David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief
Socialism may be trending in modern U.S. politics, but most Americans think it is un-American, according to a new poll.
The Monmouth University poll released Monday found that 57% of respondents believe socialism is not “compatible” with American values, with 40% being emphatically negative about the economic system.
President Donald Trump famously proclaimed at the 2019 State of the Union address, “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
Those identifying as Republicans in the survey, not surprisingly, tended to dislike socialism more than Democrats, who are more equivocal about the subject but are increasingly likely to support universal medicare. (RELATED: ‘Medicare For All’ Price Tag ‘A Little Scary’ Says New Campaign Chairwoman For Congressional Democrats)
Only 29% of poll respondents indicated that they believe socialism is “compatible” with American values.
The poll also reveals that many Americans are on the fence about socialist policies, with 30% declaring themselves neutral about socialism and capitalism. Conceivably, any potential growth for politicians peddling socialist policies would lie with this group. Conversely, although 39% of those polled are “positive” about capitalism, 40% of respondents are “neutral.”
Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is also a Democratic presidential candidate, has extolled the virtues of socialism and even hired a communications aide who once proclaimed Venezuela as a thriving socialist model. (RELATED: The Key To Winning In 2020 Will Be Properly Explaining Socialism, Says Bernie Sanders)
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has also described herself as a “Democratic socialist” and backs a Green New Deal that advocates a massive extension of the welfare state suggests those “unwilling to work” be provided with financial assistance.
Other notable Democrats, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel among them, have warned that the party should not embrace socialism or risk losing the 2020 election.
“We may be in a period of flux with how these economic systems are viewed. Socialism still carries a stigma, but many Americans feel they are being left behind by the current capitalist system. Policies that have traditionally been seen as socialist may be getting more popular even if the term itself is not,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said.