Biden campaign swiftly and soundly rejects neo-Nazi Richard Spencer's 'endorsement'

As if the 2020 election season weren't quite wonky enough, infamous white supremacist troll Richard Spencer has decided to trade in his alt-rightness to go all-in on Joe Biden and the Democratic party. Unexpected—and yet not, considering the fact that Neo-Nazi attention whores aren't exactly known for making good sense.

"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," he wrote on Twitter. I had to look up what "accelerationism" meant, so I started to read an article about it, but then I realized I was putting too much time into something Richard Spencer said and stopped. It doesn't matter. What matters is how the Biden campaign reacted to this "endorsement."

When white supremacist and former KKK grand dragon David Duke endorsed Donald Trump in 2016, Trump acted like he didn't really know who he was. How a candidate for the U.S. presidency would know nothing about one of the country's most famous white supremacists was a bit baffling, as was his wishy washy disavowal of his endorsement (which he blamed on a bad earpiece during an interview).

The Biden campaign probably wishes it could just ignore Spencer's clear cry for attention, but when a neo-Nazi says, "Hey, I'm on your team now!" it's necessary to say, "NOPE."


Director of Rapid Response for the Joe Biden campaign, Andrew Bates, tweeted a response to Spencer's announcement:

"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. What you stand for is absolutely repugnant. Your support is 10,000% percent unwelcome here."

Spencer had made headlines during the 2016 election for opening his alt-right conference speech with the phrase "Hail Trump," which was repeated by audience member who raised their hands in a Nazi salute.

It's also a bit hard to take Spencer seriously as supporting Democrats, considering he retweeted this message from Rose McGowan just four days ago:

"What have the Democrats done to solve ANYTHING? Help the poor? No. Help black & brown people? No. Stop police brutality? No. Help single mothers? No. Help children? No. You have achieved nothing. NOTHING. Why did people vote Trump? Because of you motherfuckers."

He may have simply jumped the Trump ship because he can see it sinking. "The MAGA/Alt-Right moment is over. I made mistakes; Trump is an obvious disaster; but mainly the paradigm contained flaws that we now are able to perceive. And it needs to end," he tweeted, according to Newsweek. "Walking into certain defeat, even death, is not heroic. It's foolhardy. I have no sympathy for martyrs. I admire winners."

He may admire winners, but he's getting no admiration from anyone at this point. The Biden campaign made it crystal clear that whatever game he's playing isn't going to fly. Denouncing neo-Nazis swiftly and definitively is what leaders should do, no matter what side of the political spectrum they're on.


True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Photo by Tod Perry

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