Election 2020

Cornel West: Hillary Presidency 'Could Lead to World War III'

CLEVELAND — Author and political activist Cornel West told PJM that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is “much more of a hawk” than GOP nominee Donald Trump and warned that her presidency “could lead to World War III.”

“When it comes to foreign policy, Hillary is of course much more of a hawk than he is. There’s no doubt about it. So both of them, I think, are very dangerous. It’s just that when you specify certain zones, she’s better in certain zones and he’s better in certain zones – but he is still fascist, which is in the end very, very frightening,” West said at the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, which held a social action forum titled “Impact 2016” on the third day of the Republican National Convention.

“Sister Hillary is much better in terms of social issues – keeping track of our precious gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and bisexual and transgender folk. She’s much better in terms of at least wanting to address some issues of racism.  There’s no doubt about that. In terms of economic issues, they are both tied to Wall Street. Trump’s an independent money man but he still has a Wall Street mentality. It’s big money – big banks,” he added.

West said a Trump presidency would not be “the end of the world” because “fascists” have come and gone throughout history.

“He’s in over his head. I don’t think it would be the end of the world. No, no, you know, fascists have ruled and fascists have been overthrown so he’ll come and go but it will leave such damage. Now, the possibility of just blowing up the whole planet, I mean, that’s a possibility, but I mean [Hillary’s] attitude toward Russia, her attitude toward China could lead to World War III, too,” he said.

“You just never know. All that war rattling with NATO – it would be like Russian troops in Canada in Mexico. You can image what the U.S. response would be if Russian troops were in Mexico and Canada — that’s where NATO troops are right now, right on the border of Russia,” he said. “She has actually been very aggressive in terms of NATO troops being more intense in their activities, so both candidates are dangerous. They’re not equivalent though. Neo-fascism is not the same as neo-liberalism, but for poor and working people it’s still highly dangerous.”

PJM asked West why he decided to visit Cleveland during the Republican convention.

“My dear brother Dr. Jawanza Colvin asked me to come,” West said, referring to the pastor of the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. “I said I would be delighted. He asked many, many months ago and the fact of being able to be in this church, this is the center of my own tradition. I’m a product of the black church – a product of the legacy of Fanny Lou, Martin King and Ella Baker and so many others – and so to be able to have our counter-dialogue vis a vis what’s on downtown with the Republicans is a very inspiring and empowering activity.”

West previously endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president. West announced his support for Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein on social media. PJM asked him why he decided to support Stein over Clinton and Trump.

“I think Trump is a neo-fascist catastrophe, which is very dangerous, in many ways lethal. I think Hillary is a neo-liberal disaster, which still makes her dangerous, not as dangerous as Trump, but in some ways in foreign policy more dangerous. So I am opting for my dear sister Jill Stein, the Green Party, who is much more consistent – morally consistent, politically consistent, not just the planet before profits, not just the people before profits but also peace before profits,” he said.