Amidst the turbulence of the 2024 US Presidential elections, a distinct figure emerges: Cornel West, a candidate whose campaign is anchored in human moral values, positioning him as the foremost Humanist contender. He stands apart from the political establishment, eschewing the conventional Republican vs Democrat dichotomy.

A decade or two ago, one might have contested Mr. West’s critique of what he terms the “US Empire,” but today, such a stance is increasingly difficult to ignore. With the US engaged in conflicts across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, while simultaneously provoking tensions with China and maintaining over 800 military bases (as per the World Beyond War Map), the mere inclusion of these issues in his campaign is compelling. Consider the prospect of a US president challenging the very notion of the US Empire.

It’s important to clarify aspects of the US presidential elections for those outside the country. Contrary to popular belief, these elections are not determined by a popular vote but by a state-by-state electoral college system within a federal framework. Winning requires a majority  of states, making the process considerably intricate without a well-organized political infrastructure in each state.

These upcoming elections are marked by two notable factors. Firstly, on the Republican side, former President Donald Trump dominates as the primary candidate, exerting significant influence over the party leadership. However, his candidacy may be hindered by potential legal challenges, leaving Nikki Haley poised as an alternative candidate should Trump’s campaign falter.

On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden’s advanced age and evident cognitive issues raise doubts about his ability to serve another term. Additionally, his handling of the Palestinian situation has drawn criticism, particularly from the younger demographic.

Returning to Cornel West’s campaign, while many may dismiss his chances, in these tumultuous times, he could be the catalyst for significant change. He possesses the dedication, energy, articulate communication skills, and consistency required for a compelling candidacy, unlike the missteps seen in figures like “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Israel.”

Drawing from his philosophical background, African-American heritage, and lifelong commitment to advocating for marginalized communities, West embodies the principles of the Universal Human Nation, as articulated by Silo. This concept transcends national, ethnic, and religious boundaries, emphasizing the inherent worth and interconnectedness of all humanity. West’s proposal for a secular state where Israelis and Palestinians coexist reflects a bold vision reminiscent of the establishment of the United Nations post-WWII.

Critics may attempt to pigeonhole West’s candidacy as inadvertently aiding Trump’s reelection efforts. However, reducing the election to such simplistic binaries undermines the essence of democracy. Voters should be empowered to support the candidate of their choice without succumbing to divisive tactics.

Could West potentially emulate Mikhail Gorbachev’s transformative role in the US political landscape, offering an alternative to the entrenched political establishment? Such a scenario would challenge the status quo perpetuated by those who prioritize power over humanity, heralding a new era of governance centered on compassion and cooperation.

The Bottom Line | Al Jazeera English
Steve Clemons interview a Cornel West

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