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India Walton — the up-and-coming socialist politician poised to become the next mayor of Buffalo, New York — admitted recently that she hasn’t studied the controversial political theory since grade school.
The 38-year-old community activist scored a surprise victory in the city’s mayoral Democratic primary earlier this year by touting aggressive socialist policies. But when it came time to explain the theory, she appeared to be at a loss for words.
“I’ve never studied socialism besides in grade school,” Walton acknowledged during an interview with Business Insider when asked about the differences between socialism and its trendy new counterpart, democratic socialism. “My values most closely align with social programming and the belief that government should serve the people,” she went on to say. “Getting caught up in the conversation about socialism versus democratic socialism versus democracy is semantics. It’s super confusing. The bottom line is that we just put people before profit. Simple as that.”
When the interviewer responded by suggesting she drop the “semantic baggage” and simply call herself a progressive Democrat, Walton backtracked.
“Because progressive Democrats have not delivered for the people, and I want to be accountable to the people that I serve,” she answered.
Walton also went on to criticize the current social-economic structure in largely the way an avowed socialist would, claiming, “We have a system that’s been set up to keep certain groups of people impoverished, while other folks, you know, make record profits off of the labor of others.”
Later she claimed, “What we do need to do is appeal to the sensibility of a lot of wealthy folks, that they should pay their fair share, that they should pay their workers a fair and living wage.”
Perhaps Walton doesn’t realize that governing as a socialist would mean doing more than simply “appealing to the sensibility” of wealthy Americans; it would be actually taking money from them through force. Or perhaps she was aiming to pitch the idea in a more positive light.
The latter seems more likely given certain elements of the politician’s campaign platform, as reported by Mother Jones : In her first 100 days, Walton has promised […]
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