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24 Aug, 2020 11:55

Alt-right Richard Spencer is ‘on team Joe’ now: Sabotage or strange bedfellows, people wonder

Alt-right Richard Spencer is ‘on team Joe’ now: Sabotage or strange bedfellows, people wonder

Notorious right personality Richard Spencer has declared he will be voting for the “more competent” Democrat ticket in November, getting a rebuke from team Biden and mass disbelief in response. Yet he has a record of voting blue.

Spencer, a popular speaker with hard-right ideology, was a vocal supporter of Donald Trump in 2016, but this time around his sympathies may be on the other side. He said on Twitter that he plans to vote for the Democrats in November, because “the liberals are clearly more competent people”.

He later shared an election advert declaring that he was “on team Joe”.

The recipients of the surprise endorsement were not thrilled. Andrew Bates, whose job as the head of rapid response for the Biden campaign includes deflecting support from unwanted people, swiftly jumped in. Spencer is part of the “vile forces of hate who have come crawling out from under rocks”, opposed by the Democrat nominee, he wrote.

Many people on the left took Spencer’s words as a two-bit ploy to undermine Biden on behalf of Trump by dividing them. A similar view was popular in the same circles about Kanye West’s run for the presidency.

If that is the case, the plan had at least some success. Leftwing political commentator and self-described “proud socialist” Ryan Knight demanded that Biden immediately disavowed Spencer, because “these are the standards set by liberals.”

His reasoning has some merit. Biden supporters were eager to pile on Tulsi Gabbard over an endorsement of her candidacy by former KKK leader David Duke even after she rejected it. Bernie Sanders got his share of flak too for accepting a nod from popular podcast host Joe Rogan, a known critic of Biden whom some people on the left consider “toxic”.

Meanwhile, Spencer’s voting record shows that he voted for Democrats in the 2004 Dallas County primary. When asked about it by the Dallas Morning News, he said that year he cast his ballot for John Kerry because George W Bush stood for war.

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