Cal Cunningham, the former state legislator who defeated a qualified black woman in North Carolina’s Democratic Senate primary, touted the “merits” of communist and Marxist ideology as UNC-Chapel Hill student body president in the 1990s.
Cunningham expounded on the virtues of communism and Marxism during an interview with a UNC student newspaper in 1995 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Asked if there was “merit” in communist ideology, Cunningham offered a mostly positive assessment, making the familiar argument that true communism hasn’t really been tried.
“There’s very much merit in communist ideology, but you have to be careful how you define it,” he said. “I think that in practice, what we saw in the Soviet Union was totalitarianism in action.” Cunningham, who claimed to have studied Marxist philosophy “quite thoroughly,” went on to say that despite some “fundamental flaws,” there were “a lot of things we can still take” from Marxism. Communism, for all it’s merits, Cunningham argued, is “something that we have more trouble achieving.”
Cunningham is running against incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) in a race that could determine which party controls the Senate in 2021. What had been a tight race through June has opened up in recent weeks, with Cunningham currently enjoying a 6.2 percentage-point lead in the RealClearPolitics polling average. The $7.4 million Cunningham raised in the second quarter of 2020 was the highest ever reported by a North Carolina Senate candidate.
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