Monday with Ms. Marvel: criticize the candidates


Morgan Kong

In her weekly column, Monday with Ms. Marvel, Wingspan’s Trisha Dasgupta reviews different political issues and relatable topics in everyday life.

Trisha Dasgupta, Editor-in-Chief

Joe Biden’s choice as Kamala Harris as his Vice Presidential nominee pick has, unsurprisingly, bred tons of discourse

There are people who are upset by her more left-leaning policies, there are some who are upset that her policies aren’t left-leaning enough, there are those who are upset by her past platforms, and there are some who are just upset by the fact that Biden chose a woman of color. 

It’s a lot to take in. 

Biden’s VP pick would have been controversial any which way but for a lot of younger left-leaning women of color, particularly Black and Brown women, this news has left us feeling conflicted. I’ve seen lots of mixed reactions all over social media and it’s made me even more confused. 

Harris has grown more progressive over the years, and I admired her role in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and her stance on the recent controversy around police brutality, however since she first announced her presidential bid I’ve been pretty certain about one thing- Harris is not the representation I wanted as a young girl of color, and I believe that I have every right to criticize the policies of hers that I disagree with. 

As I mentioned before, there’s been a lot of controversy and discourse over this topic, however, something I did not anticipate was the number of Liberals and Democrats saying that this is “not the time” to be criticizing Biden and Harris. I understand that the Democratic party needs to stand as a strong and united base, however, I also believe that it is possible to have nuanced discourse about issues you find in a candidate while also putting your support behind them. 

For all of the issues I have with Harris’s policies and past actions, I can also see the incredibly positive impact her nomination is going to have on younger girls of color who don’t know anything about politics yet. They don’t see legislation and Senate hearings and debates- they see a woman who looks like them in a position of power- something they’ve never seen before. I also acknowledge that Harris’s pick is already paving the way for other women- women like Karine Jean-Pierre, Harris’s Chief of Staff, who is another role model for younger girls. 

I can acknowledge these things and also express my disappointment for the lack of action on Harris’s part to address how her past actions directly contradict the platform she claims to be running on today. We should be allowed to discuss the shortcomings of a candidate that we support. 

There’s no such thing as a “perfect” candidate- and there never will be. Although the last few election cycles have been breeding grounds for toxic and inflammatory rhetoric, open discourse about candidates (on both sides of the aisle) is healthy in a democracy. Of course, it’s one thing if that discourse is racist, misogynist, or derogatory in any way, but it’s another if it’s valid criticism of a politician’s platform and policies.