Professor Cornel West launches 2024 presidential run

Tribune Content Agency

Professor Cornel West announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential race.

The 70-year-old educator, whose resume includes stints at Harvard, Yale and Princeton, threw his hat into the ring in a video posted to Twitter Monday.

“In these bleak times I have decided to run for truth and justice which takes the form of running for president of the United States as a candidate for the People’s Party,” the 70-year-old scholar said.

West’s nearly three-minute announcement was made to a jazzy soundtrack. He called the presidency “just one vehicle” to advance “truth and justice.” Among his stated concerns were the restrictions of women’s reproductive rights and threats to the democratic process. West’s declaration included a clip of him calling Republican frontrunner Donald Trump a “neo-fascist” and Democratic president Joe Biden a “milquetoast neo-liberal” during an interview with HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher.

“Do we have what it takes?” West asks supporters in his video. “We shall see. But some of us are going to go down fighting. Go down swinging with style and a smile.”

West supported Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the presidency in 2016 and 2020. He’s been critical of mainstream liberal candidates including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, whom he supported but later faulted for his handling of foreign policy and the economy.

The democratic socialist is a long shot to win the White House in 2024. Millard Fillmore, who held office from 1850 to 1853, is the last president to have been affiliated with neither the Democratic or Republican party.

The People’s Party confirmed West’s candidacy on its website with an ad reading “Justice is what love looks like in public.”

On Twitter, West wrote his objectives will be “fighting to end poverty, mass incarceration, ending wars and ecological collapse, guaranteeing housing, health care, education and living wages for all!”

Reactions to his announcement were encouraging and discouraging. Some Twitter users worried West’s candidacy would split the liberal vote and hand the election to the Republican nominee. Many conservatives saw that as a good thing and blasted him for being too liberal. Others commented on his unique sartorial choices, even comparing the California-raised academic’s look to that of a “Scottish Baptist minister” from the past.