Cornel West: ‘We’ve got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties’

From Chris Hedges’ column this week at Truthdig:

“We have got to attempt to tell the truth, and that truth is painful,” [Professor Cornel West] says. “It is a truth that is against the thick lies of the mainstream. In telling that truth we become so maladjusted to the prevailing injustice that the Democratic Party, more and more, is not just milquetoast and spineless, as it was before, but thoroughly complicitous with some of the worst things in the American empire. I don’t think in good conscience I could tell anybody to vote for Obama. If it turns out in the end that we have a crypto-fascist movement and the only thing standing between us and fascism is Barack Obama, then we have to put our foot on the brake. But we’ve got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties.”

41 thoughts on “Cornel West: ‘We’ve got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties’

  1. Joe Murphy

    I agree.. third parties and independents are who we need to be voting for. We need to work together whenever it is possible.

  2. Eddie

    Right on. I just hope the Libertarians don’t mess this one up and work with the Greens on getting better ballot access across the country. The only ones stopping us is the leadership inside the respective parties.

  3. Eddie

    By the way, you guys should take a look at the website where this article was originally posted. So far, it has over 250 comments, so obviously it has some weight and interest.

  4. pete healey

    Yes, Don, how could we ever forget? The “Pwogwessive Movement” that was led by a (gasp!) former Republican!?!?!?!
    But Eddie is also absolutely correct that we all need to shove our Green (left-wing Democrat) and Libertarian (right-wing Republican) leadership aside to work on issues of ballot access and electoral reform. They are obviously not willing to do it themselves.

  5. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorsement

    and pete, REPUBLICAN Abe Lincoln width Democrat …………. on the 1864 Union ticket; REPUBLICAN John B. Anderson and Democrat …….. on the 1980 Unity ticket.

    The long boring telephone lecture [619.420.0209] on the dance of the establishment duopoly in the 1889s and 1090s (part one).

    The Reader’s Digest version of more modern American history. 1964, width the US at the top of the ‘Let’s all go to Viet Nam’ craze, Goldwater was still a mucho reactionary GOP. Almost lost the nod to New York LIBERAL Republican Nelson, later Vice President, Rockefeller.

    In small name politics, Phillies’ and Knapster’s LIES of a pacifist LP* at the same time as WAR’s ………..

    …… at the very same time in space and history!

    * Libs as the ONLY American Peace Party [as hands shoot up all over the class ………..]

  6. Starchild

    Eddie @2 – What do you mean by “I just hope the Libertarians don’t mess this one up” — you sound like you’re talking about some previous incident.

    Are you suggesting that the Green Party has been more willing to work with the LP than vice-versa? If so, I’d like to see more substantiation of this assertion.

  7. Robert Milnes

    NF, Bob Milnes’ 2 laptops have been down.
    Might “third formations” refer to ****?
    *unable to type out letters due to rightist coddler, counterrevolutionary Ron Paul supporter paulie’s segregation thread dictate.

  8. Robert Milnes

    By the way, Ron Paul counterrevolutionary got 1 m. the other day. Mitt Romney GOP reactionary 30m. in one day.
    Bob Milnes inclusive progressive Independent-$0.
    You losers are going to wind up losing again.

  9. Robert Milnes

    Eddie & pete have a point. The lp & gp party officials seem to be part of the problem.
    I may be able to do something about it-if I get some support. Otherwise I’m just a nobody.

  10. Eddie

    Starchild, I meant no harm on that statement. I guess I worded it wrong. What I meant was I hope the Libertarians don’t mess up this opportunity to work with Greens on ballot access, raising awareness of third parties, hosting our own debates, etc. We don’t have to agree, but we cannot be selfish and we need to work together on issues that pertain to both groups.

    Also, I agree. The leadership has for the most part failed both parties(Greens and Libertarians). We need to build coalitions with like-minded activists and work on issues of agreement. I don’t see how this can be seen by some of you guys as a bad thing. All the third parties are broken and don’t want to work together.

    And apparently the new political party “American Elect” have been making major strides around the US to get ballot access.

  11. Eddie

    Robert, I have already begun talks with some Greens and libertarians on a facebook page out in California for a coalition on issues of agreement. Would you be able to contribute? I can make you an administrator. I would ideally like to have 3 Greens and 3 Libertarians work on the page.

