No, Richard Spencer Doesn’t Really Support Biden
It‘s not the first time the Alt-Right’s Troller-In-Chief has pulled this move.
Content Warning: hate speech, racial slurs
In the year 2000 there was South Park episode called ‘Chef Goes Nanners’. In it, the town of South Park is put into a political divide over the issue of whether or not they should change their undeniably racist flag.
Among the most vocal of the townspeople are those in South Park’s Ku Klux Klan chapter, who are the only people openly fighting to keep the flag because they’re proud of the racist depiction on it. Eventually, a non-member — Jimbo — suggests to them that to keep the flag, they should pretend to endorse changing the flag. The idea being that if townspeople might vote to keep it if they know that it will make the Klan unhappy. The KKK members embrace the idea, and many of the townspeople fall for it.
South Park’s creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are not progressives or even Liberals, in fact they’re registered Libertarians. So, one might dismiss the theme and that episode as them venting their personal frustrations about occasionally being on the same side of devout racists, or perhaps their response to progressives who like to point that out. It might even be their way of condemning The Ku Klux Klan through their own brand of slapstick humour. It might be all of the above, but the exact rationale doesn’t matter much.
What matters is that hidden under a thin layer of less-than-mature jokes the episode makes a good point. In broad strokes: If someone knows that people hate them, they can use that to tarnish the reputation of others by association. And, in unusually specific strokes: Racist people can pretend to endorse political campaigns that they want to lose in an attempt to sabotage them.
So, if you’ve heard the news of Richard Spencer’s series of Tweets ‘endorsing’ the Biden-Harris presidential run, don’t fall for it.
This is a pattern, not an anomaly.
How do I know for sure that this is what Spencer is doing? Because, it’s not the first time he’s done it. It’s not even the first time I’ve written about it.
In 2016, after already gaining notoriety as an unofficial figurehead for modern White Nationalism, Spencer teased a run for United States Congress. Much more outlandishly, he also teased a run for President in 2018. The twist? He would be running as a Democrat. At least, according to his girlfriend he would be.
Megan Bobonick acted as his pseudo campaign manager and Spencer’s love interest during his farce of a campaign, tweeting out calls to support him in late 2018. She often tried to promote the idea that Spencer was economically a leftist, although she seemed a little bit confused as to what that meant.
Contrary to this portrait of Spencer, Bobonick has acknowledged his Nazi-leanings in separate threads, once in response to a Twitter user asking her if her relationship was based on, and I quote: “Good Nazi dick.”
Granted, all of this was happening around the time that it came out that Spencer dragged his ex-wife down a flight of stairs while she was pregnant and regularly beat her, so it’s a safe bet to say that some of this Tweet storm may have been damage control for his public image.
Back in January of this year, Spencer posted an online video where he appeared to stray even further from his expected politics, saying “I could see myself voting for Bernie”. I like to believe that people can change, but I’m willing to bet that the guy who popularized the “Jews Will Not Replace Us” chant wouldn’t vote for a Jewish candidate so easily.
And much like his girlfriend’s past damage control strategy, his supposed support of Sanders came only a couple of months after another blow to his tame, CNN-friendly image. This time the scandal being leaked audio of him saying, among other things, “Little fucking k***s. They get ruled by people like me”. It would have benefited his branding to appear slightly less antisemitic so that he could get back on network television appearances. So, a fake Sanders endorsement couldn’t hurt.
Additionally, and I hate that I have to mention this, Dinesh D’Souza has also promoted the “Richard Spencer is a Democrat” fantasy.
I feel the need to clarify that just because in this instance a particular bigot is lying about being a Liberal, that it doesn’t mean that political parties to the left of Conservatism can’t have a problem with racists in their movement or their parties. Back when being a United States Democrat was more of an economic stance than a social one, there were many elected officials in the Democratic Party that although weren’t economically right-wing, were literally segregationists — those who’s core belief system was based on being racist assholes. And, it wasn’t so long ago. Famous segregationist James Eastland served in the U.S. Senate all the way until 1978. Robert Byrd was even an elected Democrat before leaving the KKK. In my country, our farthest left leaning party had a scandal involving a now-former member who is an adamant and infamous Holocaust denier.
Richard Spencer is a monster of a person. But, he’s no dummy. He knows that although most United States Liberals are on board the Biden-Harris train despite the bumps in the track, there is a huge divide among those who’s beliefs fall left of Liberal. It’s not just because the Biden-Harris White House would look more Conservative than they had hoped for and they’d prefer to strengthen a third party vote, but that’s definitely part of it. After all, Biden may have slid to the left far further than the Democratic party is used to, but universal health care still isn’t on his ticket. It’s also largely due to unconfirmed reports and occasional misinformation about Biden’s character. Despite Tara Reade’s accusations being mostly debunked, an alarming number of fellow progressives not only believe that Biden may have raped Reade, but that he raped many other women and may even be a child molester.
Biden is, in all likelihood, not a pedophile or a rapist. There is no credible evidence of either. But, the stark reality is that the belief that he could be is playing a strong role to uninformed voters. I used to think that this was a solely Right Wing talking point, but I’ve seen dozens of leftists express sentiments that they believe rumours of his misconduct despite any hard evidence.
Looking at The United States as a two party system, the answer to addressing concerns of voters who believe this is simple: “Trump’s reports of sexual assault are far more credible, so just vote for the lesser of two evils”. But, this line of thinking is far easier in theory than in practise. At the end of the day, most people want to do what’s right and be able to tell themselves that they’re a good person because they don’t do horrible things. Voting for someone who you believe is a sexual predator seems inherently wrong no matter how many more victims the other party’s guy has. Abstaining from voting might not change anything for the better, but it feels better than voting for someone you see as a monster.
So with all this being said, if you’re a progressive voter in the United States and considering not voting Joe Biden for president, I didn’t write this article to try to convince you otherwise. We can disagree on the principles of voting based on personal morals. All I ask is that you make sure you’re not voting that way just because a Nazi dirt bag duped you into doing it.