LA’s musicians endorse Bernie Sanders

LA’s musicians endorse Bernie Sanders


norman lebrecht

February 13, 2020

From Variety:

… “the first musicians union in the country to take a position in the 2020 Democratic primary,” the 7,000-member American Federation of Musicians Local 47 announced Wednesday that it has has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.

And is that the verdict of you all?


  • Dave says:

    Does anyone really take stock that a musician’s union backs Bernie Sanders?

  • Politics says:


  • Calvin says:

    effectively a vote for tRump.

    • Karl says:

      I’m not so sure. Like Trump Bernie has been against free trade. And Bernie has some outsider credentials since he is not really a democrat.

  • PaulD says:

    Free LAPhil tickets for all!

  • Greg Bottini says:

    OK, fine. Groups of people are free to endorse whoever they want to.
    But let’s not make the mistake of believing that just because they are musicians that their opinion counts more than anyone else’s.

    • Gordon says:

      That’s right – cultured, extensively educated and very intelligent people’s collectively agreed upon opinion is equal to that of a single moonshine swilling high school drop out redneck. Wait what

  • Adam Stern says:

    If the microphone were removed from the photo, it would look as if Mr. Sanders were giving a very pointed cue to the first violins.

  • Tamino says:

    Why do organizations have to do this kind of endorsements? It seems strange, unnecessary, as if people were not trusted to use their own free will?

  • drummerman says:

    Strange that they would endorse anyone this early in the game.

    • Doug says:

      Shows clearly how much the Democrats are in complete disarray. After all, Marxism is about divide and conquer and identity politics which the Dems have fully embraced has done immeasurable harm to the country by dividing people.

    • William says:

      Why should they endorse anyone, period? Not every musician thinks the same way/holds the same political views.

  • NYMike says:

    It’s probably the verdict of 47’s Executive Board.

  • mary says:

    What, Dudamel supports a socialist? Surprise surprise.

  • From North Carolina says:

    Yes, of course, and if he’s elected we have the best chance of Krystian Zimerman returning. Endless wins.

  • Barry says:

    Let’s stipulate that people who work in the arts, on average, are fairly far to the left of the average American.

  • Gwendolyn says:

    In California where artists included as aka “gig workers” have just been legally BANNED from seeking WORK!?!?!


    Unless Bernie or Pelosi is going to now legally require artists to be hired as Employees (not just Temps to suddenly DISPOSE of) then how are artists going to make money enough to afford high-priced, high-taxed, high-crime Democrat controlled Commiefornia???

  • Doug says:

    Donald Trump creates the economy that gives musicians work to feed their families.

    Bernie Sanders economy will ensure that musicians get a decent place somewhere in the back of the breadline.

    • Simon says:

      Love it when commentators on this forum start pretending to be authorities on economics. The current economic expansion started under Obama; Trump hasn’t materially affected the economy in a positive way (his tax cuts haven’t boosted corporate investment, only corporate profits) and has tried his hardest to derail the world economy (trade wars, geopolitical uncertainty, etc.), so ascribing the current boom to Trump is highly dubious (side note: presidents don’t actually impact the economy that much either way).
      Now Bernie may or may not slow down average growth (debatable), but his policies would improve economic security for large portions of the population, which boosts consumption, entrepreneurship, etc. So I’m not convinced that the US will turn into a Soviet basket case. The quality of answers in this thread suggests that Norman shouldn’t ask these questions to this audience.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Absolutely hilarious! A doddery communist is right for the US of A!!!?? You couldn’t make it up!!!

    Trump is eating this stuff for breakfast, then burping up Democrats.

    • Tamino says:

      A communist? Where?
      Bernie Sanders by European standards is a moderate middle of the road social democrat.
      The hysteria built upon uneducated cluelessness by some is hilarious.

      • Louis R. says:

        Your sarcasm and passive arrogance are ALL you and Dems have to offer.

        That won’t win an election.

        Ask Hillary…

        • Saxon Broken says:

          Americans may not vote for “a moderate social democrat” but that doesn’t affect the fact that it is the platform which Saunders is standing on. Describing him as a Marxist or Communist is just bizarre.

    • BrianB says:

      “The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without. They come from within. They do not come from the cottages of the wage-earners. They come from a peculiar type of brainy people always found in our country, who, if they add something to its culture, take much from its strength.
      Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals. They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians. But what have they to offer but a vague internationalism, a squalid materialism, and the promise of impossible Utopias?”–Winston Churchill, 24 April, 1933 So applicable today.

  • Cubs Fan says:

    It’s not called The People’s Republic of California for nothing.

  • Carnac says:

    The union is doing its best to see that Trump is re-elected. Not enough Americas will vote for a socialist like Sanders. Certainly not the swing voters in the center. Bad move!

    • Tamino says:

      Probably so, but then there could also an immense mobilisation of previously passive voters by someone like Sanders. Also Sanders will change his tone to a more moderate middle of the road spectrum, once he has defeated the rivals in the own party.
      As Trump’s election last time has shown, the electorate is always good for a certain dose of surprise.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    They ought to be careful in speaking for their entire membership. Out of 7000 members, there will be some who do not agree with this choice.

