If a vice president representing the Democrats feels the need to slip into toddler-speak while explaining an extremely serious and complex issue, what does that say about her voters? Both Kamala Harris and Joe Biden have had their embarrassing moments in attempting to convey their feelings on Ukraine, but Harris undoubtedly had the worst performance yet when she was asked to explain the crisis during a radio show appearance.

Democrats know their base

Harris was asked to “break it down in layman’s terms” for people who don’t understand what is happening in Ukraine. If her assessment of the average American layman is at all accurate then the country is doomed.

Fortunately most Americans are at least a few levels above the 2nd grade answer Harris provided. Democrats might, however, be aware that a significant portion of their base requires this kind of explanation.

Harris answered with “Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine, so basically that’s wrong.”

Understandably, the statement has been widely mocked on social media. Some have even argued that it is offensive to give childish explanations like this to adults while people are fighting and dying in Ukraine.

Even if the vice president was addressing a toddler, it isn’t a good explanation in any way. The United States has been the larger country invading a smaller country dozens of times, but the situation is never that simple.

Of course, for  someone who needs to be told that Russia is a big country even this brain-dead explanation was probably too complicated.

Dumbing down a complicated issue

It’s one of the most extreme examples of this crisis being systematically translated into childish terms for the American public, rather than being treated as a serious geopolitical development.

There are valid arguments for doing more to help Ukraine, but reducing the situation to “Ukrainians are good and Russians are bad” implies that Harris and others want to rope uninformed Americans into publicly calling for intervention in a conflict they know nothing about.

Anyone who deserves to have an opinion on the Ukraine crisis is aware that there has been an armed standoff in Donbas for the last eight years, a standoff which has deep historical roots. History has not been much of a strong point for Democrats.

Politicians count on voters being too uninformed to do anything other than “listen to the experts” when foreign policy issues are being debated. Kamala and Biden have no interest in seriously informing the public about Ukraine.

Leaving aside the rest of his record for a moment, it’s worth pointing out that Vladimir Putin has never used this infantilizing tone when addressing his people. Most serious world leaders do not do this.

This is the sort of embarrassment which has led to a widespread stereotype abroad of the ignorant American diving into conflicts in places they have never heard of. Unfortunately, that stereotype is very true in the White House currently.

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