A new Gallup poll shows that Americans are gradually acclimating to the ideas of socialism.
A once taboo idea for past generations, younger generations are starting to slowly accept the idea that socialism is a viable economic system.
One of the specific trends that this study found is that Americans are now more evenly divided on this topic than in previous decades.
About 51 percent of American adults view socialism in a negative light, thinking it would have harmful effects on America. Whereas, 43 percent see socialism as a good thing. These attitudes were different in decades prior. For example, a 1942 Roper/Fortune survey illustrated how 40 percent viewed socialism negatively, while 25 percent were in favor of socialism, and 34 percent did not take a particular stand on the issue.
What these latest Gallup polls show is that Americans are gradually becoming more accepting of socialism than previous generations. One interesting point is that Americans are now defining socialism in different terms. A fourth of Americans tie socialism to social equality and 17 percent still define in its traditional terms of the government controlling the means of production.
Democratic Party voters hold socialism in high esteem, which has been a consistent trend according to Gallup polling in 2010. A solid majority of Democrats, 57 percent, show receptiveness towards socialism. The prospects of Americans voting in a socialist for president are also increasing.
An April Gallup survey highlighted how 47 percent of Americans would pull the lever for a socialist presidential candidate. While still a minority, these figures show that the Overton Window of public opinion is shifting towards socialism as the days go by.
This makes sense when you consider several developments in the 2020 election cycle. Bernie Sanders’ recent hiring of David Sirota, who was a vociferous fan of Venezuelan socialism in the past, shows that praise for socialism is becoming a normal talking point in the modern-day Democratic Party. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s meteoric rise has done a lot to make people reconsider capitalism and favor more government involvement in their economic decision-making.
However, this is not to say that mainline Republicans and conservatives are much better. On issues like gun rights, they have generally conceded ground to the state. Additionally, once in office, they accept many premises of big government such as the managerial state and entitlement spending, despite their limited government campaign talking points.
The solution to this is a more robust, cultural alternative to what the Left is offering. From there, public perception of these ideas can shift towards a more liberty-oriented direction.