Cornel West, a prominent philosopher, activist and self-described democratic socialist, announced that he is running for president in 2024 as a candidate for the People’s Party. This new third party aims to challenge the two-party system.
West, aged 70, made the announcement in a video posted on Twitter, saying that he had “decided to run for truth and justice” and that he cared about the quality of life of all Americans. He also directed viewers to his campaign website, which outlines some of his political platform and calls for donations.
West’s platform includes instituting Medicare for All, banning corporate lobbying, disbanding NATO, stopping all foreign military aid and abolishing student debt. He also advocates for ending poverty, mass incarceration, wars and ecological collapse. He supports guaranteed housing, health care, education and living wages for all.
West is a professor of philosophy and Christian practice at the Union Theological Seminary and a former professor at Harvard University. He has been a vocal critic of what he calls the neoliberal establishment that dominates politics, and has described himself as a democratic socialist. He has also been a frequent commentator on politics and social issues on various media outlets.
In 2016, West endorsed then-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for president and appeared with him on the campaign trail. He also served on the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee that year, but later endorsed Green Party candidate Jill Stein after Sanders lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton.
West decided to run with the People’s Party, which was founded in 2017 by former Sanders staffer Nick Brana who felt disillusioned by the Democratic Party. The party aims to provide an alternative to the two-party system with positions it claims are supported by the “people” and not the Democratic or Republican parties.
West faces numerous hurdles in his presidential run, including a lack of resources and the lack of a major party backing his campaign. He also faces an uphill battle against incumbent President Joe Biden, who is seeking re-election in 2024. Progressives ideologically aligned with West are concerned about the viability of his campaign due to his decision not to run in the Democratic primary.
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