One way to judge people is by what they say and what they do, as opposed to putting too much credence in either people’s words or deeds alone. After all, we are all flawed human beings, and sometimes our actions do not align with our stated beliefs, and vice-versa.

Yet, after assessing both her words and her actions, reasonable people should conclude that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)–who was selected this week by Joe Biden to be his vice presidential candidate in the 2020 race–is a socialist, which means a socialist could soon be just one heartbeat away from sitting behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. Yikes!

Although Harris’ political career includes more flip-flops than a fish out of water, she has a well-established history that illustrates her socialist beliefs. Before we get into the proof, though, I want to make it clear that although I think Harris’ policy positions make her a socialist, my intuition—as well as numerous accounts going back years that suggest Harris is a notorious political opportunist—tells me that the only reason Harris has agreed to promote socialist doctrines is not because she actually believes them, but rather because she has chosen to ride the AOC-Bernie socialist wave all the way to the White House.

Judging by how things are going for Harris this week, it looks like the strategy is working.

Alright, let’s take a close look at the evidence and fairly consider whether Harris ought to qualify as a socialist:

Exhibit A: Harris was a co-sponsor of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal, which is more akin to a socialist wish list than a serious policy proposal. In short, the Green New Deal calls for basic income, even for those “unwilling to work.” It also includes the total destruction of the existing energy industry (and all of the jobs associated with it), free college, a federal jobs guarantee, and many other socialist programs.

If Harris’ decision to cosponsor the Green New Deal is not enough evidence to convince Americans that she is a socialist, consider Exhibit B: In 2019, she called for the abolition of private health insurance as part of her Medicare-for-All plan. According to Harris, “The idea is that everyone gets access to medical care, and you don’t have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through the paperwork, all of the delay that may require. Who of us has not had that situation, where you’ve got to wait for approval, and the doctor says, ‘Well, I don’t know if your insurance company is going to cover this?’ Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”

Of course, Harris walked that back almost as soon as she uttered those words—because that’s what political opportunists do—but she remained a big supporter of Medicare for All. And even in her revised version, the one that would allow private health insurers to exist by the grace of government, her plan involved phasing America into Medicare for All over 10 years. The only private insurers allowed to exist would be the ones that adhere to strict Medicare rules and price controls, effectively eliminating private insurance in any meaningful sense.

Exhibit C: Harris has supported a long list of government bans meant to control Americans’ activities, including a ban on so-called assault weapons, plastic straws, and fracking. On their own, bans do not make a politician a socialist, but when you add them to the long list of other socialist programs, the bans serve as additional and important evidence.

Exhibit D: Without further ado, allow me introduce Harris’ socialist coup de grace: She supports “free health care, education, housing, etc.” for illegal immigrants, which means Harris has effectively pledged to create an open-borders welfare state.

I could go on and on detailing Harris’ socialist inclinations, both in words and actions, but I think the point is clear.

Like most politicians, Harris has a penchant for double-talk and flip-flops. However, throughout her career, Harris has taken politicking to a whole new level. As a keen political observer for the past decade, I can sparsely recall a politician as hollow and prone to the political winds as Kamala Harris. So, when the winds in the Democratic Party blow toward socialism, as they have in the past few years, Harris goes with them.

PHOTO: By Gage Skidmore, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris speaking with attendees at the 2019 National Forum on Wages and Working People hosted by the Center for the American Progress Action Fund and the SEIU at the Enclave in Las Vegas, Nevada, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is an editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute and a researcher and editor at