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Why UK Millennials Voting for Socialism Could Happen Here, Too

In an op-ed for The Hill, I explain why the conditions that activated British millennials to support a socialist candidate are present in many American millennial voters. Democratic Party dynamics demonstrate an internal tug of war over the direction of the party and broadly the progressive movement.

Both parties should take careful note that current millennials are very different from their predecessors. The impacts of a politically active young generation could lead our nation in a different direction than it’s going today.

Here’s an excerpt:

Millennials voted in surprising numbers during the U.K. general election turning their frustration with tax and spend policies into impact at the polls. A pied piper captured the attention of a generation that feels betrayed by promises made to older citizens, but for which they’ll have to pay. America should pay attention. That could — and is — happening here too.

First, millennials are enchanted with socialism in a way that older generations don’t understand. A 2015 Reason-Rupe survey found that over half (58 percent) of Americans under 30 have a more favorable view of socialism than capitalism. Nearly 70 percent of 18 – 29 year olds were willing to vote for a socialist according to Gallup. Socialism is in vogue, but it’s a gentler version that offers a big public safety net that provides basic needs for people (to include higher education) — just without political repression and human rights abuses. It’s Sweden or Denmark rather than the Soviet Union.

Pied pipers and Jeremy Corbyn are taking that open invitation to lure away young people with promises of inclusiveness and equal outcomes. Never mind that those outcomes are mediocre and limit the potential of individuals.

Read the full op-ed at The Hill.

Photo by Phil Roeder

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