Imagine my good fortune, discovering Joy Reid’s bizarre presentation on the inspiring strength—and tragic victimization—of Kamala Harris on Monday, December the 2nd. In a baffling dialogue with several faithful spokespersons for the establishment, Reid insisted that Harris’s presidential campaign was far from finished and scolded her competitors in the corporate media for penning Harris’s “obituaries” prematurely. As we have come to learn, they were delivered just a few days early, for Harris has quit her battle for the powers of the presidency. While I seldom indulge in the pleasures of sadism and schadenfreude, I can make an exception in this case, relishing the national humiliation of a right-wing authoritarian disguised as an Aunt Tammy, one who had sent innocent people of color to death row and who would have allowed our military to murder innocent people of color overseas. If my delight in her political and personal devastation is uncouth, then consider it an antidote to the tasteless toxicity of the lachrymose eulogies delivered in the press.
We will change the channel from MSNBC and turn to CNN, where Kyung Lah could not conceal her own heartbreak. Reflecting wistfully on the righteous “hope and promise” of the lost campaign, she described Harris as the destined redeemer, one who would deliver the progressives to the land of justice and splendor. She saw her as “somebody who represents the coalition, the candidate who potentially could string together black voters, college educated women, potentially the working class, left and right.” A broader organization of Americans I can’t imagine, but Lah does not define the constituency as such. Rather, she begins with the reflection and works her way backwards: “What the Democrats were looking for was someone who looked like them.”
In a single sentence, the entire intellectual power of progressivism is reduced to an expectation of appearance! We don’t care about who the candidate is, or what she stands for, or what she resents; we care only about what she looks like. Now, it would be reckless and crass, not to mention nakedly racist, to accuse left-wing voters of harboring such shallow sentiment collectively, but isn’t it time for us to acknowledge the predatory tendency of the neoliberal media to exploit the superficiality of identity politics? The commentators of cable news commend their consumers for trusting Harris, even in the midst of overwhelming proof of her moral rot. These viewers were ordered to maintain their faith, not because of anything Harris ever did, but because she “looked like” them—or, if the viewers were white, then she “looked like” something wholesome.