Cornel West to Activists, Immigrants: Let’s Dump The Democratic Party

By Kenrya Rankin Apr 24, 2017

Professor and author Dr. Cornel West has a message for people who identify themselves as political and social progressives: “The neoliberal vision of the Democratic party has run its course.”

In an essay published by The Guardian today (April 24), West argues that the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term in office makes it clear that the Democratic party is not capable of leading progressives in a time when the GOP dominates the American political landscape.

The corporate wing has made it clear that the populist wing has little power or place in its future. The discipline of the party is strong on self-preservation and weak on embracing new voices. And party leaders too often revel in self-righteousness and self-pity rather than self-criticism and self-enhancement. The time has come to bid farewell to a moribund party that lacks imagination, courage and gusto. …

We progressives need new leadership and institutional capacity that provides strong resistance to Trump’s vicious policies, concrete alternatives that matter to ordinary citizens and credible visions that go beyond Wall Street priorities and militaristic policies. And appealing to young people is a good testing ground.

A group of former Bernie Sanders staffers have come together to convince Sanders to head a new “people’s party,” and West makes an appeal to immigrants, activists and progressive leaders to join the ranks:

And if a class-conscious multi-racial party attuned to anti-sexist, anti-homophobic and anti-militaristic issues and grounded in ecological commitments can reconfigure our citizenship, maybe our decaying democracy has a chance. And if brother Bernie Sanders decides to join us—with many others, including sister Jill Stein and activists from Black Lives Matter and Brown immigrant groups and Standing Rock freedom fighters and betrayed working people—we may build something for the near future after Trump implodes.

Read the full essay here.