In the March issue of the newspaper, one of the things highlighted is the seeming rise of socialism, particularly with younger generations. After all, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) outperformed Hillary Clinton in 2016 in the Democratic primary amongst younger voters. Sanders is a self-avowed “democratic-socialist.”
For North Carolina, we primarily looked at our recent Civitas Poll that showed 23 percent of voters in the state had a positive or somewhat positive view of socialism. While opposition to socialism rose when the worldview was explained in the poll, overall support also ticked up by one percent.
The rise of socialism can be traced back to many factors. One factor is just a general rise of secularism. More and more young people do not attend church or places of worship and are more apt to look to government as an ultimate authority in their life. The growing radicalism at many colleges and universities is certainly playing a role as well as the enormous student debt many young graduates now have, often financially crippling them for decades. Promises of debt forgiveness and “free stuff” dispensed by government become more appealing. On an even more macro level, many in the Democrat Party are aggressively touting anti-market policies as they call for radically high tax brackets for the wealthy. Class warfare is still as popular as ever if not more so.
President Donald Trump has vowed that “America will never become a socialist country” but polls might indicate that the long-term probability of “never” is not a sure guarantee. Some of these dynamics depend too on what one’s definition of socialism happens to be.
Another important theme in this issue is the unveiling of Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget. Read Bob Luebke and Brian Balfour’s overview of the budget here. I encourage you to read Patrick O’Hannigan’s “The Dogs that did not Bark” as well.
You can check out the entire March issue below which includes North Carolina’s updated unemployment and voter registration numbers: