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  • The flag of the Democratic Socialists of America at a march.

    The flag of the Democratic Socialists of America at a march. | Photo: Twitter @sputnik_TR

Published 22 May 2019
Opinion

The rise of congresspeople like Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, mirrors the shifting opinions of the populace

A Gallup poll released this week found that more people in the United States believe socialism would be a good path for the country to take.

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Socialism is gaining ground in the U.S, after a survey, conducted from April 17 - 30, found socialism-supporters lost by only a small percentage to those U.S. citizens who still oppose the political idealogy.

The pollsters are comparing this year's answers to those received in 1942, when the survey was first introduced. At that time, 25 percent of people responded “Good” to the question, “Would socialism be a good thing or a bad thing for the country as a whole?,” as compared to 2019 which saw the answer rise to 43 percent, an 18 percent increase.

in 1942, 40 percent of participants said they believed socialism would be “bad” while at present, 51 percent responsed negatively, an increase of 11 percent.

The most marked shift is in the number of people who replied “no opinion” — in 1942, 34 percent didn’t have an opinion about socialism, a number which has dipped to 9 percent in 2019.

According to Gallup, this trend is related to a previous survey done in 2018 on U.S. citizens demonstrating a shift in the definition of socialism. The number of people who believe socialism means equality or equal opportunity rose, while the number of those who believe it is means government or state ownership or control of utilities dropped significantly.

The poll takers also see a partisan divide noting that self-identified Democrats or those who lean in that direction are far more likely to take a favorable view of socialism, while those who identify as Republican are more likely to define socialism as government of control and speak about it in derogatory terms.

Drilling further down into the poll, however, it’s clear that most U.S. respondents favor the free market over government control in certain areas. One question posed asked, “Would you prefer to have the free market or the government be primarily responsible for what happens in each of the following areas?

It lested technololgical advance, higher education, wages, healthcare, the environment, distribution of wealth, et al. Most people only favored government control in relation to the environment and consumer protection, preferring that the government stay away from questions of technological innovation and distribution of wealth.

The rise of congresspeople in the U.S., like Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, mirrors the shifting opinions of the populace in the United States and provides the opportunity to define how U.S. citizens view socialism come the next time this question is asked.

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