Rob Smith: Racism or Sexism Didn’t Doom Kamala’s Campaign — Inauthenticity Did

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 27: U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) waves to her supporters with her husband, Douglas Emhoff and her niece, Amara Ajagu, 2, during her presidential campaign launch rally in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza on January 27, 2019, in Oakland, California. Twenty thousand people turned out to see …
Mason Trinca/Getty Images

In the era of social media, authenticity is key, and poor Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) never really had what it takes to unlock the doors to the Democratic nomination for president.

The self-described “top-tier candidate” officially bowed out of the running last week, marking a stunning end to a campaign that many thought had a strong possibility of going all the way.

Now that she’s out, the “racism and sexism” claims from the left are out in full force. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, somehow still grifting campaign donations for a run going nowhere, says Harris has been held to “a double standard has been grossly unfair and unfortunate.” The Independent called criticism from some on the left of her record as a prosecutor a “racist narrative that killed her campaign dead.”

This all misses the point. Kamala Harris’s biggest problem was that she never for one moment revealed who she truly is.

Anyone who watches the nonstop gaffes and tone-deaf overtures to “Real America” that come from everyone running for the presidency might reasonably believe that the act of seeking the highest office in the land is one daily humiliation after another. Yet Kamala’s ru seemed to have a certain air of desperation and falseness to it.

Whether she was awkwardly dancing with campaign volunteers or taking a bite out of a pork chop, it always seemed that somewhere inside, the real Kamala was behind lock-and-key, peeking out for safety. Her laugh was forced, her joy pained, and every move seemed like it was made after it was confirmed to be focus-group approved. In that way, she was quite similar to another female candidate in recent memory.

Whether you love or hate the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, you know exactly who he is and where he stands at all times, and if Democrats are serious about running someone who has a chance to oust him from the White House, they’d better choose someone with a firm sense of self.

Kamala just wasn’t that person. If Kamala had embraced the tough-on-crime, center-right Democrat that her entire political history showed that she was, she may have lasted much longer.

And, about those claims of racism and sexism? This is the problem with the way the left uses identity politics. It is wielded as both a means to stand out from the crowd, and an excuse to fall back on at the point of failure. Supporters of a woman who banked on her being the first Black female president shouldn’t lean on race and gender to explain her failure.

When people can find out who someone really is, race, gender, sexual orientation, or any of the other categories don’t really matter. Americans are smarter than that.

That’s one of the reasons why you’re reading the words of a gay black guy writing for a conservative website.

But, as usual, Democrats don’t give Americans enough credit. They think that if we don’t play by their rules of identity politics and elect a candidate solely due to their race or gender, we must be racist or sexist.

Kamala’s problem was not her race or gender. It was that both of those labels were used in the absence of personality, vision, and a strong sense of who she truly is. Any candidate running for President of the United States who doesn’t have those things is truly running a campaign to nowhere. And, in the marathon race to the presidency, that’s where Kamala Harris ended up.

Rob Smith is an Iraq War Veteran, Political Commentator, and Contributor with Turning Point USA. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @robsmithonline

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