Democrat bloodletting? Socialist scholar Cornel West criticizes Biden, plans to run as an Independent

Several progressive media outlets point out that the historian could facilitate a victory for the Republican Party with his presence on the ballot.

The academic Cornel West, a declared socialist who accuses the United States of being a “patriarchal” and “racist” country, announced this Thursday that he will no longer run in the 2024 elections for the Green Party but will run as an Independent.

“The best way to challenge the entrenched system is by focusing 100 percent on the people, not on the intricacies of internal party dynamics,” his campaign said in a statement.

As stated by The New York Times, West’s decision to run for president could be a threat to Biden and a decisive move for the Republican Party since his mere presence on the ballot could divide the progressive vote in some very close elections and tip the balance in favor of the GOP candidate in swing states.

The problem for West, but positive news for Democrats and Biden, is that the socialist academic will now have to face the bureaucratic challenges to be a candidate without the support of the Green Party structure, whose leaders were delighted to finally have a known contender in their ranks.

In fact, Cornel West would have been the Green Party’s highest-profile candidate in a presidential election since 2000, when renowned attorney Ralph Nader decided to run.

Many Democrats criticized (and still question) Nader for running for president that year because, according to them, his candidacy allowed Bush to defeat Al Gore.

Twenty-three years later, Cornel West faces similar questions from several prominent Democrats, such as David Axelrod, a former Obama strategist, and Jaime Harrison, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

But West is not concerned with Democratic criticism. In fact, throughout his life, he has been very critical of high-profile Democrats who ran for president or even reached the White House. For example, in the case of Barack Obama, whom he supported in his candidacy and then became disenchanted with, West called him the “mascot of Wall Street.” He called Hillary Clinton a “neoliberal disaster” and, recently, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said that his role in these next elections is intended to attack the country’s two-party system, which could harm Joe Biden himself.

In the interview with the WSJ, West was very critical of the Democratic president on topics such as managing poverty, his foreign policy in the Middle East and his inclinations to defend the economic interests of Wall Street.

The socialist academic, in his role as an Independent, would be another candidate outside the bipartisan system who could be influential in next year’s elections, joining the outsider Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and a potential candidate from the centrist group No Labels, linked to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and which plans to launch a moderate candidacy.