I’m a communist. I’m a Marxist-Leninist, specifically, and a Leninist depending on my mood.
Somebody like Bernie Sanders is what I’d call a social democrat and I’m still much farther left than that. I’m pro open borders, in favor of redistributing wealth across the world, not just the United States. I don’t think the free market is a useful tool for allocating resources — in fact, it’s one of the worst tools we’ve come up with. Of course something like universal healthcare, socialized medicine, free college tuition — all that stuff sounds good but I don’t want it under a capitalist system. Those are not the end goals — that’s just part of the society I’d like to build.
Right after Donald Trump had been inaugurated, I had been frustrated, very frustrated with the Democrats, with the 2016 democratic process. Everyone said, “The Democrats won’t let this happen. They’ll be the resistance,” and he got in office and immediately the Democrats started compromising in everything. I started to get really disappointed. I was getting really nervous they’ll compromise with Trump on everything and move further and further right.
This was right around Standing Rock and the Flint water crisis — there was so much going on, and it was so extreme.
Ahead of the Town Hall, CNN reached out to me since I was one of the lead organizers in 2016 for NYU for Bernie. I submitted my question, and the selection committee reached back out to me and said we love your profile, but we really want to do something more fun, why not poke fun at how old the Democrats were?
When I was called, I decided I would just give them a piece of my mind.
It’s interesting now because as much as I was all about Bernie, I look back and I can pretend it didn’t start with him but it did. He was the only one who came to the stage with the slightest inkling of socialism.
After the election, I was like, okay, we tried really hard, we made what was a peoples’ movement, we did everything right and the whole system turned on us. It felt like everything was designed to stop us from getting the tiniest concession. Where do I turn?
A lot of my friends started sharing different ideas, different pieces of literature that explained why I was mad in the first place. It explained why the system reacted the way it did — it was very clear to me that there was some sort of structural explanation that started with that huge huge disappointment in 2016.
Soon after, I started working with Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which calls themselves a big tent organization. There were Marxists, Democratic socialists, everyone that was even a little left-leaning — and at first, that was very good for me. But the more I read and the more upset I got by the strategy, which was to elect better Democrats and move the party left. I realized even the Democratic Party is not designed to move left — the system is not designed to let it move left. The work started to feel a little pointless to me.
I started looking into another group, the Party for Socialist Liberation (PSL) based in San Diego, Calif. and I hope to be joining them when I graduate college.