Renegade Democrat Cornel West Poses Threat to Biden’s Reelection: Will Trump Benefit?

2023-09-03 15:09:00

A renegade Democratic supporter could help Donald Trump defeat US President Biden: Cornel West. The political intellectual scolds both. Unpleasant memories are awakening for the Democrats.

There’s more than a year to go before the US presidential election, but there’s more to the potential field than just incumbent Joe Biden and the candidates who want to challenge him for the Republicans. One of them is the well-known left-wing intellectual Cornel West, who wants to become a third option for the US Green Party. In the political center even a fourth is announced with “No Labels”.

Neither will have a chance of winning. But for the Democrats in particular, additional competition increases the risk of ultimately having to put the key to the White House back in Trump’s hands. Should the ex-president not become a candidate, Biden could still have to leave it to a Republican – if he lacks the votes that a candidate like West would unite.

Poll results from August 28 suggest so. In a possible three-way constellation, West gets 4 percent of the votes, Biden 39 percent, and Trump would win with 44 percent. In another duel between Biden and Trump, both would be within the margin of error, i.e. almost equal. The chances of Biden’s second term in office would therefore be much higher in a duel with his political antagonist.

When West publicly declares his intentions in June, he does so forcefully, almost eccentrically. “I go in search of truth, of justice, and the presidency is just a vehicle to pursue it – which I’ve been trying to do all my life,” announced the professor and philosopher. “Neither party wants to tell the truth about Wall Street, Ukraine, the Pentagon or Big Tech.” Ex-President Donald Trump is a neo-fascist, and Joe Biden, the current one, is a “mediocre, neoliberal scaredy-cat”.

The tone of the 70-year-old has not become friendlier since then: a few weeks ago he criticized that the Democratic Party does not want to end poverty, change the role of the financial industry or treat workers better. Politico magazine writes that the Democrats are particularly concerned that West is stealing young and black voters away from them. Both constituencies have been key to Biden’s success in 2020. But he is already the oldest ever incumbent US President, which many see as a problem. Biden’s popularity is low anyway, despite fulfilled election promises such as infrastructure funds, subsidy programs for a green conversion of the economy and a calm annual inflation of 3.2 percent in July.

lessons of the past

The primaries of the two major parties begin in January, the candidates are officially chosen in the middle of the year and the Americans vote in November. The decision about the next US president is still a long way off, and many US media and polling institutes are far ahead with their questions and scenarios. But that a third candidate like West, or even a fourth, will tip the scales is not just scaremongering.

In Florida in 2000, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader garnered far more votes than Democrat Al Gore lacked to defeat Republican George W. Bush. The Green Party was also involved in the recent trauma of the Democrats in 2016: Hillary Clinton seemed almost unbeatable after the Republicans had chosen Trump as their candidate. But the polling institutes were way off the mark, and Jill Stein also got 1.1 percent for the Green Party and a libertarian also collected votes. It’s not very likely Clinton would have won without the other candidates, but it’s possible.

Stein is also currently involved again: as campaign manager for West. Left of most Democrats in his views, with a life as a civil rights political activist (as well as guest appearances in two “Matrix” films), he presents himself as a candidate for lifelong principles and a champion of the disadvantaged. In 2016 and 2020, the progressive Senator Bernie Sanders had taken on this role, but was unable to assert himself in the Democratic primary. West supported Sanders in both elections.

Biden managed to win over the progressive wing and young voters in 2020 after his win against Sanders. But not because they were so fascinated by him, but especially because he was the means to get rid of Trump. Biden won by a record number of votes. In the coming year, voters may have to vote for Biden again to prevent Trump’s return. But donations to Biden’s campaign team are falling significantly, suggesting turnout may be falling.

Biden was simply “better than fascism,” “and a fascist catastrophe is worse than a neoliberal disaster,” West said in August of his reasons for voting for the Democrat in 2020. But: “Now we have to deal with the neoliberal disaster.” The Democratic Party “cannot be saved,” he complains. Sanders and the popular Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are “in the worst case only window dressing”. West has taught at the elite universities of Yale, Stanford and Harvard and has published a large number of books. He calls himself a socialist and “radical democrat” who is “skeptical of any form of authority.”

“Love in Public”

The ground for further candidates is fertile: end of August said only 24 percent of Americans wanted to see Biden as a candidate again, and only 30 percent said the same about Trump. A majority said they were both reluctant to support them. Of the under-30 constituency, 9 out of 10 voters last year wanted to see a candidate other than Biden.

For some, West could be that candidate, even if he’s running for the Greens. He promotes a stringent social agenda: for better wages, affordable housing, the right to abortion, public health insurance for everyone, the fight against climate change and, somewhat cryptically, against “the destruction of American democracy”. His campaign slogan: “Justice is what love looks like in public.”

West endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2020 primary.

(Photo: AP)

Americans see inflation and healthcare costs as the two biggest problems Lands. households Blacks, like Latinos, have lower median incomes than other ethnic groups. No other group has a higher unemployment rate, and a quarter of them said in February they perceive their skin color as a disadvantage in their current job.

Prior to 2008, West campaigned for future President Barack Obama, but after the financial crisis had little regulatory impact and the government shared the cost of the bank bailout, he backed away. “He’s a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black hand puppet of corporate plutocrats,” West said. Before the 2012 election, he toured the US to raise awareness of the “plight of the poor” that both Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney would ignore. “He’s a war criminal,” he also scolded the president.

West was arrested at an Occupy Wall Street demonstration protesting the declassification of super PAC campaign support, making money even more important in the US election campaign. West said of whistleblower Julian Assange, who has been indicted on multiple occasions in the US but is still in custody in Britain, that he “only exposed some of the crimes and lies of the American empire”. He called the war in Ukraine a “proxy war between the American empire and the Russian Federation”.

“Fight and go down in style”

So next year there will probably be a three-way battle or a four-way battle. The “No Label” centrists around the moderate Republican Larry Hogan want to attract more voters who don’t want to make friends with either Biden or the Republican candidates. Possible centrist presidential candidates include Logan himself, Democrat Joe Manchin, senator from West Virginia, or the independent Kyrsten Sinema, senator from Arizona. In a poll in June, a clear majority of Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, rated the country’s inability to work together as a “very big problem”.

For a reasonably comparable four-way battle you have to look back a long time. Biden was six years old, Trump was a two-year-old toddler, and the president’s name was Harry Truman. The Democrat was not particularly popular before the 1948 election, leaving former Vice President Henry Wallace to his left for the Progressive Party and Strom Thurmond to his right for the Dixiecrats. Truman still comfortably won the election against Republican Thomas Dewey.

It doesn’t look like that this time, as early as 2020 Biden only just won the states of Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin despite the change mood. So West and a “No Labels” candidate are a real problem for the Democrats. “Some of us will go down fighting; go down swaying in style and with a smile,” West said at the end of his announcement. That could be enough for an end to the Biden administration and another term for Trump.

#Cornel #West #dangerous #Biden #Trump

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.