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Kamala Harris is Out: What This Means for the Primary and Our Political System

On December 3, 2019, 2020 Democratic Primary Candidate Kamala Harris announced that she would be suspending her campaign for the Presidency. This announcement came as a major shock to many of her supports and anyone who was following the primary. Harris has been polling in the top five for the majority of the primary until today when a Morning Consult poll put recently entry Michael Bloomberg ahead of Harris in the polls, bumping her to 6th place in the race with just 2% of the vote. 

In an email to her supporters, Harris explained that she simply did not have the money to continue her campaign. She also made sure to note that she isn’t a billionaire and cannot finance her own campaign out of her own pocket, a direct shot at late entries Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, both of whom are using their wealth to help them in their ambitions for the Presidency.

Whether you like her or you hate her, you have to admit her dropping out at this stage is so problematic for a few reasons.

The first being a question of who is really qualified to be the President. Remaining in the race are businessman Andrew Yang, South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer. The resumes of these three men are not nearly as impressive as that of Senator Harris, who previously served as the Attorney General of California until she was elected to the Senate in 2016, where she came onto the national scene during the Confirmation Hearings of Brett Kavanaugh. So how is it that these candidates are able to stay in the race while Harris was unable to. Part of this has to be that, as a black woman, Harris has to work twice as hard to get half as far and the media portrayal of her throughout her campaign has been unfair at best.

This is also problematic because you should not be able to buy yourself the Presidency. While watching the sheer amount of money being spent on races is enough to make anyone’s stomach churn, it becomes even more problematic when you think about where the money is coming from. The billionaires in the race are able to finance commercials, mailers, and staff all from their own money that they earned earlier in their lives. By using previously earned money, these candidates are able to stay in the race despite a lack of support from the public that will be voting in the primaries and the 2020 Presidential Election.

A final reason that this is problematic is that it says a lot about those candidates who are in the race. There are people like John Delaney who hasn’t been on stage since the very first debate who are still in the race. You’re probably asking yourself or googling “who is John Delaney,” and that’s my point. The vanity and delusion of some of the candidates that are still in the race is ridiculous. Candidates like Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Beto O’Rourke, who were all doing so much better than other candidates that are still in, are the real types of people who I would want in the White House, not for their policies but for their self-awareness. There are people in the race who are still in the race that had absolutely no business being their in the first place (Marianne Williamson I’m looking at you).

This Primary process has been long, exhausting, and record breaking. For the first time, we saw six women run in a primary contest, an openly gay man is running for President, and a record number of non-white people are in the race. Regardless of this, the ego of some of these candidates is frustrating.

Candidates should take a notice of Kamala Harris and her acknowledgement that the Democratic Primary isn’t about her winning or any individual candidate winning. It’s supposed to be about finding a candidate who has a chance to beat Donald Trump. 

We still live in a system where the rich and powerful are able to have an unfair influence in our political system and a system in which we still have too many unqualified people running for one of the most important and taxing jobs in the country. Until we overcome this, we will never be a system for the people.