  12. paulie

    Might “third formations” refer to ****?
    *unable to type out letters due to rightist coddler, counterrevolutionary Ron Paul supporter paulie’s segregation thread dictate.

    Milnes, you really should stop lying.

    First, you can type PLAS any time. What you can’t do is turn unrelated discussions to discussions about PLAS, regardless of whether you refer to it by name or not.

    Second, it’s not my dictate; it was a group decision by IPR writers. That is the policy that everyone writing at IPR agreed to. At least, several people said it was a good idea and I don’t remember anyone saying it was a bad one. Whether people have time to enforce it or not, or who has time when, is up to them. At times, I have had the time. Right now I don’t….about the only comments I read anymore are the ones with my name in them, and most of those are from you. I have barely even read IPR since late March, much less enforced any dictates. I haven’t posted any articles since then and very few comments – fewer than you in the same time frame, I’m sure. Pretty funny that I am still your boogeyman when I am barely even reading IPR much less posting.

    Third, your description of my politics is way off, but that’s pretty much irrelevant anyway, since the decision to segregate certain persistent topics is not based on the content of those topics but rather the persistence with which they have been flogged in unrelated threads. Also, because I am pretty much a non-factor at IPR right now, so I am irrelevant altogether, whatever my politics are or are not.

  13. Mobert Rilnes

    @11 I found some change in the couch, but I need it for my tortoise’s turtle feed. I’d buy him tortoise feed, but it’s too expensive. That losing tortoise is going to lose again!

  14. ipr party over, turn out the lites

    3 years is probably the maximum useful lifespan of a site like this.


    TPW May 2005-May 2008
    IPR May 2008-May 2011
    ? May 2011 – ….

  15. Robert Milnes

    paulie, thanks for further advising me of the various rules and regulations I’ve been inundated with while visiting IPR. So that I may proceed gingerly so as to not get deleted arbitrarily and capriciously by whoever feels like it.
    And thanks for all the ridicule and abuse while visiting IPR over the years.
    I have come to classify you as just as bad for the what is called the libertarian/liberty/freedom movement as Ron Paul/The Pauls, gop counterrevolutionaries, Root rightist, Gary Johnson, stealth rightist, Bann Bobb Barr et al. Why? Because you, and to a lesser extent, Tom, have had ample opportunity to purge rightists pursuant to Original Nolan Resolution, denounce The Pauls, root out Root, etc, You have not. You are holding things back with your pseudo hip dogging of me. Instead of supporting me or at least not dogging me. You are like a little elf that is constantly putting pebbles in my shoes. Maybe you have been scarce here recently. Unfortunately your mischief & mayhem against me etc. et al has been effective & damage done. I’ve been humiliated here so much & so often, it is now virtually institutionalized.
    I directly blame my lack of support here to you & to a lesser extent Tom.
    So thanks, again.
    You must really like losing.

  16. paulie

    you, and to a lesser extent, Tom, have had ample opportunity to purge rightists

    If by “ample” you mean none at all, you are correct.

    pursuant to Original Nolan Resolution

    Nothing about the Nolan Resolution, original or otherwise, has anything to do with purging rightists any more than it does with purging leftists.

    You are like a little elf that is constantly putting pebbles in my shoes.

    Sounds like psychological projection.

    Maybe you have been scarce here recently.

    Maybe I’m still not scarce enough?

    Unfortunately your mischief & mayhem against me etc. et al has been effective & damage done. I’ve been humiliated here so much & so often, it is now virtually institutionalized.

    You are confusing cause and effect here. The fault, dead Robert, is not in those who ridicule you, but in the object of their ridicule for being so thoroughly ridiculous.

    I directly blame my lack of support here to you & to a lesser extent Tom.

    There are many places on the web for you to go and drum up support where I have never even been.

    You seek to transfer blame off of yourself because you do not want to deal with the fact that your message does not appeal to people, and neither does your personality.

    You must really like losing.

    No, but since you can’t possibly be of any help in winning, that’s totally besides the point.

  17. Robert Milnes

    You sure are going out of your way to make sure I am kept down.Point by point. Thought you were busy? Why is keeping me down so important?
    Does that make you a clueless but dedicated activist or an agent?
    You completely do not understand The Nolan Resolution.
    You are completely wrong about ****.
    You coddle rightists…talk up GARY JOHNSON!
    You are way off about me.
    & you have parlayed your evident popularity here against me.
    But people here seem to shy away from doing things-like purging Root-that are necessary to make sausage.
    Even The Nolan Resolution is passive/aggressive.Which I am not.
    So they are not going to buck you to side with me.
    Asshole or agent-or both?

