Is there value in political endorsements from writers? And what do you do when your favorite authors go political?
Well, if you’re like me, you lean in.
Just a few days after Stephen King blew up Twitter by announcing he quit Facebook (citing false information in political advertisements on the social media platform), King endorsed Democrat Elizabeth Warren in a Tweet.
I’ll support and work for any Democrat who wins the nomination, but I’m pulling for Elizabeth Warren. I’d love to see her open a large can of whup-ass on Trump in the debates.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 2, 2020
It’s political season in the US, and Stephen King isn’t the only writer announcing her or his endorsements.
Wendig Endorses Warren
Chuck Wendig announced on his blog Terrible Minds that he’s supporting Elizabeth Warren as well. It’s clear he expected active conversation and possibly even push back from his readers because he closed the comments. He also posted several paragraphs of clarifications including: “Further, let it be said that my thesis on an election in this case is: vote your heart in the primary, your conscience in the general.”
Then, Wendig dug into why Warren inspired him. He said she’s strong on women’s rights, supportive of the working class, and has specific plans for every issue thrown her way. He also personally believes it’s time for a woman president.
It’s not a surprise that either King or Wendig chose to voice their endorsement for a political candidate. King is well known for sharing his political views. Anyone who read Wendig’s Wanderers, a speculative fiction novel set in the midst of a presidential race, has been waiting for his official call on the election.
Warren actually has a host of writers (in a host of genres) pulling for her including Roxane Gay and Celeste Ng.
Writers endorse Biden and Sanders
Elizabeth Warren is not the only Democratic candidate that’s favored among writers.
George R.R. Martin endorsed Joe Biden in a blog post last year for two reasons: because Biden is “(1) someone who can beat Trump, and (2) someone who would actually be a good/ great president.”
But so far in this race, Biden’s endorsements have taken a more Hollywood slant than literary. He was also endorsed by Tom Hanks, Vivica A. Fox, and Alec Baldwin.
Bernie Sanders is endorsed by the science fiction writer Amy Sterling Casil and many, many actresses and actors.
As of right now, no SFF writers endorse Pete Buttigieg or Amy Klobuchar.
What do political endorsements from writers mean for readers?
It will mean something different for every voter and ever reader.
And if you want, your response can be fairly simple: You can ignore them.
I hope you vote in the primary and general election, but that doesn’t mean you need to follow the race as carefully as I do. It’s important to take breaks from the news and even more important to follow your own principals when it comes to voting.
But if you’re like me, you can’t help but be a little fascinated by every update.
We often think of writers as artists that cease to exist after we close the book. We’re thrown off balance when we see their names in national headlines that have nothing to do with their writing.
I personally find it inspiring when well-connected people use their platform to speak about causes or candidates they care about.
I also take it with a grain of salt. Not salt that dilutes their opinion, but as a reminder that the views of my neighbors and family members are just as, if not more, relevant to my life.
With New Hampshire behind us and the rest of the presidential season ahead, it’s important to remember everyone’s vote is equal. Those who vote in local elections to decide my local leaders have a huge impact on my life. Much more than Stephen King’s vote in the Democratic primary.