First-ever Endorsements for Biden, and the reasons for endorsement

There are some endorsements that wouldn’t surprise anyone. Political figures who always have an angle, celebrities eyeing a future in politics, and predictable political mega-donors who always have a horse in the race. As we get closer to Election Day, however, there are now a unique, and wide-ranging list of endorsements that are stacking up behind Biden and Harris.

A unique and loosely-tied coalition of scientists, academics and celebrities are lining up behind VP Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, and against a continuation of the socially regressive, anti-scientific, and anti-environmental policies of President Donald Trump. Here are a few surprise endorsements:

Scientific American, the oldest continuously published magazine in America, began life on August 28, 1845 as a 4-page, black and white newsletter. (article and picture of first copy of Scientific American found here).

Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. This year we are compelled to do so. We do not do this lightly.

The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people — because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future.

New England Journal of Medicine —made their first endorsement in their 208 years. In it they offer a searing condemnation of President Trump as they call for US voters to demand science-based leadership:

Covid-19 has created a crisis throughout the world. This crisis has produced a test of leadership. With no good options to combat a novel pathogen, countries were forced to make hard choices about how to respond. Here in the United States, our leaders have failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy.

The magnitude of this failure is astonishing. According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering,1 the United States leads the world in Covid-19 cases and in deaths due to the disease, far exceeding the numbers in much larger countries, such as China. The death rate in this country is more than double that of Canada, exceeds that of Japan, a country with a vulnerable and elderly population, by a factor of almost 50, and even dwarfs the rates in lower-middle-income countries, such as Vietnam, by a factor of almost 2000. Covid-19 is an overwhelming challenge, and many factors contribute to its severity. But the one we can control is how we behave. And in the United States we have consistently behaved poorly.

We know that we could have done better. China, faced with the first outbreak, chose strict quarantine and isolation after an initial delay. These measures were severe but effective, essentially eliminating transmission at the point where the outbreak began and reducing the death rate to a reported 3 per million, as compared with more than 500 per million in the United States. Countries that had far more exchange with China, such as Singapore and South Korea, began intensive testing early, along with aggressive contact tracing and appropriate isolation, and have had relatively small outbreaks. And New Zealand has used these same measures, together with its geographic advantages, to come close to eliminating the disease, something that has allowed that country to limit the time of closure and to largely reopen society to a prepandemic level. In general, not only have many democracies done better than the United States, but they have also outperformed us by orders of magnitude.

Scholars who are always critical of democrats because their policies don’t go far enough. They didn’t support Biden during the primary, but are citing various reasons as they argue that it would be foolish not to vote for Biden, given the ramifications of another term of Trump. Those scholars include: Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Ben Jealous, Robert Reich, and Dr. Cornel West.

Angela Davis argues:

In the interview, which took place in November 2019 on the YouTube show Going Underground With Afshin Rattansi, Davis admitted neither Joe Biden or President Donald Trump reflects her political views. However, she said Biden is far more likely to take mass demands seriously.

“I don’t see this election as being about choosing a candidate who will be able to lead us in the right direction,” said Ms. Davis in the video clip. “It will be about choosing a candidate who can be most effectively pressured into allowing more space for the evolving anti-racist movement.”

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“Biden is very problematic in many ways, not only in terms of his past and the role that he played in pushing toward mass incarceration, but he has indicated that he is opposed to disbanding the police, and this is definitely what we need,” Davis continued.

African American voters turned Biden’s primary run around after a slow start, carrying him to victory over progressives such as Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and others. Like Davis, many African Americans believe Biden can be pressured into taking issues such as climate change and race more seriously than President Trump has.

Chomsky points out that four more years of Trump simply in terms of a continuation of his anti-environmental policies would be absolutely catastrophic to organized human life. While there is nothing exciting from a progressive standpoint, Chomsky is hopeful that the movements like Sunrise Movement and BLM may be able to press Biden and Harris towards a Green New Deal. That the size and strength of those movements will ensure we continue electing more Sen. Bernie Sanders, and more AOCs:

Ben Jealous and Dr. Cornel West have differing views on Biden. Ben Jealous believes that Biden and Harris are able to be moved towards necessary policies, that they can be worked with, as he has seen in the past.

Dr. West says they have his vote, but there is still a superficiality in their approach to systemic change. They will leave global militarism intact and they are bound to Wall St. Those facts leave Dr. West clear-eyed about how slim the prospects of them ever going far enough are, but concedes, we must vote for Biden.

Not exactly an endorsement as much as it is an examination of how we wound up with Trump, Robert Reich gives a powerful and concise view of how our political realities have landed us with someone as awful as Trump.

Celebrity endorsements:
Taylor Swift- kept her twitter endorsement brief.

taylorswift I spoke to @vmagazine about why I’ll be voting for Joe Biden for president. So apt that it’s come out on the night of the VP debate. Gonna be watching and supporting @kamalaharris by yelling at the tv a lot. And I also have custom cookies 🍪💪😘

Her full endorsement is in VMagazine, but the punch line is here:

“The change we need most is to elect a president who recognizes that people of color deserve to feel safe and represented, that women deserve the right to choose what happens to their bodies, and that the LGBTQIA+ community deserves to be acknowledged and included. Everyone deserves a government that takes global health risks seriously and puts the lives of its people first. The only way we can begin to make things better is to choose leaders who are willing to face these issues and find ways to work through them.

“I will proudly vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in this year’s presidential election. Under their leadership, I believe America has a chance to start the healing process it so desperately needs.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson- also endorsed Biden virtually:

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It needs to be said, Black Lives Matter. Nate is a former conservative evangelical, who’s now a freelancing progressive writer. Ko-fi.com/writernate

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Nate Craig

Nate Craig

It needs to be said, Black Lives Matter. Nate is a former conservative evangelical, who’s now a freelancing progressive writer. Ko-fi.com/writernate

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