  18. whatever

    If Mr. West would quit his teaching gig to move to a trailer park and take lithium for a year, he might be qualified enough for a PLAS ticket come Memorial Day 2012.

  19. Robert Milnes

    This sounds more like it.
    You & Tom have realized over the years that I’m not a plumbline radical like you. So your knee jerk antibodies kick in. I must be wrong and a bad person. Despite huge evidence to the contrary you pursue this line to absurdity. Your endless attacks & ridicule. Taking the “sane” psychiatry position against “insane” Milnes. My responses, like what about R.D. Laing & Reich & The Radical Therapist/Claude Steiner? – to deaf ears. & oooooo he was arrested by the FBI & went to federal prison-he must be a bad person-my response what about The Age of Surveillance? & he flunked out of college & he’s broke & depressed & unemployed & on public assistance & a nobody-not famous. I don’t fit into the type of candidate you & esp. Tom & most libs dream about. Rich & famous-successful, Whole Foods, Penn & Teller etc. to rescue the LP. Or maybe some successful military person. Who won a war-Grant, Ike etc. Here’s me-no military experience-I don’t even love guns. My uncle a WW2 Marine, other uncle Army/Reserve, named after other WW2 great uncle died of injuries in battle notwithstanding.
    I would be willing to take on the Second Amendment rights issue as part of my campaign but-what campaign? You guys have made sure my campaign gets no traction with libs. The rightists, which you feed into like The Pauls, Root, Gary Johnson, want no part of me. & vice versa to be sure. So there it is. No support from libs.
    You stifle a possibly viable candidate AND possibly winning strategy. Way to go. Losers.

  20. NewFederalist

    Hey Bob… have you contacted any parties besides the LP and the BTP about their nomination?

  21. Robert Milnes

    I’ve had a few contacts with the GP.
    I’ve put on my website that I am considering challenging for the dem. nom.
    The other minor parties, often single state ballot, should wait till late in the cycle on an individual basis.
    I have no interest in the Constitution or Republican Party nominations.

  22. NewFederalist

    How about the Prohibition Party? They were a progressive party in the late 19th and early 20th century. They are the oldest political party in the US aside from the Democrats and Republicans and have a great deal of history. First party to advocate women’s suffrage; direct election of US Senators and lots of other progressive reforms. Also a firmly constitutionally based party. Just a thought. (I am an ardent beer drinker so I couldn’t participate!)

  23. NewFederalist

    Another historical note, Don… Thomas Nast the political cartoonist who gave us the Democratic donkey and the Republican elephant is also responsible for the Prohibition camel. That kind of gives one a sense of historical perspective on just how long the Prohibition Party has been around.

  24. Warm Glass of Milk

    While the Prohibitionist Party camel logo is attractive, I prefer to run as an independent who is willing and able to work with people of all parties and independents.

    Now, if I can just get Thomas Nast to do MY logo….

  25. Warm Glass of Milk

    RIP Thomas Nast.

    BTW, special thanks to Peter Orvetti for giving me the idea for my handle “Warm Glass of Milk”.

    The Prohibitionist Party has a great logo, I used to have a few of their coasters when I was friends with one of their state’s chair.

    Unfortunately, their national chair/executive committee started implementing really strange plans which drove away members. Including the former state chair who is still a friend of mine and who is an independent now, as far as I know.

    It’s the same old scenario you see year after year with all parties, and I haven’t found any way to buck that self-defeating trend yet.

    That’s why I’m running as an independent.

    Now, you’ll probably want to know what office I’m running for…all I can tell you is that it’s not US President.

    I’m actively seeking to build a national “coalition of three” in every state with other US Senate, Congressional and state, partisan and independent candidates at this very moment.

    Anyone interested in hearing more about how?

  26. Green Party

    Just finished reading West article.


    Dr. West would be a superb Green Party candidate for local or state office in 2011.

    Then let 2012 be a green Green Party opportunity.

  27. Eddie

    I was beginning to wonder why most of the comments you guys were arguing. Please talk about the topic at hand.

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