Every place it has been implemented, it has failed. Miserably. And yet, according to a newly released poll, the siren song of socialism is more attractive than capitalism to one segment of the American people – Democrats.
The survey, conducted online by YouGov among 1,000 adults, is stunning for the difference in the ratings between parties for the images of capitalism and socialism.
Thus, Democrats are a net 30 points warmer toward socialism than capitalism, while Republicans are a net 120 points more favorable to capitalism. Independents are right between the two parties – 45 net points more favorable to capitalism, which sets them 75 points lower than Republicans, and 75 points higher than Democrats.
As Winston Churchill said mockingly:
“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
That difference, which is huge, is lost among Democrats.
The data underscores that Bernie Sanders is not just beloved by Democrats simply because they like the rumpled, dazed college professor approach to politics, but because they agree with his perspective.
The contrast between Republicans and Democrats on the image of the two competing economic ideologies means that the political polarization that has wracked this country will not be going away after the 2016 election.
The divide is growing even further because Democrats are moving to the left. In 2010, a Pew Research poll found that Democrats had a +1 positive reaction to socialism and a +4 positive toward capitalism. Republicans have been more consistent, with a similar -62 net to socialism and a +33 to capitalism. While the questions were asked differently, it shows a clear shift among Democrats in just five years.
I recently saw a bumper sticker on a car – “Republican, because someone has to work.” While too harsh to put on my car, it points to the great divide between the two parties. Democrats are no longer capitalists, which does not bode well for the future ability of the two parties to work together.