Harvard Law School professor Roberto Mangabeira Unger hopes that his former student, President Barack Obama, is defeated at the polls this November — and he’s calling for that defeat to come at the hands of the very people who elected him.
In a little-noticed video published online last month that became the subject of reporting by The Associated Press over the weekend, Unger explains that while Republicans threaten to remake America, Democrats offer no alternative and must significantly or risk further stagnation.
“The Democratic Party has no new direction,” he warns. “[Obama] has failed to advance the progressive cause.”
Under admits that Obama’s defeat would cost the nation in “judicial and administrative appointments,” but those costs, he said, aren’t so great as those of an Obama victory. “He has spent trillions of dollars to rescue the moneyed interests and left workers and homeowners to their own devices.”
He concedes, however, that if Obama rival Mitt Romney wins, it’s likely to make income inequality “even greater than it is now.”
Still: “Unless he is defeated, there cannot be a contest for the reorientation of the Democratic Party as the vehicle of a progressive alternative in the country,” Unger concludes.
“Only a political reversal can allow the voice of democratic prophecy to speak once again in American life,” he says. “Its speech is always dangerous. Its silence is always fatal.”
Unger, an author, philosopher and two-time Brazilian presidential candidate, supported President Obama in 2008.
This video was published to YouTube on May 22, 2012.