Millennials rushed to the polls to vote for Bernie Sanders running as a Democratic socialist last election season. However, did they fall in love with socialism or just want free college and healthcare? A new video suggests they have no idea what socialism is.
Campus Reform interviewed George Washington University students and asked them two questions: Do you think socialism is good or bad?
“I think people throw that word around to try to scare you, but if helping other people is socialism, then I’m all for it,” one girl answered.
“It could really benefit our country in the future,” another said.
“Socialism as a concept, as a philosophy, is good,” a male student said. “I think it’s got a bad rep.”
“Trying to spread the wealth is definitely a good thing in America,” another said. “I think it’s needed.”
“It definitely seems like a more feasible option and it could help more people, like, just as a broad term, it could help more people,” another responded.
“I would say I have a more positive [reaction to socialism than negative]. I’m definitely more open to it.”
But when asked to define socialism, many came up short.
“I mean, honestly, that definition gets thrown around a lot … I’m not exactly sure,” one girl responded.
“To be quite honest, I don’t know,” another girl replied.
“Uhhmmmm,” captured the rest.
Millennials don’t actually know what socialism is. A Pew Research Center poll found that 43 percent of 18-29-year-olds reacted positively to socialism. However, according to a 2010 CBS/New York Times poll, only 16 percent of millennials related socialism to government-owned production.
Millennials just don’t know that socialism means that the government owns businesses or the means of production. Instead, many connect it to countries like Denmark and the Netherlands, which are not purely socialist, but use the free market to fund massive social welfare spending. They don’t think of Venezuela, where the inflation rate is over 800 percent, food, electricity, and water are rationed, and parents give away their children because they cannot feed them.
A Reason-Rupe poll found that when defined, millennials respond differently. 64 percent of millennials favored a free market economy, compared to the 32 percent who preferred an economy managed by the government.
Furthermore, millennials disagree with income redistribution more as their income rises. 57 percent also favor “smaller government providing fewer services, with low taxes” compared to the 47 percent who prefer a “big government, providing more services, with higher taxes.”
Campus Reform’s media director Cabot Philips said in a Fox News interview with Jesse Watters that former President Barack Obama and liberal college professors have skewed millennials’ minds.
“President Obama for eight years made mainstream this concept of spreading the wealth and he brought class warfare back,” he explained. “Also we’ve got liberal professors that are teaching a revisionist form of history.”
As millennials will be the largest voting bloc in the 2020 election, it is imperative they understand and research economic systems — not just chase empty campaign promises.