Cornel West may be a familiar name to some Americans as a voice of the intellectual left. He’s been a professor at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and at the University of Paris. West has written the bestselling books “Race Matters” and “Democracy Matters” and for a number of years has been extremely active in American politics.
West calls himself a “non-Marxist socialist” and is the honorary chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America. West has worked with black leaders Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton and helped organize the former’s Million Man March on Washington in 1995.
Along the way, West has been a co-host of the radio program Smiley & West with television personality Tavis Smiley, has appeared in two of the Matrix series of films and guest-starred on the TV shows 30 Rock and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. West has also released spoken word/hip-hop albums featuring collaborations with Prince, KRS-One, Andre 3000 and Talib Kweli.
Until recently, West had been heavily involved with the Democratic Party, helping former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley run for president in 2000. In 2004, West worked with progressives to swing battleground states for Democrat John Kerry. In 2008, West campaigned in support of Barack Obama.
By 2012, however, West had come to see Obama as a “counterfeit” who was leading “a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency.” However, as a committed member of the political left, West was still a strong backer of the Democratic Party, and in 2015, West supported Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for president.
Although Sanders drew huge crowds and enjoyed tremendous popularity among progressives, he ultimately lost the primaries to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who out-fundraised Sanders, primarily through corporate and big-money donations.
But because of Sanders’ high delegate count and the neck-and-neck finish of the primaries, Sanders was able to name people to the party’s committee to draft its political platform. West was one of five progressives chosen, along with author Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, environmentalist author Bill McKibben, Native American tribeswoman Deborah Parker and head of the Arab-American Institute James Zogby.
But West’s participation in the committee ended when he abstained from passing the platform that was ultimately decided on based on a number of issues, particularly the failure to denounce “illegal” Israeli settlements and the occupation of that country’s West Bank.
Calling himself “a freedom fighter, a love warrior and a justice seeker,” West walked away from the Democratic Party to support Jill Stein of the Green Party, whom he endorsed for president instead of Hillary Clinton.
Following Hillary Clinton’s spectacular defeat in the general election, many Democrats, including Bernie Sanders, have said that their party needs to remake itself from within. West gave an interview to syndicated talk show program Democracy Now! in which he said that unlike Bernie Sanders, he doesn’t have hope that his former party can rebuild itself in the near future.
“I’m not convinced that the Democratic Party can be reformed. I think it still has a kind of allegiance to a neoliberal orientation. It still has allegiance to Wall Street; the very victory of Nancy Pelosi [as new House Minority Leader] is a sign that neoliberalism is still hegemonic in the party. I hope that Keith Ellison [as potential head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)] is able to present a challenge to it,” said West.
Clearly, West, as a former member of the party’s hardcore left faction, feels that his former party is too beholden to globalist interests — a view that’s shared by the majority of Republicans, including President-Elect Donald Trump.
“My hunch is the Democratic Party has simply run out of gas. I mean, this is a party that couldn’t even publicly oppose TPP when we debated that in the Platform Committee. And that’s just one small example. Couldn’t stop — couldn’t vote to stop fracking, and so on. So, it’s still so tied to big money.”
For such a formerly integral member of the Democratic Party to say such things is further proof that the Republicans have been right all along — the party of the Clintons and Obama is so compromised that members of one of its largest components can’t even recognize it anymore.
And with the re-election of Nancy Pelosi to House Minority Leader and the continued influence of billionaire globalist donors such as George Soros, it doesn’t appear that change is on the horizon anytime soon.
For conservatives, this is heartening news. As Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio admitted recently, “We better get our act together, or we will cease being a national party… We are going to be a regional party that fails to get into the majority and fails to do things on behalf of those working-class people that were the back of the Democratic Party for so long.”
For Republicans, this is music to the ears and further vindication that their efforts of the last 12 months have been worthwhile.
~ Conservative Zone