Joe Biden has finally chosen his running mate. Though surprising to no one, the announcement of Kamala Harris remains ground-breaking nonetheless. In reality, it shouldn’t. Harris personifies so many of the values intrinsically linked to America’s identity, and those now lauded by folks in its most patriotic corners: fearless, forceful, fair.
On the opposing ticket, pencilled in at VP, we find Mike Pence. For a man I initially found so abhorrent, I now find myself apathetic. Sheesh, maybe I’ve even grown sympathetic. Old Mike and his stapled-on half smile have somehow – over these last four years – lulled me into a false sense of pity. In my defence, you must admit, you don’t want to be Mike Pence. What a horrible little existence.
Anyhow, I digress. Four years ago, when Pence himself was the freshly appointed running mate, he introduced himself to America by declaring: “I’m a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” Inspiring stuff. Easy way to get a measure of the man. Really Mike, Good Job! Within a sentence you painted yourself as the classic God-Fearing, Family-Loving, Flag-Saluting, family man. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever. While different to those of Kamala, they’re still tried and tested American values.
Yet, for a successful politician at least, they strike me as somewhat stagnant. The issue in believing yours is the greatest land on this here earth is the inevitable complacency which follows. All those chanting, “Make America Great Again,” would declare it the world’s greatest country, and do so without a second’s thought. It seems to me, whatever Trump/Pence policies do exist, involve returning to what once was. As the key word “again” in their slogan suggests, their promised land dictates taking a step backwards. They are clinging onto the past, and doing so by the ends of their fingernails. How very un-American, no?
Then there is Kamala. The critics and plaudits both have been swift to weigh in since Biden made his announcement on Tuesday afternoon. Say what you will, the ambition and drive is unquestionable. It has been ingrained in her since childhood. Ever since she was a little girl, her life has been a relentless drive forward. Progress, one step at a time. To me, an outsider, this seems much more American.
So we have two Patriots. Two very American Americans running to be Vice President of America. How fitting.
But each embodies a different America. We do not yet know which one will win in November, but I can make a pretty good guess, in the long run at least, which American shall prevail.