Election 2020

As Team Biden Celebrates GOP Defectors, Richard Spencer Endorses Democrats

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

As the Joe Biden campaign released a list of former Republicans who have endorsed the Democratic nominee for the November election, white nationalist Richard Spencer — an organizer of the Charlottesville riot and a former supporter of President Donald Trump — announced his support for Biden, as well. This endorsement is particularly embarrassing for Biden, since he claimed that he is running for president to “restore the soul of America,” specifically to repudiate Trump’s alleged support for the Charlottesville march.

Biden’s campaign rejected the endorsement, while Biden himself has yet to address it. Author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza argued that Spencer’s ideology fits better with progressivism, especially the Democratic President Woodrow Wilson, than it does with Trump.

“I plan to vote for Biden and a straight democratic ticket. It’s not based on ‘accelerationism’ or anything like that; the liberals are clearly more competent people,” Spencer tweeted on Sunday.

Early on Monday morning, Spencer tweeted a picture of himself with the message, “I’m on Team Joe!”

Biden has repeatedly condemned Trump for saying that there were “good people on both sides” of the Charlottesville demonstrations, often insinuating and outright claiming that the president praised white nationalists like Spencer. In reality, Trump condemned the white nationalists, explaining that he meant to praise the Americans who protested the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Andrew Bates, rapid response director at the Biden campaign, rushed to condemn Spencer’s endorsement.

“When Joe Biden says we are in a battle for the soul of our nation against vile forces of hate who have come crawling out from under rocks, you are the epitome of what he means,” Bates tweeted at Spencer. “What you stand for is absolutely repugnant. Your support is 10,000% percent unwelcome here.”

D’Souza argued that Spencer’s endorsement belies the idea that Trump represents a white supremacist platform.

“Anyone on the Left who claims white supremacists are for Trump with nothing more than an old photo or anecdote to prove it must now contend with the fact that the poster boy of white supremacy, Richard Spencer, has announced he’s voting Biden & straight Democratic ticket,” D’Souza tweeted.

In July, D’Souza released an interview with Richard Spencer, showing that the white nationalist’s views are more compatible with Woodrow Wilson-era progressivism, rather than modern conservatism like that of President Trump. Tellingly, Spencer told D’Souza that rights do not come from God — Spencer is an atheist — but rather from group representation. “No individual has a right outside of a collective community,” he said. Spencer has also proven rather willing to embrace socialism in the name of white identity politics.

While the Democrats of today obviously disagree with the blatant racism of Richard Spencer and Woodrow Wilson, Spencer’s decision to endorse Biden and the Democrats seems rather noteworthy. Spencer’s core beliefs are incompatible with Trump’s support for the Founding Fathers and America’s ideals. Perhaps he has realized that the identity politics of the Left better represents his vision, even though Team Biden rejects him, as did Trump.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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