Kamala Harris and Willie Brown


Some people have extramarital affairs. Generally, the cheating spouse(s) tries (try) to keep such an affair secret. Why? Well, the adjective cheating explains their motivation. Regardless of the outward cultural trends, most of us still have a core view of marriage as a monogamous partnership, and we still have moral qualms about one partner treating the other unfairly. That moral unease also attaches to the third party whether or not he or she is also cheating on his or her spouse as well. But that’s not exactly the issue I’m trying to address in this post.

Joan Walsh has a piece over at The Nation titled Kamala Harris Deserves Better Than Sexist Criticism About Her Personal Life. It’s tagged with the line

The 2020 presidential candidate has faced down creepy gossip about a past relationship for 20 years. It should stop—now.

I disagree.

I have no particular interest in any politician’s sex life per se. However, any information about a person’s behavior can have relevance on his fitness for a given job. Someone who has risen the ranks because of demonstrated competence is probably a better candidate for hiring or promotion than someone who advanced through unearned favoritism.

The Left’s neomarxism posits that all politics (indeed, all of life) is a struggle for power between opposing groups and that hierarchies use the false measures of competence as a means of oppression. Of course, most Leftists don’t really live their lives that way. For example they generally prefer to have their surgeries performed by successful graduates of medical schools. When push comes to shove, most people prefer competence.

The issue that Kamala Harris has placed before us is whether she is the best, most competent, candidate for President in 2020. All of her life, certainly all of her public life, should now be open for inspection and evaluation. Did she rise through the Bay Area and California political systems on her own competence? Or did she receive an unearned boost because she was someone’s “girlfriend”? If she purposefully engaged in such an affair to boost her career, how is that morally different from the corrupt predatory behavior exposed by the #MeToo movement? Does her career, taken as a whole, display competence or corruption?

Those are nontrivial questions, and a public discussion of them is now in order because of her candidacy.

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