Election 2020

Cory Booker Announces 2020 Run With Swipe at America's Lack of 'Common Purpose'

In this Jan. 15, 2019, photo, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., questions Attorney General nominee William Barr as he testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election on Friday with a video championing the Civil Rights movement and decrying America’s lack of a “common purpose.”

“In America, we have a common pain, but what we’re lacking is a sense of common purpose,” Booker said in his announcement video.

Channeling the Civil Rights movement on the first day of Black History Month, the senator recounted the racism of realtors who attempted to block his family from moving into a good neighborhood and the goodwill of some white lawyers who took up their case. Those lawyers were inspired by the Civil Rights movement, Booker recalled.

Rather than extolling America’s virtues, the senator insisted that America is divided and inhospitable to families trying to get ahead. “I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind,” he declared.

Booker declared his goal to build an America “where we see the faces of our leaders on television and feel pride,” a suggestion that political leaders should be members of minority groups in order to build the pride of such minorities — especially African-Americans.

The Hill first reported the senator’s impending announcement, as sources said Booker had approached members of the Congressional Black Caucus requesting their support. The New Jersey senator is far from the only minority candidate in the race and faces a stiff battle against fellow Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

Booker has made a name for himself by vehemently opposing President Donald Trump, even going so far as to disagree with Martin Luther King, Jr. in opposing the nomination of his then-fellow Senator Jeff Sessions to become attorney general.

He is most infamous for declaring his “I am Spartacus” moment during the Kavanaugh hearings.

While Booker attempted to channel the Civil Rights movement, his announcement video arguably represents the more divisive identity politics of the modern Left, rather than the inclusive identity politics of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s movement. While King appealed to equal rights and common humanity, Booker’s video suggests that political leaders need to be members of minority groups so that minorities can feel “pride.”

If Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) is correct in contrasting the “common humanity identity politics” of King with the radical activism of the modern Left, Booker falls into the latter category. With Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz proclaiming the uniting hope of the American dream, Democrats have opted for the divisive message of radical policies and divisive identity politics.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.