What’s the difference?
Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon considers herself a democratic socialist, she told POLITICO on Tuesday.
Nixon, an actor best known for her role in “Sex and the City,” is running a left-flank challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a Democratic primary this September. She has promised to raise taxes on the rich to increase funding for public schools and mass transit, and she supports a single-payer health care system.
Nixon spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said that the campaign has been in touch with members of the Democratic Socialists of America, which backed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as well as Julia Salazar, a state Senate candidate in Brooklyn who has cross-endorsed Nixon. In an email passed along by Hitt, Nixon told POLITICO that she sees herself in their vein.
“Some more establishment, corporate Democrats get very scared by this term but if being a democratic socialist means that you believe health care, housing, education and the things we need to thrive should be a basic right not a privilege then count me in,” Nixon wrote. “As Martin Luther King put it, call it democracy or call it democratic socialism but we have to have a better distribution of wealth in this country. I have long stood in support of a millionaires tax, Medicare for all, fully funding our public schools, housing for all and rejecting all corporation donations — all of which align with democratic socialist principles.”
Nixon’s campaign against Cuomo, who has governed as a fiscal centrist, has won support from offshoots of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, including Our Revolution and its New York affiliate, the New York Progressive Action Network.
But until Tuesday, her campaign has not publicly embraced the socialist label as other political figures have — including Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, who has endorsed Nixon.
During an interview with The Dig podcast, Nixon said she disagreed with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s negative response to a question about whether Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise primary victory over Rep. Joe Crowley meant socialism was ascendant in the Democratic Party.
“I think Nancy Pelosi is dead wrong, I think that is exactly what is happening,” Nixon said. “I think that of course wealthy people and big corporations have always had an outsized influence on American politics and world politics, but at this moment, when you look at what the agendas of corporations are and you look at governmental policies, there is almost no daylight between them.”