In 2017, Mr. Daou started a short-lived online platform, endorsed by Mrs. Clinton, that aimed to fight “a proliferation of confusing, chaotic misinformation” with verified, Clinton-affirming facts. He denounced “Russia’s successful hacking of our election using cyberespionage, online intimidation, and disinformation.” He now mocks the “liberal speak” of Democrats: “January 6, January 6, January 6, January 6, January 6, January 6, January 6, January 6, Orange man bad, Orange man bad, Orange man bad, Orange man bad, Putin, Putin, Putin, Putin, Putin, Putin,” he posted this month on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“My evolution, philosophically and politically, I’ve been exceptionally transparent about it,” Mr. Daou said in a phone conversation with The New York Times, shortly after the West campaign’s announcement. The interview has been edited and condensed.
How would you define success for the Cornel West campaign? What are you trying to do here?
The first definition of success, to me, is a President Cornel West. But there are many, many ways of thinking about what this campaign can achieve. One would be to finally break the grip of the duopoly, you know, the monopoly of the two parties where you really just get two choices.
You’ll hear Democrats saying, “We’re saving democracy, we’re protecting democracy.” Well, you don’t protect democracy by trying to kick Greens off the ballot, and you don’t protect democracy by telling people, “You’re a spoiler.” You can’t kill democracy to save it.