Americans don’t want Kamala to be their ‘Momala’

Drew Barrymore’s interview with the vice-president was a toe-curling display of sycophancy.

Jenny Holland

Topics Politics USA

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As a child of the 1980s, I grew up loving Drew Barrymore. The actress was a familiar and comforting presence in pop culture: fresh, buzzy, open and fun. I would bet almost all females my age thought of her as a girl who would make a great best friend.

Today’s Drew is a cautionary tale. This week, she interviewed US vice-president Kamala Harris. It was a depressing demonstration of how low American liberal women’s standards are for what they consider to be inspirational.

Sitting down with Harris on The Drew Barrymore Show, Barrymore tearfully gushed to one of the most powerful politicians in the country: ‘As a woman, who respects so much, and wants to share, and wants to be confident, and has no ounce of me that has competitiveness, when we lift each other up, we all rise. However, we need a great protector.’

What has happened to women of my generation? We used to have sass and a healthy suspicion of authority. Now one of our most cherished stars prattles on about needing a ‘protector’ – presumably from her own out-of-control emotions. By contrast, Kamala Harris came out looking – dare I say it – sensible.

Harris talked about her blended family, explaining how she came to be known not as ‘stepmom’, but as ‘Momala’. ‘What’s really important and will make it work’, she said, ‘is when all the adults who are in that dynamic have respect for each other and understand that this is not about territorial ownership’. She went on to tell a heart-warming story about meeting her now husband’s kids for the first time.

Predictably, a lot of big meanies took to the internet after the show aired to make fun of Harris for not saying anything interesting. But at least she managed to speak in coherent sentences for once. A low bar, I admit. But remember when, last year, she helpfully informed CBS’s 60 Minutes that President Biden was ‘very much alive’? Or when she had this to say to a radio host about the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

‘So, Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine. So basically that’s wrong.’

Harris’s little anecdotes on Barrymore’s show were by no means groundbreaking. They were the kind of thing I’ve heard a million times, among my friends or mothers at the school gate, as warm chit-chat among women. But if Barrymore’s over-the-top reaction to them was anything to go by, you would think Harris should be the next recipient for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Someone seriously needs to check on Drew. She appeared so needy, so emotionally… available. At times, she seemed as though she had reverted to childhood, sitting cross-legged, hands clasped in excitement and her mouth agape at the apparently precious pearls of wisdom dropping from Harris’s mouth. At several moments, it seemed like she was about to cry. For the entire segment, she invaded the vice-president’s personal space to the point where I thought it might constitute a clear and present danger.

Barrymore’s fawning style – a discordant combo of acting like a mother talking to a toddler, while also acting like a toddler herself – culminated in a truly inappropriate moment when she begged the vice-president to be America’s ‘mom’. ‘I’ve been thinking that we really all need a tremendous hug in the world right now’, Barrymore said, her voice wavering. ‘We need you to be Momala of the country.’ Even Harris looked uncomfortable, responding with a non-committal: ‘I mean… yeah.’ I would like to state for the record that I, an American, do not need Kamala Harris to be my mother, because I am a grown-up.

Harris then took the opportunity that Drew handed to her on a silver platter to issue a hypocritical platitude: ‘There’s been this kind of perverse approach to what strength looks like, which is to suggest that the measure of one’s strength is based on who you beat down. Instead of what we know: the true measure of your strength is based on who you lift up.’

Maybe 20 years ago you could get away with saying something like this. Back when the world was not on the brink of war, Jews weren’t being harassed on elite college campuses, the president’s main political rival was not in the dock and the American working class was not being decimated by fentanyl and inflation. Back then, we could afford luxury beliefs, like thinking that the way to show strength is to be ‘nice’.

In 2024, however, we all know just how disingenuous this chatter is. Elite women like Kamala Harris did not get to their positions of power by being nice. What they really mean when they talk about relationships based on respect is that we, the people, must respect them, our supposed betters.

America’s mom? No thanks.

Jenny Holland is a former newspaper reporter and speechwriter. Visit her Substack here.

Picture by: YouTube.

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Topics Politics USA


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