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Embrace of “Socialism” Reflects Dangerous Ignorance

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A new poll about public attitudes toward socialism and capitalism helps explain the surprising popularity of Senator Bernie Sanders—despite his proud identification as a “democratic socialist.”

The YouGov survey showed 49% of Democrats said they looked favorably on socialism, while only 37% had a favorable opinion of capitalism—the system that has made America the envy of the world. Even worse, more Democrats—by a 3 to 2 margin—described themselves as socialists than described themselves as capitalists.

Results for Republicans showed a clear majority said who said they were capitalists, but political Independents seemed badly confused. A full 70% said they were neither socialist nor capitalist, or weren’t sure where they stood. This poll doesn’t show  Americans leaning left as much as it shows them leaning ignorant—not understanding that socialism means stifling government control of economic activity, and apparently unaware of this discredited system’s long history of wrecking economies and threatening liberty.

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