    In Communications Workers of America v. Beck (1988) the Supreme Court ruled that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) restricted unions from collecting dues for political activities if a union member chooses to opt out.

    The required dues can only be used for collective-bargaining and other representational activities.

    Some members may opt to not pay into a union that officially endorses a candidate or party.

  • NYCgirl says:


  • fflambeau says:

    Absolutely! It’s good that the musicians recognize a friend.

    I’m amazed how the mainstream media have denigrated Bernie as a “wild eyed radical” “a socialist dupe” an “unAmerican zombie of radicalism” and the like.

    He’s being attacked by Hillary, by Rush Limbaugh, the Donald, the New York Times (if you want a real laugh, read their “story” “Moderate Democrats Fear Sanders Could Cost Them the House”, and every talking head supported by neocons and neoliberals.

    If you think I’m making this up, look at some of the invective posing as news.

    • Tamino says:

      Of course the plutocracy would mobilise all they have to fight Sanders. He is a fundamental threat to the ruling class of the US, the 1%. Worst case he would have to be stopped physically.

      It would be interesting if he took the White House. Like how the intelligence and Pentagon briefings would precede. With higher unelected officers brainwashed through their careers to be deeply opposed to him. Interesting.

      It’s extremely unlikely he would make it that far, unless he can actually kick off an underdog image captures the WH campaign that also appeals to the lower classes who traditionally vote nationalistic and reactionary.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    In Australia, which is a very ageist country, we could learn a lot from USA. In here when prominent politicians reach their sixties, they become under pressure to retire. In the corporate world things could be much worse.

  • Patrick Zwick says:

    Go Bernie. It’s time to grow a pair and embrace the so called “far left” which is a misnomer. Sane is more like it. If you haven’t noticed we live in a military dictatorship. The military part spends all our money and our mad king does everything possible to take the human out of human being. It’s time for Bernie’s revolution.Patrick Zwick

    • Larry D says:

      Those who have their doubts about Bernie lack testicles? This is political analysis at its highest.

    • Alan K says:

      The ignorance of this statement is astounding. If you want to visit a Sander’s paradise go visit the country of Venezuela ruled by the successor to Chavez who Sanders so greatly admired.

    • Louis R. says:


      Democrats have collectively proven themselves to lack:

      and basic social skills

      Dems unleashed their SAVAGERY when their entitled, ‘identity politics’ candidate lost in a fair election. Any interference would have been immediately and rightfully been brought up by the Obama Administration. They NEVER brought anything up through President Trump’s inauguration.

      That’s a FACT!!!

      Instead we witnessed VIOLENT protests for which neither Hillary, the Obamas, Pelosi, Waters, Wasserman-Schultz, or the DNC body did anything to control let alone cease. The left proved themselves unworthy to lead on that basis alone, negating any good things they did or said.

      It is easy to act out while only a MATURE mind can lead and succeed.

      The Dems inability to not re-act but act in a cogent, confident manner will HAND Trump a second term!

  • Mike Schachter says:

    You would have thought after 2016 that people are not interested in the “endorsements” of actors, musicians, celebs etc. They are not keen on being patronised by their “betters” telling them how to vote. Sanders is the equivalent of our own Jeremy Corbyn, an aging anti-Semite, in this case a Jewish one.

    • Tamino says:

      Indeed that US tradition of endorsements is somewhat disturbing. Only individual citizens have votes. Organisations don’t. It comes across as if the elite of the country considers their population to have children’s minds and need to be told what to do. Maybe that’s something the US has in common with North Korea and China.

  • M McAlpine says:

    And what on earth do musicians know any more than binmen about running a country?

  • Hapilly Ex-Member of Local 47 says:

    This from the same AFM that can’t find the juice to protect its membership from the disastrous AB5? The endorsement will be rendered moot by that 7K membership dwindling to 700 by the time of the election…..

  • BrianB says:

    Insane. Not just no, but hell no. Well, you asked.

  • Dave says:

    If Sanders wins the Democratic nomination you have guaranteed that Trump has four more years in office. The US populace is more conservative than you think. I’ve heard more than a few people say that the economy is solidly growing. Why rock the boat? Trump may be close to a dictator but a majority of people don’t care.

  • Akudavu says:

    Don’t worry, Bernie will be swept away by Bloomberg, who will be swept away by Trump.

  • Rich C. says:

    Workers of the world unite!!!

  • Larry W says:

    The AFM has bankrupted the pensions that freelance musicians have contributed to for decades. Endorsing Bernie is not a good sign.

  • Tony says:

    Most artists are stupid and useless parasites. Their endorsement of the old commie proves they are the vanguard of backlash. Commie Sanders and other demonrats will experience a historical defeat.

  • Tromba in F says:

    The one thing I learn about the American voting public on this forum (as well as numerous others) is that they have no clue what the terms Marxist, Communist, Socialist, Fascist and Nazi truly mean. Do some research and study some history. These have all become terms too easily ascribed to anyone with a differing point of view. They are flippantly thrown about so easily and often that they have become nigh unto meaningless.