What’s Going on with Kamala Harris? – While perusing some old speeches that Kamala Harris made throughout her career, I found one thing in common with them that is starkly different from her speeches as vice-president: they were cogent. Yes, Kamala Harris was always spouting Far Left ideas. Although, she was rarely incoherent in her public addresses.
In fact, one speech came to mind as I was conducting my (painful) research. It was a speech from 2019 in which she was lampooning then-President Donald Trump as an “indictment machine.” Some of the syntax may have been unpleasant, but overall, Harris got her point across, she galvanized the audience, and she made a passionate argument.
Flash forward to 2023 and it really does seem like she’s a different person.
Her incongruity as both a public speaker and national leader is creating complications in U.S. foreign policy that are starting to negatively harm America’s position in places, such as Africa, a key region of competition and development between the West and China.
Going to Ghana
A recent trip to the African nation of Ghana reminded audiences just how inept Harris has been as the second-most-powerful figure in the United States government. The speech she gave was bizarre and meandering, punctuated by promises to get her country to repent for the sins of slavery—while handing out $100 million in US tax dollars in the form of foreign aid.
Of course, nowhere mentioned in her remarks was the fact that the American people were never unanimously supportive of the vile institution of slavery. Harris never once reminded her audience that Americans fought a destructive civil war, in large part, to end slavery. The world’s last remaining Superpower then spent the next century struggling to ensure that racial equality became a fact of life for all people in the United States.
In between Mao-like “struggle sessions” in which the American vice-president erupted into uncontrollable tears at the sight of seeing a “slave fort” and her ruminations about a “wide-ranging discussion” with the Ghana president (which was never completely elaborated on by the nonsensical Harris), Harris was humiliated by her Ghanese host.
After all her caterwauling about America’s inherent sin and how she was bringing the offering of $100 million from the back pockets of the American people for the Ghanese people, Harris attempted to get the president of Ghana to agree that China’s recent investments in Africa was a problem that both the US and Ghana shared. About which, the Ghanese president excoriated Harris.
Indignant and unrepentant over both Ghana’s and Africa’s overall increased relationship with China, the Ghanese leader scolded the emotional Harris about how his country would not be made to pick sides between China and the United States. What’s more, the Ghanese president stated that he was not worried at all about China’s increased trade profile in his country and that he would welcome investments from both the United States and China.
There was a time when this sort of behavior would have never occurred because the American leadership was so feared and respected that a tiny, impoverished, developing nation like Ghana would have never dared to embarrass the American leadership.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, sadly, those days are done.
And Harris isn’t helping the cause of US diplomacy with her pedantic, incomprehensible, and meaningless speeches. She’s likely simply reaffirming the world’s lack of confidence in President Biden’s leadership and prompting these nations—as the Ghanese leader indicated—to make new economic and strategic calculations designed to empower China at America’s expense.
Who’s Fault is it Anyway?
While it would be unfair to lay the collapse of America’s position in Africa to China at the high heels of Vice-President Kamala Harris, to say that she (and the rest of the Biden Administration) doesn’t share in some of the responsibility for these failures would be inaccurate. Ghana’s antipathy to the Biden Administration has nothing to do with the fact that they want to give money to Ghana or to apologize for the atrocious legacy of slavery.
It comes down to culture and money.
China has deftly championed a policy that renowned economist Dambisa Moyo would describe as “trade, not aid”. Rather than hectoring the world’s Developing Countries, such as Ghana and others in Africa, into becoming identical to China, Beijing enters generous trade and development deals with these countries.
The argument is that trade will both benefit China, and it will help to build capacity in these countries (which is why the Developing World is so attracted to China). Of course, as has been seen in places like Kenya and throughout South Asia, Chinese aid comes with hidden strings attached that effectively ensnares their “partners” in brutal debt traps.
But the money that China offers these countries is simply too good. That the money, unlike Western aid, comes with no moral clauses is an added benefit. These Developing Countries do not want to be lectured by wealthy Western states. Specifically, many African countries today are choosing to align with China because they are culturally far more conservative and traditional than Western societies are.
On a wide range of issues, notably LGBTQ matters, African countries prefer to do business with China because Beijing will trade and work with African states that have subpar human rights records on LGBTQ issues.
The United States, especially with the Democratic Party—which has long billed itself as the party civil rights—leading it presently, should be much more appealing to Developing Countries in Africa. Yet, the unfortunate combination of radical Leftist cultural policies and the consistently pathetic leadership displayed by the Biden Administration has made the African countries standoffish in America’s budding rivalry with China.
Like so many things that Vice-President Kamala Harris has been asked to do by her nominal boss, President Biden, Harris’ Ghana excursion was a disaster. One must inquire how could an otherwise articulate woman from just a few years ago become so inarticulate and uninspiring? Is someone on her staff dosing her with happy juice to make her look bad in public? Is she purposely tanking her public appearance so as to lower confidence in Biden, thereby possibly ensuring that he cannot run for reelection in 2024, and she becomes the forty-seventh president (God help us all)?
A very serious question needs to be asked of our current vice-president: Just what the heck is going on with you?
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.