Angela Davis endorses Biden (sort of)

The first time I voted was in 1984. Coming from a liberal Democratic family I dutifully pulled the level for Mondale/Ferraro. For you millennials, Geraldine Ferraro was Amy Klobuchar before Amy Klobuchar was Amy Klobuchar with the major difference being that she actually got the Vice Presidential nomination. I always laugh when some feminist accuses me of being sexist for not voting for Hillary. I voted a woman on the Democratic Presidential ticket before most of you were born.

But Geraldine Ferraro wasn’t the only woman on the Vice Presidential ticket in 1984. Indeed, one of my biggest regrets was not casting my first vote for the Communist Party, which featured Gus Hall as the presidential candidate and Angela Davis as the vice presidential candidate. Dammit. Had I voted the Communist Party ticket back in 1984 I would been able to say I voted for Angela Davis before she was cool.

In 2020 Angela Davis would call that irresponsible. New Jersey back in 1984 was actually a swing state.  Reagan (a man infinitely more evil than Trump) crushed the hapless Mondale pretty much everywhere. I think he may even have won Massachusetts. Let me check. Yes, Reagan won Massachusetts. These days Trump has no chance of winning Massachusetts or New Jersey (which is odd considering how both states have more racists than you can shake a stick at) so my vote is irrelevant. Nevertheless, Angela Davis herself argues that I should vote for Biden (and whatever version of Geraldine Ferraro he picks as his Vice Presidential candidate).

ANGELA DAVIS: Well, my position really hasn’t changed. I’m not going to actually support either of the major candidates. But I do think we have to participate in the election. I mean, that isn’t to say that I won’t vote for the Democratic candidate. What I’m saying is that in our electoral system as it exists, neither party represents the future that we need in this country. Both parties remain connected to corporate capitalism. But the election will not so much be about who gets to lead the country to a better future, but rather how we can support ourselves and our own ability to continue to organize and place pressure on those in power. And I don’t think there’s a question about which candidate would allow that process to unfold.

https://www.democracynow.org/2020/6/12/angela_davis_2020_race_biden_trump

You can tell her heart really isn’t in it. The lack of clarity in her language is the dead giveaway. But I would like to ask her if there’s any difference between Trump and Ronald Reagan and if she regrets running in 1984.  I would like her to tell me that my 18 year old self made the right decision by voting straight Democrat. In any event, since Biden has now been endorsed by Noam Chomsky, Bernie Sanders and Angela Davis, yeah I guess I’ll add my meaningless vote to the Democratic Party’s probable landslide. It will be nice to get rid of Trump and not have to read his asinine tweets.

p.s. Poor Walter Mondale. Even McGovern won Massachusetts.

6 comments

  1. Why would Angela Davis be a “third Party” communist candidate and now only see Dems and Reps? Canada has a lot of different parties and USA just hugs hard at 2 parties being a terrible non-choice, but very seldom is there a conversation about Howie Hawkins?

    1. Howie Hawkins is pretty dull and a Russiagater. He’s basically Bernie without the charisma and the ability to draw crowds. Jesse Ventura might be more interesting.

  2. John Thurloe · · Reply

    Well, Gene Debs never sucked out. That’s the standard. Neither did Bill Haywood or John Reed or Emma Goldman or Malcolm X.

    But all those SDS types sold out and are sucking up big dough working for the Democrats.

    1. Davis’s position depends on the idea that Trump is an existential threat the way Reagan wasn’t. I wonder if she needs to jump into a time machine back to 1984 and talk to someone with AIDS.

      1. John Thurloe · · Reply

        You can talk your way into anything along that line. Which is after all, what every washed up radical uses as their apologia for backing whom ever they used to call the class enemy. That Class Enemy. Gene Debs understood that the class enemy was Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson in the 1912 presidential election. Socialists do not back or vote with any representatives of the factions of the ruling class. We fight for the unity of the working class against the parties of the ruling class.

        If one loses sight of this then it’s an easy descent to just lining up behind whatever what’s on offer. Then you back the system. And Angela Davis has lost her class mojo.

        1. It’s strange watching all of these established leftists like Chomsky, Angela Davis and Bernie now being weaponized for the Biden campaign. I really have no dog in this hunt anymore. Whether or not I vote for Biden is irrelevant since I’m in one of the most liberal states in the country. If Trump is competitive here it’s over anyway. I can more or less see Chomsky’s point for voting against Trump if you’re in a swing state. Why not? What have you got to lose? There are no credible third party candidates. Nobody’s going to lose any sleep over Trump not being President.

          But there is something dirty about the whole process. Biden is a very old man and his VP pick is likely to become the next President. Whoever it is, Warren, Harris, or someone we haven’t heard of, hasn’t won the majority of votes in the Democratic Party. In Warren’s and Harris’s cases, neither could even take her own state. So the 46th President is likely to be appointed (by the Democratic Party’s wealthy elite) not elected. That little coup after the South Carolina primary combined with Bernie’s run (which was essentially fake anyway) makes it pretty much obvious we don’t live in a democracy (with a small “d”). Yeah I’m a privileged white man in a liberal state who’s never faced much racism but does that really mean I should surrender my democratic agency to the billionaire class?

          I think Chomsky, Angela Davis and Bernie have all had a more or less positive impact on history but they’re not really providing any leadership here.

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