Americans want change. A December poll found that only 38% of the country is satisfied with the way the political system is working, with nearly two-thirds expressing their discontent. Despite this, it appears that very little change is on the horizon; the 2024 election is looking increasingly likely that the two parties will select aging relics in Joe Biden and Donald Trump as their candidates. In this situation, half of Americans say they would consider voting for a third party, despite the clear drawbacks to this in the U.S.’ two-party duopoly.
One candidate who could shake up this cozy system is activist and public intellectual Dr. Cornel West. West’s decades of activism and his natural charisma and speaking abilities could draw large numbers to his message, leaving many in Washington – especially Democrats – worried.
West has declared his intention to be the Green Party’s presidential candidate for 2024. Here to speak with MintPress News today about Dr. West, the Green Party, and the state of U.S. politics is West’s campaign manager, Dr. Jill Stein.
A physician by trade, Stein has been involved in the Green movement for decades. She first ran for office in 2002, attempting to become the governor of her native Massachusetts. In 2012 and 2016, she was selected as the Green Party’s presidential candidate. Running against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016, she received over 1% of the national vote.
Stein was ecstatic that West had chosen to run for president, revealing today that she asked him to be her running mate when she stood for the same position. As she told “MintCast” host Alan MacLeod today:
He is a renowned intellectual and activist, a dedicated public servant, and a fearless voice for social, economic, racial and climate justice. His intention is to abolish poverty and dismantle empire… He has impeccable credibility, he’s an eloquent spokesperson, and he goes way back with the Green Party.”
West’s campaign is barely a few weeks old. However, he is basing his run on three primary goals:
• Dismantling Empire, meaning drastically cutting back on military spending, dissolving aggressive military alliances like NATO, breaking up the U.S.’ worldwide network of hundreds of military bases, unilaterally abolishing nuclear weapons and promoting peace.
• Unleashing Democracy, by which he means ending the system of mass incarceration, providing free healthcare for all, free college tuition, the decriminalization of drugs, demilitarizing the police and implementing a swath of election reform measures.
• Saving the Planet. This is perhaps the most ambitious of West’s goals, attempting to resurrect the Green New Deal and shift the economy from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Democrat-aligned media are already decrying West’s run as a sideshow and as something that will ensure a Republican will be elected in 2024. “The Democrats absolutely do fear [West]. And they should!” Stein told MacLeod, noting that support for the Democratic Party is waning and that there are now as many independent voters as Republicans and Democrats put together:
There’s a huge block that doesn’t vote. It’s almost 40%. And who is it? It is communities of color, young people, low-income people, and communities who have basically been thrown under the bus. And that is exactly who Dr. West speaks to. And those are the demographics who are wildly excited about his race. So we could see voting really change.”
Tune into the full show here on MintPress News to find out what Stein has to say about ending NATO, sparking a new independent media, and if she really was a Russian agent all along.
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Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.org, The Guardian, Salon, The Grayzone, Jacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.