With the help of millennials, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-described “democratic-socialist,” rose to nationwide prominence with the promise of bloated central government and socialized policy.
According to a Harvard University survey conducted last year, a majority of young people ages 18-29 support a socialism-style economic system versus the traditional capitalist-esque economic system in America. Other polls have showed similar results.
So when Campus Reform polled young people in the Washington D.C., area to collect their views on socialism, the responses were far from surprising.
When asked whether they believe socialism is a “good thing” or a “bad thing,” one young woman said: “I think people kind of throw that word around to try to scare you. But if helping people is socialism, then I’m for it."
“[Socialism] could really benefit our country in the future,” added another.
“Socialism — as a concept, as a philosophy — is good. I think it’s got a bad rap,” said a young man.
“Trying to spread the wealth is definitely a good thing in America, and it’s definitely a thing that’s needed,” another said.
However, every person Campus Reform interviewed on its video gave socialism — which traditionally is very unsavory in America, but is quickly becoming more popular — rave reviews. But when asked to define it, every person was stunned and couldn’t give socialism a proper definition.
“I mean, honestly, that definition gets thrown around a lot. … I’m not exactly sure,” one woman said.
“Um …” one stumped woman said.
“Hmm … I’m gonna have to think about that,” a man said.
Only two people were able to provide any sort of definition that might somehow resemble socialism’s actual definition.
“Geez, uh . I guess just, specifically, just, you know, getting rid of that wealth gap in the United States,” said a man.
“Hmm, I mean, it’s definitely more of an open form of government and it feels like a lot more accessible to a lot more people. And that’s kinda how I see it,” a woman said. “Like being more accessible and kinda equal ground … yeah."
When the woman was asked what her response meant, she admitted defeat. “To be quite honest, I don’t know,” she said.
For the record, Merriam-Webster defines socialism as: "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods."
In other words, the dictionary says socialism is "a system of society or group living in which there is no private property” where the "means of production are owned and controlled by the state."
It also describes it as a "stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done."