According to a new poll conducted by YouGov, socialism’s popularity is rising among young Americans. When those under 30 were asked which type of economic system they favor, 36% said they favor socialism while 39% prefer capitalism. That is a sharp contrast with the public at large, where capitalism is preferred over socialism 52% to 26%. Clearly, if this isn’t just a passing trend, the country is in for some big changes over the next few decades.
It may be premature for a self-styled socialist like Bernie Sanders to make a successful bid for the White House, but his day may be coming sooner than we would like to admit. Decades of relentless class warfare from the Democrats have taken their toll, and young Americans now see countries like Norway and Sweden as shining examples of how things can improve. Policies like universal healthcare enjoy widespread popularity among millennials and even speculative policies like government-provided basic income have their champions.
It’s too bad, because these young men and women are buying into a lie. And if they adopt the democratic socialism of their European heroes, they are going to find out that what works in a homogenous country like Sweden does not work in a place like America. Those European countries might well be under Nazi rule were it not for the extraordinary military and economic power of the United States. It’s easy to settle back and enjoy the good life when there is a behemoth willing to do the dirty work.
A culture of blame has led us to this point. These young Americans aren’t embracing socialism because they pity the poor. This is no sudden wave of altruism. They like the idea of socialism because they want all the toys without having to do anything to earn them. They want everyone to be equal not because of morality but because they are emphatically, hatefully jealous of the rich. Instead of realizing that successful people leave blueprints behind, they wallow in their scorn and insist that the reason for their misery is the system.
To be sure, socialism is an easy message to preach. It sounds nice, everyone living together in harmony. The only problem is that it’s completely out of touch with human nature. People are born with a dream in their hearts. Those dreams are tender things that must be nurtured and tended if they are to flourish. Immigrants from all over the world flock to America because they know there is no soil more fertile when you want to turn your dream into a reality.
If the great American experiment is really coming to an end, it’s a sad day. Not just for Americans but for the entire world. Maybe it is an inevitable fact of life that you can’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. They may dance on the gravestones of the founding fathers for a while, but good ideas die hard. None of us will likely be around to see America II: Liberty’s Revenge, but a story this awesome deserves a great sequel.