After years of offering political and cultural critiques as a scholar and professor, Dr. West has officially entered the political arena as a Green Party candidate.
For the past weeks, Dr. Cornel West started talking about his 2024 presidential bid to independent news. On Wednesday, the day after the country’s celebration of independence, he announced that his campaign completed the transition to the Green Party. In announcing the move, Dr. West declared‚ “People have had enough of organized greed, institutionalized hatred, and normalized indifference to the lives of poor and working people of all colors. Yet the bipartisan consensus is siphoning trillions of dollars into wars that bring us to the verge of nuclear holocaust and tax giveaways to billionaires already drenched in obscene profits at the expense of struggling workers.”
For decades, Dr. West’s work intersected culture, politics and spirituality as a philosopher. He is the former Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Currently, he serves as the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary in New York.
Long before his political pursuit, Dr. West has been vocal on the political milieu of the country. When Pres. Barack Obama campaigned for the 2008 presidency, Dr. West served as a surrogate and supporter. However, after Pres. Obama became the first African American to sit as a U.S. president, things between the two fell apart. Namely, Dr. West began a campaign that challenged the newly minted leader for his decisions on policy and affairs of the nation. His position effectively booted him from the Obama circle.
Moving forward, Dr. West supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who ran on a Democratic ticket for the 2020 campaign. In the beginning, Sen. Sanders took a healthy lead with a contingency of voters who were tired of establishment politics. The response was in large part due to the racial reckoning and the global pandemic which experienced record protests and calls for justice. However, Sen. Sanders’ campaign declined when he lost in South Carolina.
| Check out: Da Gambling Man Comic Strip
For Dr. West, it ain’t over until it’s over. Entering into the 2024 presidential campaign epitomizes Dr. West’s philosophy of “going out swinging” as he will bring a perspective on the conditions of the U.S. that neither major parties dare mention. “I come from a tradition where I care about you … about the quality of life … about descent housing … women having control over their bodies,” informed Dr. West in a video introducing his bid.
Right now, the country is reeling from three germinal decisions made by the majority-conservative Supreme Court. In 2022, the Roe V. Wade case that protected women’s reproductive rights was overthrown. Last week, using affirmative action in college admissions was ended, including a significant portion of Pres. Joe Biden’s student loan debt relief. To add, a recent report released by the Center for American Progress shows 11.9 percent of Americans live below the poverty line. While many may see Dr. West’s campaign as obsolete, his focus is timely.
“The parties of war and Wall Street are throwing millions of children back into poverty by allowing the child tax credit expansion to expire; they are stripping 15 million Americans of health care in their failure to extend Covid Medicaid coverage; and they are denying food stamps to untold numbers of the vulnerable unemployed in their use of a debt ceiling crisis, that could have been avoided, to impose austerity on everyday people,” said Dr. West in a release.
| Read: Black ranchers helped feed Denver’s most vulnerable, now they fight for their land
With the goal of giving working people, the poor and struggling Americans across the 50 states “a real choice that’s of, by and for the people in the 2024 election,” the campaign switched its FEC filing to the Green Party. Subsequently, its infrastructure has been turned over to veterans of Green Party campaigns, including former Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who is the acting campaign manager. The West campaign plans to leverage the ballot access experience of the Stein/Baraka ticket that was on the ballot in 47 states.
In all, the campaign wants to bring together “social movements, independents, labor groups and non-corporate political parties that are free from the stranglehold of billionaires, bankers and party bosses.” According to the West campaign “volunteers and donations are already pouring” in.
Dr. West hopes to bank on what he says is a “voter rebellion,” in the political process. “It’s no wonder Americans are abandoning the political parties that have brought us to this crisis. As the corporate parties betray our families and communities, the number of people who consider themselves politically independent is now twice the number identifying as either Democrats or Republicans. The number demanding a choice outside the corporate duopoly is at a record 62%. And a new poll shows the number of Americans who consider voting 3rd party vastly exceeds those who do not.