Cornel West is running for President

Originally published at: Cornel West is running for President | Boing Boing


Best political news I’ve seen in decades. I saw this announcement this morning and thought about how often we’ve had a choice of the intellectual best the US has to offer.


I generally agree with West’s politics but I only see three possible outcomes from a 2024 Presidential campaign:

  1. His candidacy has no impact on the outcome of the election (most likely)
  2. His candidacy draws enough progressive votes from Joe Biden for the fascist GOP candidate to win (reasonably likely)
  3. He somehow wins and becomes the second POTUS in American history to enter office without any formal experience in public service (highly unlikely)

His criticisms of past administrations leaves me concerned about lack of experience in elected office. The executive branch is just that - one branch of government. A lot of the issues raised are not controllable by that branch of our government.

Expertise in activism and academia is no guarantee of success in our current system. We’ll see how he does in the primaries.


He’s running as a People’s Party candidate rather than a Democrat or Republican so he’ll probably win the nomination if they can’t find someone more prominent, but that also means he won’t have the political machinery behind him to make a realistically viable candidate in the general election.

According to Wikipedia the last time that party fielded a Presidential candidate was 1908 and he only won 0.2% of the vote.


Feels like a Berkley college professor is coming off of his tower to run for POTUS thinking that he knows how to among all things to end war for humanity.

Ending wars? Seriously?

Good luck dude.


Option 4, if he builds a strong coalition and a lot of excitement with Gen Z voters, I’d like to think it could empower / force Biden to take more progressive actions while he’s still in office.


Why not use that energy to build a movement from the ground up though? Win some state and local offices, prove their party can govern effectively, then make a run for the top spot?

Biden isn’t operating in a vacuum. You don’t get a progressive utopia by trying to knock out the moderate President when the other two branches of government are controlled by right-wing extremists.


I don’t know. But the Tea Party was a de-centralized coalition of angry voters, pushing a fascist agenda, and here we are.

I’d like to think a de-centralized coalition of angry young voters who have been shafted and know they’ve been shafted, would push a progressive agenda so we get somewhere better. Repubs are desperate to stop them from voting, so a unifying voice that calls them to action could do wonders.

It’s not a super-likely option, but I think it’s still an option.


How many unaffiliated (non Republican) candidates did they get elected to high office though? It’s a lot easier to break shit than it is to accomplish positive change.

Peeling off even that much is enough to make me nervous. There’s every indication that the next election will be a close one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the margin of victory in some states is right around that number. Clinton only lost Michigan by 0.3% in 2016.


I don’t think that analogy holds up well; the Tea Party movement started in 2009 as a group of far-right activists vowing opposition to the Obama administration, they didn’t achieve their goals by going after a sitting Republican President.


They were an astroturf movement. Out there to basically say all the bigoted wingnut shit the mainstream GOP believed and acted on, but wouldn’t admit to in public.

At best what you will have is a Jill Stein or Ralph Nader situation where progressive votes are torn away from the Democrat candidate. But in this case the outright democracy hating fascist candidate will be enabled.

We don’t need this shit except as a way to energize the Democrats to campaign more rigorously.,


I wish our electoral system allowed for principled candidates to run for office without potentially screwing things up for the better of the candidates who can reasonably actually win. History has proved otherwise. Sometime to our benefit-ish (Clinton beating Bush the Elder when Perot ran as a 3rd Party candidate), but also to our detriment (Bush the Younger “beating” Gore when Nader ran). First past the post voting combined with the Electoral College nonsense just doesn’t allow for 3rd Party candidates. And I want to echo what @Brainspore said. I would much rather see a 3rd Party focus on state and local elections first, and build something. They always want to shoot for the Presidency first. If they did manage by some miracle to win, what would they do? None of their agenda would get through Congress. Start local, build to statewide office, then Congress. Then, once you’ve built something substantial, try for President. Also, push for ranked choice voting so 3rd Parties can be viable to begin with. Until then, this is just a vanity exercise, and it’s selfish.


Bernie is technically not a Democrat but ran in the Democratic primaries. He gave it a good go but when he lost the primary he then urged his supporters to vote for the non-fascist in the general. It almost worked, although a few zealots didn’t listen to him. I wouldn’t call him a spoiler in the same way as Nader was, anyway.


Yeah I didn’t mention Bernie and wasn’t referring to him. I’m specifically talking about 3rd party candidates. I would love a system where we have 3, 4, or 5 viable parties. We just don’t have it. If we did, Bernie likely would be the de facto leader of a Democratic-Socialist Party and would have run for President as that Party’s candidate.


My thoughts exactly, but better stated.

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C’mon you guys, he’s young, give him a chance.

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Until the GOP is a whole lot less fascist, I can’t really see myself voting third party.


I don’t think this is a fight against fascism as much as it is the ruling class vs everyone else.

Fighting about Disney and bathrooms and guns keeps the public scrutiny busy clicking while the ruling class create more laws to benefit only themselves.

“Neofascism in the United States takes the form of big money, big banks, big corporations, tied to xenophobic scapegoating of the vulnerable, like Mexicans and Muslims and women and black folk, and militaristic policies abroad, with strongman, charismatic, autocratic personality, and that’s what Donald Trump is.”

Cornel West


The only way a progressive candidate has a chance of winning (and not sabotaging the lesser of two evils and potentially handing a victory to the fascists) is if they do it after our screwed-up election system is fixed. And the only way our screwed-up election system is likely to get fixed is with progressives running things. sigh

ETA: Though as others have since pointed out below, West is, in fact, not actually progressive.