by WorldTribune Staff, March 11, 2019
Half of American young people making up Millennials and Generation Z aspire to live in a socialist United States, according to a Harris Poll.
Gen Z and Millennials are projected to make up 37 percent of the electorate in 2020.
The survey of 2,035 Americans conducted on Feb. 21-25 found that 49.6 of Millennials and Gen Z “prefer living in a socialist country,” Axios, which received the poll from Harris, reported.
The poll found that 61 percent of Americans aged between 18 and 24 have a positive reaction to the word “socialism” – beating out “capitalism” at 58 percent. Overall, 39 percent of Americans are well-disposed toward socialism, according to the poll.
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The poll also found that 73 percent of Millennials and Gen Z believe government should provide universal health care, 67 percent say government should provide tuition-free college, and 43 percent favor abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
American Spectator columnist Dan Flynn noted that “the survey did not inquire whether they also thought the government should provide free popsicles. It strikes that none of these people really lived, in an aware sense, during the Cold War, when examples of the failure of socialism abounded. Today, we see Venezuela but not much more. Socialism thrives as an idea. It does poorly as an actual system. Unfortunately, mankind must periodically figure out the downsides of seductive ideas through experience.”
Axios noted that “The word ‘socialism’ does not carry the same stigma it did in the past, now that it has been resurrected by celebrity politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Young people’s political views often change as they grow older, but their support for socialistic policies is a sign that the old rules of politics are changing fast.”
The top three voting issues for Gen Z, according to the Harris poll, are mass shootings, racial equality, and immigration policy and treatment of immigrants.
For Millennials, the top issues are access to health care, global warming/climate change and mass shootings.
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Axios also noted that Gen Z could eventually swing the Republican Party more to the left.
“A suspicion of big government has been a defining theme of the Republican Party for decades, but a Pew Research Center survey found that more than half of the next generation of Republicans is open to using government action to solve problems.”