American Consequences - October 2017

And so Harris’ media avatar has been designed by the professionals. Averell “Ace” Smith learned the art of

Harris appeased conservatives by not challenging the practice of solitary

confinement in state prisons. She was praised by liberals for replacing jail sentences with job diversion and educational services. She has publicly recognized the existence of racial profiling by police, but done little or nothing to alleviate it. She has highlighted the issue of children forced into sexual slavery, but proven ineffective at alleviating it. No politician can please all constituencies. The primary focus of most policymakers is on attracting at least one more vote than the opponent come election time. And that requires ballet dancing through a minefield of explosive emotions. DESIGNING KAMALA Neurobiologists and campaign consultants know that we vote with our guts, not our brains. Tapping into worries about personal security works best for rallying voters to a conservative brand. Sewing up holes in social-services nets attracts liberals. According to a famous study published in Nature , “U.S. conservatives may not seem to have much in common with Iraqi or Italian conservatives, but ... political ideology can be narrowed down to one basic personality trait: openness to change. Liberals tend to be more accepting of social change than conservatives. [They] tolerate more ambiguity and uncertainty, whereas conservatives are more decisive, conscientious and attracted to order.”

politicking from his dad, Arlo Smith, a four- term San Francisco district attorney. Known as “Doctor Death,” Smith the younger is a feared opposition researcher. But he has a soft spot for Harris. For her senate campaign, Smith’s consulting firm, SCN Strategies, packaged Harris as a tough, yet compassionate career prosecutor. She was exhaustively imaged as a woman of color who loves children and joneses on civil rights. One can imagine Smith ticking off items on a checklist... A year before her senatorial campaign rolled out its first videos, Harris, a lifelong singleton, married Emhoff, who has two children from a previous marriage. Harris’ advertisements featured child actors of color strolling hand in hand with the beaming career prosecutor through the halls of justice. Politicians kiss babies for a reason. A central theme of the Harris-for-Senate campaign was her championing of children abused by sexual predators via online sites such as Craigslist and Backpage. A few weeks before the election, Harris arrested the white male owners of Backpage and their mugs reverberated around the globe. However, Harris’ legally flawed case against Backpage was dismissed by a judge on the basis that the First Amendment can be construed as protecting websites from prosecution for crimes committed by third parties. Harris’ successor as attorney general, 1 2

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