Socialist professor: Obama 'too conservative'

Campus Reform Reporter

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  • Cornel West backed Obama in 2008 and worked 65 events for him during the Democratic primary.
  • West now says Obama is "too conservative" or at least "too centralist."
  • West is an Honorary Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.
  • Image of Cornel West via Wikimedia Commons user MDCarchives.

    Philosophy and Christian Practice Professor Cornel West is accusing President Barack Obama of being “too conservative.”

    West, a professor at Union Theological Seminary, has been publicly critical of Obama since 2011 when he claimed the president was “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”

    "We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. We ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist."   

    Now in an interview with Salon, West accuses Obama “too conservative” or at least “too centralist” for the professor.

    “The thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit,” said West. “We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. We ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist.”

    Dr. John Grant, an Assistant Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, told Campus Reform that he disagrees with West’s definition of conservatism.

    “West is wrong about Obama being a conservative if conservatism means respect for limited government and the rule of law,” said Dr. Grant. “Obama is conserving the post-Reagan political consensus that rejects limited government in favor of unjust intervention at home and abroad. Unfortunately I think West doesn't like Obama because his redistributive actions don't go far enough.”

    West serves as an Honorary Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America and worked 65 campaign events for Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries. But he appears to have withdrawn his support for the administration—one that he believes is a betrayal of progressive ideals.

    “He acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair,” reports West.

    Earlier this month, West spoke at a pro-Palestinian protest that drew thousands into the Washington, D.C. area, where he called the president a war criminal due to US military and financial support of Israel.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @MaggieLitCRO





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