Former “Sex and the City” star and New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon made her vision of the future for the Democratic Party clear this past Friday.
Speaking in New Orleans at Netroots Nation 2018, an annual gathering of progressive activists, she told the audience she wants to see Democrats continue to move further Left.
“I am a democratic socialist,” she said. “Republicans are going to call us socialists no matter what we do, so we might as well give them the real thing.”
Donald Busky’s 2000 book “Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey” says the ideology is defined as “the wing of the socialist movement that combines a belief in a socially owned economy with that of political democracy.”
There are a couple of reasons Republicans may refer to Democrats as “socialists,” as Nixon said. First, nearly six in 10 Democratic primary voters in 2016 said they believed socialism had a positive impact on society. And it’s a label prominent Democrats have used when referring to themselves in recent years — people such as Nixon, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and now New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Catalina magazine Publisher Cathy Areu joined Laura Ingraham, host of Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” on Monday night to discuss the Democratic socialist coalition of the Democratic Party. And Areu, despite her leftward leanings, is not fond of what’s going on.
“I think the Cortez win has drawn everyone to be so extreme,” said Areu. “This is not the party. This is not our party. This is not the heart of the party. Many, many leaders of the party are cringing when they hear the ‘s’ word. No. The Democrats do not want to be associated with the ‘s’ word at all. They’re hoping that this little fringe movement goes away, because it’s dividing the party.”
While Areu played off the faction as a fringe of American left-wing politics, conservative columnist Kristin Tate told Ingraham she believes this is becoming the norm on that side.
“The far Left has totally hijacked the Democratic Party,” Tate said. “The socialist message will resonate with some naïve, far-Left voters, many of whom are economically ignorant. A big part of this problem is that colleges today are more interested in teaching kids how to become professional protesters than they are teaching them anything about economics or finance.”
She added, “The Democrats in power — they want to keep it that way. They’ve learned that messages of ‘free stuff’ and ‘rich people are greedy’ are easy, brainless messages to send to the undereducated. It’s shameless. But I’ve got to tell you, the vast majority of Americans are terrified of socialism. They see what’s going on in Venezuela and parts of Europe, and they don’t like it.”
Nixon is running for governor of New York as a Democrat in the hope of unseating incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo, whom she’s critiqued along with other “corporate, centrist Democrats.”
Cuomo currently holds a 33.5 point lead over Nixon in the race. That said, the state of New York does not appear to be embracing Nixon’s brand of leftist politics. But she is just one of many in her party using that style with the aim of winning election this coming November.
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.