But cut him some slack on being 7 years or so later than the non-Progressives – after all, he’s a highly respected and credentialed academic and so his knowledge of reality is on the low end of the scale. Anyways, Cornel West has some gripes about The One:
No, the thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, 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…
Brother Cornel’s real problem is that he, himself, is shackled to Progressive thought as much as Obama is. It never occurred to Professor West that the reality is that Progressives are the Ruling Class. And as such, they defend the status quo because any change to that means Progressives will be out of power and out of wealth. People like West think they are still out there getting ready to storm the barricades of the Ruling Class never realizing that they are the merest tools and foot-soldiers of the Ruling Class. The Ruling Class likes people like West – they provide a patina of intellect to a class of people who are only in it for the money, power and fame. They also cook up arguments which allow the Ruling Class to pretend they are on the side of the people. If West were to actually sit down and think about it all, now that he’s seen Obama for the fraud that he is, then he’d also start to realize that his Progressive ethic is the foundation of the fraud (seen more clearly in the way West – and the rest of the left – turn reality on ts head and find themselves on the side of bloodthirsty tyrants in Hamas vs the liberal democrats of Israel).
I actually have all sorts of sympathy for Mr. West. He’s sincere. He really believes what he believes. He really wants justice and mercy and equality to prevail – but he’s also been suckered his whole life by a left wing narrative and he’s so far proven himself incapable of breaking out of it, even when the stark, cruel truth is right in front of him. If he’d just realize that Obama hasn’t conned people any more than Reid or Pelosi or Sharpton or Jackson or Biden or Clinton (both of them), etc, etc, etc then he’d be on the route to being useful in the fight for liberty and justice for all. Solzhenitsyn noted this problem with Progressives in his Gulag Archipelago. Writing about the true-blue communists that Stalin, in his humor, raked in along with the “kulaks” and “wreckers”, Solzhenitsyn noted this inability to draw conclusions. The communists remained convinced that the communist system was good; that Stalin was good – they couldn’t go from Step A to Step B and realize that if a gross injustice is carried out under the authority of those who claim to be for justice, then maybe they aren’t telling the truth. West is still stuck in the rut – certain that Obama is a fraud, he can’t go past that and realize that Obama is just one of many frauds…and maybe, just maybe, some on the right are better allies?
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got some blind people on the right, as well – but they are only a small minority compared to the blind on the left. In reality, you have to be a bit blind just to be of the left. You have to ignore some basic facts about humanity and history in order to really think, for instance, that a set of bureaucrats in DC could, say, craft a health care system for all Americans. But I still take it as encouraging that someone like West has at least partially awakened – and it makes me hopeful that maybe over 2014 and 2016 we can do some genuine good…that we can really get some hope for change.