It's nearly impossible to separate actor James Van Der Beek from the character that brought him fame. He played the titular Dawson on the now defunct WB's Dawson's Creek for six seasons, thus solidifying him as a teen dream for life. Sometimes it's hard to accept the fact that like all of us, these actors grow up. Sometimes they leave the business, have families, or even use their platforms for a rant and/or a rave.
On Memorial Day 2023, James took to Instagram to vent his frustration over the fact that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has opted to forego a debate which would establish who the 2024 democratic presidential nominee is. Beyond referring to this decision as lacking in democracy, James also had a couple of unfounded, dare we say ageist, things to say about President Biden running again. So, what are James Van Der Beek's politics? Here's what we know.
James Van Der Beek's politics are currently up for debate.
While walking his dog and one of his six children, James was unable to move past the fact that the DNC has decided the debate was off the table. Now, before we press on, it's important to note that an incumbent president has never participated in a primary debate, per the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "No sitting president has appeared in a primary debate, even ones who ended up facing significant primary challenges (Gerald Ford in 1976, Jimmy Carter in 1980, and George H.W. Bush in 1992)."
This pesky fact didn't stop James from suggesting that a debate is necessary as Joe Biden is 80 years-old and if he wins again, he will be the "oldest sitting president." What James didn't mention is that President Biden is already the oldest sitting president. He'll just be the oldest sitting president again, basically beating his previous high score.
Speaking of disregarding any sort of facts, James then took a swing at Biden's mental state. "This guy has obvious declining mental faculties," the actor asserted. "You're putting him up in front of a podium with flashcards, telling him who to call on and what the questions will be, and you're telling us there's no debate?"
In all likelihood, James is referencing President Biden's cue cards and more specifically, a news conference he gave in which his cards were visible. On was a reporter's name, how to say their name correctly, and the question she was going to ask. Typically reporters submit questions ahead of time, but this one did not. However, she had conversations with the White House about what she was reporting on. According to CNN, this is normal in all presidencies. Biden's penchant for cue cards is a sign of preparedness, not forgetfulness.
While James has never publicly said which side of the aisle he stands on, he did refer to himself as "simply pro-democratic process" in the caption under the video. He also said his concern about Biden's mental acuity is a "valid concern." By the way, if you were hoping to engage with James in a spirited debate on this issue, you won't be able to do so as he disabled comments. Looks like there are two debates that won't be happening.
James Van Der Beek's wife has dabbled in some light anti-vax rhetoric.
In January 2022, Rolling Stone Magazine documented the fact that Kimberly Van Der Beek, along with her husband, were spotted in an picture on the now deleted Instagram of "Dr. Micah Pittman, the owner of a chiropractic practice in Lakeway, Tex. who regularly shares anti-vaccine content and Covid conspiracy theory memes."
Dr. Micah Pittman went by the name Joyous Heart and he snagged the photo from the Instagram of "conservative comedian, influencer, and entrepreneur JP Sears," whose still active account is a real dumping ground for the worst takes. You know what they say: Birds of a feather flock together.
In the past, Kimberly has shared anti-vaccine articles from non-reputable sources to her Facebook page, and on April 2020, she "interviewed Dr. Pejman Katirei, a Beverly Hills pediatrician known as @holistickids on Instagram." Dr. Katirei has spread misinformation about vaccines, specifically that they cause autism and autoimmune disorders. He advocates for "colloidal silver, intermittent fasting, and essential oils as preventive measures against the coronavirus," per Rolling Stone.
The Van Der Beeks currently live in Austin, which is being touted as a mecca for the anti-vax movement by Austin Monthly. This is probably due to the fact that in 2003, "Texas legislators passed a law allowing parents to seek an exemption to school-entry vaccines for 'reasons of conscience.'" (Texas already allowed exemptions for medical and religious reasons.) Could the desire to move from California to Texas have something to do with wanting to be around like-minded people? If so, there would be very little to debate about.