Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cornel West on The 'Brokeness' of the 2-Party System

I have annoyed friends and family many times with my opinions about the urgency of the Green Party as an alternative to the feckless Democrats for communities of color in cities like Los Angeles. Don't take my word for it. See below a brief video and my unofficial transcription of Prof. Cornel West's reply to a taunt by journalist Tavis Smiley on CSPAN that "we ain't got nowhere to go." West speaks in his unique blend of Ivy-League scholar and country preacher on the "brokenness" of the two-party system much more eloquently than I.

TAVIS SMILEY:  "We ain't got nowhere to go. What you gonna do, Doc?"

CORNEL WEST:  "Bear witness, brother. That's all you can do in your life: tell the truth and fight for justice."

TAVIS SMILEY:  "How would you know who to vote for?"

CORNEL WEST:  "Well ... it depends ... we got two years now. You see, the thing is now is this. It is very clear that the two-party system is part of the brokenness that we're talking about. We've got both parties that are dominated by the same interests -- corporate big banking. You've got ordinary citizens -- different political, ideological, racial groups feeling relatively powerless. Relatively impotent. Now, that can be the makings of a crypto-fascism if we don't begin to come to terms with it.

But on the other hand it also means ... the Tea Party, brothers and sisters, they're going to become more and more upset with the Establishment in the Republican Party because the business interests and their populist interests will begin to be more and more in tension.

And at the same time, Barack Obama, masterful, eloquent, charismatic ... in his language. In his policies ... you can't bring in Geithner and Summers and claim that you're building on the legacy of Martin King.

Martin died for sanitation workers. He died because he sided with poor babies in Vietnam against American occupation. He was anti-militarism. He was anti-imperialism. He was against the American empire in terms of its presence around the world undercutting what he thought to be certain principles. But all Martin could do was bear witness. That's why when he died 75% of Americans were against him. 55% of Black people were against him. 'Cause he was too ... loving. When you love poor people that much, when you love working people that much, that makes you the freest man in the country or the freest woman in the country. But you are also the biggest threat to both the Republican and Democratic parties.


Wes said...

Great post, Alec. Keep 'em comming.

Carley Stevens said...

I couldn't agree more, we need to get out of the two party dictatorship. They are both bought and paid for, they can never truly work for the people, when so much money is being put into campaigns.