his figurative rib cage:
“I think he has a lot of hand movement. I’ve never seen so much hand movement,” President Donald Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday. “Is he crazy or is that just the way he acts?”
Andrew Yang’s campaign captures the existential angst of those on the left and the right who’ve come to the realization that the neo-liberal world order has no place for them, quite an accomplishment on his part given that he is very much part of that neo-liberal world order. If Trump’s 2016 candidacy was the first step towards a real political realignment, it will be by way of providing populists on the right with real buy-in into the federal government–not in a proxy role like the one the military has provided Conservatism, Inc but as a guarantor of subsistence even after the most thorough kinds of un-personings.