Dr. Cornel West is refusing to fall in line behind Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, announcing his support for Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein despite his serving on the Democratic Platform Committee at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
West is a former Harvard and Princeton professor and a leading progressive activist who previously endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.
I endorse Brother @BernieSanders because he is a long-distance runner with integrity in the struggle for justice for over 50 years.
— Cornel West (@CornelWest) August 25, 2015
In an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, West directly confronts the idea that Stein is a spoiler – a label the Green Party has struggled to shake since Ralph Nader was blamed by many on the left for spoiling the 2000 election in favor of George W. Bush over Al Gore.
“I think after a magnificent campaign of Bernie Sanders, the next step is a green step. The next step is a progressive step. And when you’re calling for reparations, you’re calling for the release of prisoners who have been historically unfairly treated, especially tied to nonviolent crimes, and then saying they should vote and that vote should never be taken away, when you’re calling—putting people and planet and peace before profits, Sister Jill Stein, for me, is somebody that’s worth fighting for. And she’s not a spoiler. You know, a lot of people use that term ‘spoiler.’ If Hillary Clinton can’t make the case to progressives, she doesn’t deserve our vote.”
West blasted Clinton in the Democracy Now interview, telling Goodman that Clinton is a “neoliberal disaster.” When asked to explain what he meant, West unloaded.
A neoliberal disaster is one who generates a mass incarceration regime, who deregulates banks and markets, who promotes chaos of regime change in Libya, supports military coups in Honduras, undermines some of the magnificent efforts in Haiti of working people, and so forth. That’s the record of Hillary Clinton. So there was no way—when my dear brother, who I love very deeply, Bernie Sanders said she will make an outstanding president, I said, “Oh, I disagree with my brother. I think she’ll—I don’t think she’ll make an outstanding president at all.” She’s a militarist. She’s a hawk. She could take us into war with Russia. She could take us into war with Iran. So, I mean, I think she’s—she’s dangerous in terms of her neoliberal ideology—not as a woman, because I’m supporting, of course, my dear sister Jill Stein.
West also clashed with Bill Maher on HBO’s “Real Time” Friday night over his refusal to support Hillary. After Maher said “there’s only two items on the menu,” referring to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, West retorted by saying, “At the moment it looks that way but Bernie started with three percent too, and we almost won.”
Outside the Democratic National Convention, Stein drew thousands of Bernie supporters to several rallies last week and has been actively courting them to take up the hashtag #JillNotHill.
She is expected to win the Green Party nomination for President at their convention later this week in Houston, Texas.