Cornel West 2024: His story, experiences, and policies

Washington DC - Dr. Cornel West has launched an Independent campaign for the White House. Here's what you need to know about his 2024 bid for president.

Cornel West announced his third-party campaign for president on June 5, 2023.
Cornel West announced his third-party campaign for president on June 5, 2023.  © Andrew Burton / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

On June 5, 2023, Cornel West added his name to the growing list of candidates seeking the presidency, but he's not running according to a traditional formula.

West first announced his bid as the candidate for the People's Party, later saying he would seek the nomination of the Green Party. In early October, he indicated he would no longer participate in a Green Party nominating process but would run as an Independent instead.

In his campaign, West is seeking not only to bring new vision to the office of president, but he's also hoping to break the stranglehold the Republican and Democratic parties have on US politics.

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Curious what Cornel West's Independent run is all about?

TAG24 NEWS is here to fill you in on everything to know about Cornel West's campaign and his plan for America should he win in 2024.

Who is Cornel West?

Cornel West is an esteemed philosopher and political activist who has taught at top academic institutions around the nation.
Cornel West is an esteemed philosopher and political activist who has taught at top academic institutions around the nation.  © ZACH GIBSON / AFP

Cornel West is a socialist political activist and academic with an illustrious career spanning decades.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1953, West grew up in Sacramento, California, before going on to study at Harvard University. He later became the first Black American to get a PhD in philosophy at Princeton University.

The 70-year-old's scholarship and organizing activities have focused on the intersection of race, class, gender, and religion in America. He garnered international acclaim for his bestselling book Race Matters in 1993.

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Melania Trump Melania Trump gets dragged for selling overpriced Mother's Day necklace

West has held teaching positions at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, and other top institutions. The beloved professor was involved in a well-publicized tenure scandal at Harvard in 2021, when the Ivy League university reportedly refused to consider him due to his support for Palestinian rights.

In addition to his academic contributions, West has become a known figure in popular culture with appearances in The Matrix movie series and the release of several spoken word and hip-hop albums. He was even dubbed MTV Artist of the Week back in 2008.

West was a prominent supporter of Bernie Sanders' 2016 and 2020 campaigns for president, regularly speaking at rallies for the Vermont senator.

Why is Cornel West running for president?

Cornel West unveils his third-party candidacy for president in a campaign announcement video shared on social media.
Cornel West unveils his third-party candidacy for president in a campaign announcement video shared on social media.  © Cornel West via REUTERS

After Bernie Sanders confirmed he would not run for president again in 2024, Cornel West announced his own bid for the White House.

West is running "to reintroduce America to the best of itself – fighting to end poverty, mass incarceration, ending wars and ecological collapse, guaranteeing housing, health care, education and living wages for all!" the presidential hopeful wrote on Twitter.

The public intellectual turned presidential candidate will be participating as an Independent, hoping to see his name on general election ballots across the country come November 2024. His bid is intended to take on the US duopoly system dominated by the Republican and Democratic parties, both of which he sees as serving corporate interests.

By seeking an alternate path to power, West hopes to disrupt the status quo and unify Americans of all backgrounds around a vision for transformational change.

Cornel West's policies in his 2024 presidential campaign

Cornel West has released a platform of policies intended to alleviate economic suffering, expand civil liberties, and address the climate crisis. They are available on his campaign website.

Here is where the presidential hopeful stands on some of the most pressing political issues of the day.

Cornel West's education policies

As a professor, it's not surprising to find education reforms to be a key part of Cornel West's 2024 agenda, including a commitment to cancel all student debt. He opposes book and educational bans passed in Florida and other GOP-led states which target Black and LGBTQ+ history and representation.

Cornel West's policies on policing and the criminal justice system

Cornel West has called for an end to the War on Drugs and mass incarceration, which disparately impact Black and brown Americans. He has said he will pardon Julian Assange and Edward Snowden as well as Black political prisoners and exiles, including Mumia Abu-Jamal, H. Rap Brown, Assata Shakur, and more.

Cornel West's foreign policy

Cornel West advocates for an end to foreign military aid, the closure of US military bases around the world, and the disbandment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He is also calling for investments in services to support veterans and a global ban on nuclear weapons. He supports Palestinian rights and an end to Israeli apartheid.

"I'm running to be head of the American empire to help dismantle the empire in the name of the empowerment of poor and working people," West said in an appearance on the Bad Faith podcast.

Cornel West's immigration policies

Cornel West has spoken on the need to treat all immigrants with dignity as well as to understand the ways in which US policy has created the conditions that cause many people to flee their homes to begin with. He has vowed to expand dialogue and cooperation with leaders in Latin American countries.

Cornel West's economic and health care policies

Cornel West is running to eliminate poverty and extreme wealth inequality in America. He wants to guarantee housing, living wages, and paid leave for all, in addition to expanding Social Security and protections for labor unions.

West is a staunch supporter of a single-payer health insurance system, known as Medicare For All, and guaranteed access to quality dental, vision, hearing, mental, substance abuse, and long-term care. He wants to lower the price of pharmaceuticals and abolish medical debt.

Cornel West's views on climate action

Amid the worsening global climate emergency, Cornel West has made environmental protection a core tenet of his campaign. He is calling for a shift to regenerative agriculture techniques, concrete measures to address pollution, and an investment in clean energy. He supports banning drilling on public lands and ending fossil fuel subsidies.

Cornel West's views on abortion

Cornel West is pro-choice and supports federal protection of abortion rights. He has spoken about the pro-life movement as, by and large, an attempt to control women's bodily autonomy and called out the hypocrisy of politicians who speak about the sanctity of life when a fetus is in the womb, but allow huge swaths of children to languish in poverty once they are born.

Cornel West's views on reparations

Cornel West has expressed support for lineage-based reparations for Black Americans who can trace their descent to a person or persons enslaved in the United States. West supports an analysis of the damage done to Black Americans and allowing Black communities to set the terms of their own repair. He does not believe in dictating the forms that redress will take, though he has made statements in support of direct financial compensation. West has described the demand for reparations as one of truth and justice.

What are Cornel West's chances in the 2024 election?

Cornel West is seeking to expose corporate corruption within the Republican and Democratic parties with his Independent run for president.
Cornel West is seeking to expose corporate corruption within the Republican and Democratic parties with his Independent run for president.  © Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

In running for president outside the aegis of the Democratic and Republican parties, Cornel West is seeking to achieve what many say is an impossible feat.

West's bid for the White House pits him against incumbent Democratic President Joe Biden and former Republican President Donald Trump – the frontrunners from each of the establishment parties.

The Independent candidate has been critical of both major-party contenders, calling Biden a "milquetoast neoliberal" and Trump a "neofascist."

Though the road to the White House will be by no means an easy one, West says he is in it to win it regardless of the challenges that lie ahead.

"Do we have what it takes? We shall see," he said in his announcement video. "But some of us are going to go down fighting, go down swinging, with style and a smile."

Cover photo: Andrew Burton / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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