Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) is running his second campaign for President of the United States. He has been in politics since being elected Mayor of Burlington in 1981. He also served Vermont as a US Representative before being elected as the state’s junior Senator. His main campaign message is the economic inequality caused by the free market system in the United States. He is a millionaire that rails against millionaires!
Sanders is not the only person in the United States to think that socialism in America would be a good thing. Kay Cole James, President of The Heritage Foundation, said that the “rising tide of socialism in America is reaching a critical point.” A Gallup poll reported that “43% of Americans say socialism would be a good thing for the country.” Gallup is not the only poll reporting this finding. The people who would suffer the most under socialism – women, minorities, and young people – are the very people who want socialism.
There are far too many people in America who do not understand the dangers of socialism. The promises of Medicare for all and free college tuition as well as promises of other free stuff is luring the people who struggle the most. They want the promises of big government, but they do not understand the costs of big government.
Conservatives, liberals, and progressives all see the same problems, but they have different solutions. With the promises of all the free stuff, it is difficult for the conservative message to be heard. James said that there are “several factors” on the side of conservatives.
First, we have the truth. Socialism has failed in every country, every time it’s been tried. Additionally, here in the United States and in countries that have softer “democratic socialism,” decades of data show that big-government policies continue to fail over and over again. More often than not, they end up hurting the very people they were supposed to help. Welfare in the United States is just one example.
Second, some of the polls showing Americans warming up to socialism also show that, when pressed, respondents didn’t understand what socialism actually involved. [They loved the ideas of “free college tuition, free health care, and the Green New Deal” until they heard a few of the details.]
Third, new polling by The Heritage Foundation shows that the groups that seem the warmest to bigger government – women, minorities, and young people – actually agree with conservatives on many of our principles as long as we don’t call them “conservative.” Reaching out to these groups and others is where we can turn the tide and find the numbers needed to stand against the statist agenda.
When we asked a mix of conservative, moderate, and liberal young people if they could find something to like about the conservative philosophy, only 39% respond positively. But when we left off the conservative label and just asked about principles like smaller government and giving more power to individuals and communities versus creating more government programs, we saw agreement with those principles increase to 63%.
When we tested the same thing with the Hispanic community, agreement shot up from 38% to 61%. For African Americans, it rose from 24% to 57%.
This tells us that conservatives have the right principles and the right solutions – but we need to do a better job of communicating them.
The truth is that conservative principles are the only principles that can save America. There is nothing about socialism that is good for America. It will be conservative principles that help us find solutions to end poverty, provide clean air and clean water, create better paying jobs, deliver more affordable health care, and preserve our freedoms.
Americans living today have inherited the responsibility to preserve our constitutional government and to keep Americans free. Conservatives have the correct principles to use, but we need to recruit others to help us. Will you join the cause of conservatism today and fulfill your true destiny as an American?