Why I Endorse Brother Bernie and Reject Brother Trump
The American Empire is in decline. Our market-driven culture is in decay. The criminal justice system has failed us. And the political system is collapsing due to the weight of corrupt lobbyists and greedy capitalists. Only organized power of courageous and compassionate people can turn around these catastrophic realities. Social movements in the streets and jails over against the Establishment in both decrepit political parties are fundamental. And prophetic politicians — always with their faults and blind spots — who tell the truth about Wall Street, white supremacy, empire, patriarchy and homophobia, deserve our critical support. Yet even more important is the issue of integrity.
Brother Bernie and Brother Trump are authentic human beings in stark contrast to their donor-driven opponents. Yet only Bernie has authenticity and integrity, whereas Trump is for real but not for right. Trump’s attacks on precious Mexican brothers and sisters are unconscionable — even as his blessed mother was born in Scotland and grandfather (Mr. Drumpf) was born in Germany. His kind of nativistic hostility could have excluded them. And Trump’s unpatriotic complicity with the plutocratic corruption of our political system for over 30 years calls into question his integrity, including his commitment to “make America great again.”
My endorsement of Brother Bernie in the primaries is not an affirmation of the neo-liberal Democratic Party or a downplaying of the immorality of the ugly Israeli occupation of Palestinians. I do so because he is a long-distance runner with integrity in the struggle for justice for over 50 years. Now is the time for his prophetic voice to be heard across our crisis-ridden country, even as we push him with integrity toward a more comprehensive vision of freedom for all.
Cornel West is an Honorary Chair of DSA.
Endorsed August 24, 2015. Posted now in recognition of Black History Month.
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