by David Schwartzman
Cornel West, a well-known African American public intellectual and long term fighter for a more just society is running for the Presidential nomination of the Green Party of the United States. You can read about his credentials at: https://www.cornelwest24.org/about. Soon after his announcement that he was running, the attacks began from the Democratic party and those on the left who fear he will be a “spoiler”, giving the vote of the Electoral College to Trump, even as expected the popular vote will go to the Democratic Party candidate, just as was the case in 2000 and 2016.
In 2000, popular consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader ran for President as the Green candidate, winning 2,882,955 votes (2.74 percent of the popular vote). Democratic pundits argued that this enabled Republic George Bush to win, and ever since have continued to raise this false flag of spoiler. But as Bernie Sanders has often noted, the neoliberal Democratic Party leadership has itself to blame for its defeats in 2000 and 2016 by not getting behind the interests of the working class, hence the support for Trump and Republicans.
It could be argued that Green Party candidates have actually helped the Democrats. As far as Nader in 2000, his main impact was to motivate young voters who mostly ended up choosing Gore. Gore failed to campaign in his own state and caved in on the recount in Florida. As far as Jill Stein, in 2016 most of her voters in the three swing states would not have voted for Clinton if Jill hadn’t run. And kudos to Jill Stein for launching a campaign for a recount, without support of the Democratic Party machine.
Cornel West will be a splendid candidate for the Green Party, of which I am a member, because of his critique of Wall Street Imperialist Democrats and of course the neofascist agenda of Trump and Republicans. In 2016 when Cornel West supported Jill Stein, he said the choice was between a disaster (Clinton) and a catastrophe (Trump). Now we are facing the prospects of an even bigger catastrophe if Trump wins in 2024, the election of a white supremacist, climate denialist regime.
Therefore, if nominated as its Presidential candidate by the Green Party, which I anticipate will happen, Cornel West should outline the consequences of how people vote, depending on their state with respect to its votes in the Electoral College. It is time to respect the voter by offering a real choice and share why the Electoral College matters in the state she lives in. and emphasize the imperative of defeating Trump and Republicans. This will maximize the building of an independent anti-imperialist party and strengthen the chances of defeating Trump and Republicans in 2024. Moreover, Cornel West could push Biden to the left, at least in rhetoric, thereby helping Biden to win progressive and youthful voters. An example of this can be found when Henry Wallace ran for President as candidate of the left-liberal Progressive Party in 1948. This pushed Democrat Harry Truman to the left (supporting civil rights, attacking Wall Street, etc.), which actually helped Truman win the election.
Democrats and progressives should stop arguing “the spoiler” and consider synergizing their efforts with the West campaign. Cornel West will very likely be the nominee of the Green Party for President. Let’s collaborate in our common goal, to defeat the white supremacist climate denialist neofascist Trump/Republicans, and move forward to a much stronger Green New Deal and Statehood for DC, which will only be possible with Democrats truly in control of the White House and Congress, being held accountable by a reenergized movement for a just transition away from fossil fuels and corporate domination.
As a Green Party activist, member of its International and EcoAction Committees, and as a leader of its Washington DC affiliate, the DC Statehood Green Party, I am determined to share this message with voters.
David Schwartzman is a U.S. representative to GEN as well as the representative of the Green Eco-Socialist Network (https://eco-socialism.org) which has recently endorsed Cornel West as the Green Party’s Presidential Nominee. The views expressed in this article are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Green Eco-Socialist Network.
Cornel West’s campaign website: https://www.cornelwest24.org/
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ik=dccfe54c6c&view=pt&search=a…d=msg-a:r-2403791852644877316&simpl=msg-a:r-2403791852644877316 Page 1 of 2 https://www.cnn.com/2023/07/21/politics/cornel-west-green-party-president-biden-democrats-worry/index.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgNrbj0ReRU