One of my first IGTVs was about democratic socialism. The ramifications? An inbox flooded with accusations of promoting socialism for a good month. So, before you get at me, I’m not voicing my support for anything except perhaps some of the principles of democratic socialism and multiple articles discussing how millennials are favoring socialism.
In case you don’t watch until the end, I don’t think we should have a pure democratic socialist or pure capitalistic society. Extreme of anything is unsustainable. That’s basically my opinion, but I’ll get more into that towards the end. Let’s get to the stats!
The Hill published an article called 7 in 10 millennials say they would vote for a socialist, Axios published one called 70% of millennials say they’d vote for a socialist, and Market Watch had an article called Millennials these days: Socialism and communism are hot, capitalism is not, with the subtitle reading ‘Biggest threat to world peace? 27% named President Trump, 22% said Kim Jong-Un, and 15% tapped Vladimir Putin’.
This poll is important, because when Americans are voting that Trump is a bigger threat to global peace than Kim Jong-Un, it means millennials are ready for a political shift. Younger voters are officially losing faith in capitalism and can embrace socialist concepts regardless of veteran judgment. And why should we care about judgment when we’re constantly hearing about appealing health care concepts like Bernie Sander’s Medicare of All, or when we consider the U.S. economic system working against us? Economic inequality is pretty fucking present, we’ve got a mountaintop of college debt, and lingering threats of job loss due to automation.
The current fork in the road is the negative associations socialism has for older voters because of something called history, and of course the people that cry ‘then move to a different country!’ because they don’t know how to debate without feeling personally attacked for having different opinions.
However, the term socialism is evolving. Democratic socialism says that it’s wrong for the top 1/10th of the 1% of the United States to own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%, that it’s wrong the United States is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care, and that there should be paid medical and family leave.
It should also be noted that people like to compare socialism and communism, when they aren’t even competing ideologies. Socialism, specifically democratic socialism, is about wanting affordable healthcare, housing, and education.
Well, the current fork might be removed given that people of all ages see the American president as more of a danger to peace than dictators who literally oppress their citizens for a living. If Trump is not impeached, our political structure will change very quickly, and democratic socialism will be making more than a guest appearance.
Here’s my take: I don’t think we should go full socialist. We’re not going to—there’s no way. But we need to adopt some of the ideologies to capitalism. Especially a capitalism that is failing due to poor leadership that voters of all ages can agree to. People should be open to better socialist ideologies trumping bad capitalism. And by bad capitalism, I mean one that is prone to ever increasing income gaps and unemployment. Good socialism doesn’t have to take any freedoms away, because it’s sensitive to what the people as a whole need—like, I don’t know, affordable healthcare.
Rest assured, democratic socialism is not a political party. According to Mark A. Peterson, professor of public policy, political science, and law at UCLA, democratic socialism is a ‘call for the democratically-elected to use the public sector to promote greater equality and opportunity.’
It doesn’t sound like such a crazy concept to me.