America Hates Socialism But Loves Socialist Policies

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Most Americans believe government should do more to help people but also express negative feelings toward socialism.

Capitalism is good and socialism is bad, according to the majority of Americans — but they also want the government to do more to help people and solve problems, a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found.

Socialism has garnered increased attention heading into the 2020 election, with Democrats more willing to embrace the label — think Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) — and Republicans framing the issue as a Democratic attempt to turn the U.S. into Venezuela.

But Americans appear open to Democratic Socialist policy ideas even while they reaffirm the merits of American capitalism, the survey showed.

The Washington Examiner reported that “50 percent of registered voters expressed positive feelings toward capitalism, with just 18 percent saying the same about socialism,” and yet “when asked if Washington should do more to solve problems and help people, 55 percent answered in the affirmative.”

Social democracy of the European style has found warm reception among younger Democratic voters, but Republicans — including President Donald Trump — are working hard to undermine the legitimacy of such policies by insisting that Democratic Socialists will steal away America’s “freedom and free-market capitalism into an authoritarian, socialist state like Venezuela.”

In true conservative form, Trump has pursued an agenda of deregulation and business-friendly tax reform, but only 41 percent of those surveyed in the recent poll felt that government was currently too involved in the private sector.

The poll, conducted February 24 – 27, surveyed 900 respondents and had an error margin of 3.27 percentage points.

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