The meaning behind Kamala's cackle

Video emerged of Kamala Harris recently speaking about the problems parents face when their schools are closed but they can't afford childcare.  This is a serious issue with massive repercussions for children's development and for working mothers.  So what did Kamala do?  She cracked herself up, laughing so hard she could barely get the words out.  What the heck is going on with that woman?

Here's the video, so that you can see I'm not exaggerating.  For some reason, Harris finds it inordinately funny that parents and children are suffering, even as she backs away compulsively from her audience:

This is not the first time we've seen Kamala laugh uncontrollably and inappropriately.  A few more examples show that it's a go-to behavior for her.  For example, when Stephen Colbert asked Kamala ever so delicately how she could accept the offer to become Biden's vice president when she'd agreed that he probably sexually molested someone, Kamala couldn't stop laughing:

Kamala also thought it was hysterically funny that people are suffering along the southern border now that the Biden administration has thrown aside America's immigration laws:

Kamala also couldn't stop laughing when asked if she was a socialist:

And then there was the time in 2018 when Kamala thought it was hysterically funny to joke about killing Republicans, including Trump and Pence — a joke that, were any other person to make it, would earn a knock on the door from the FBI:

If you look up "inappropriate laughter," a few things pop up.  It turns out that it can be a nervous system disorder called Pseudobulbar affect (AKA emotional incontinence).  According to the Mayo Clinic's website,

Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a condition that's characterized by episodes of sudden uncontrollable and inappropriate laughing or crying. Pseudobulbar affect typically occurs in people with certain neurological conditions or injuries, which might affect the way the brain controls emotion.

In other words, in addition to a president sliding into dementia, we could have a vice president with a neurological disorder.  Thus, it occurs with people who have:

  • Stroke
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease

It's doubtful Harris suffers from any of the above problems.  (Although wouldn't it be a kick in the pants if she did?)  Additionally, she doesn't laugh at completely random times.  She laughs when she's nervous, and there's even a name for what Harris does: nervous laughter.

Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted one of the earliest and most infamous studies with data about nervous laughter in the 1960s.

His study revealed that people often laughed nervously in uncomfortable situations. People in his study were asked to give electric shocks to a stranger, with the shocks becoming increasingly powerful (up to 450 volts).

But the "strangers" in this case were researchers involved in the study — they weren't actually being shocked. But participants were more likely to laugh at the violence of the situation the higher the volts went.

Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran explored this idea in his book "A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness." He proposes that laughter first appeared in human history as a way to indicate to those around us that whatever was making us laugh wasn't a threat or worth worrying about.

So we're essentially reassuring ourselves that whatever's making us uncomfortable isn't that big a deal when we laugh at an uncomfortable situation.

The question, then, is what's making Harris nervous when she (a) glosses over willingly campaigning with someone she accused of sexual assault, or (b) jokes about killing the president, or (c) laughs at the suffering working parents experience when their children cannot go to school?  My guess is that the laughter came about for the following reasons: (a) acknowledging that she has no moral compass and was caught in a lie; (b) knowing she violated a social and legal taboo; and (c) knowing that her administration policies not only aren't helping, but also are making it worse.

That is, in every case, Kamala laughs because she's doing something even she knows is bad and wrong.  I guess it shows she has some semblance of a conscience and therefore isn't a true sociopath.  Imagine, though, when she inevitably takes over for Biden and is responsible for dealing with foreign powers.  She's going to be a disaster, signaling loudly to her opponents (Putin, Xi, the mullahs) that she's lying, doing something wrong, or is about to make things much worse.

Image: Kamala's compulsive laughter.  Twitter screen grab.