The Bernie San­ders ef­fect

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION - Cal Thomas is syn­di­cated by Tri­bune Me­dia Ser­vices. Cal Thomas

Many mil­len­ni­als are OK with so­cial­ism, even com­mu­nism, ac­cord­ing to a YouGov poll com­mis­sioned by The Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Me­mo­rial Foun­da­tion.

Forty-five per­cent of those polled be­tween the ages of 16 and 20 said they would vote for a so­cial­ist, while 20 per­cent said they could vote for a com­mu­nist. Maybe that ex­plains the Che Gue­vara T-shirts so many of them like to wear.

Re­spond­ing to the poll, Mar­ion Smith, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, said, “An emerg­ing gen­er­a­tion of Amer­i­cans has lit­tle un­der­stand­ing of the col­lec­tivist sys­tem and its dark his­tory.”

Par­tial credit for this should go to for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and avowed so­cial­ist Bernie San­ders.

Even more shock­ing is the poll’s dis­cov­ery that a third of mil­len­ni­als be­lieve more peo­ple were killed un­der Ge­orge W. Bush than Joseph Stalin, whose regime mur­dered 20 mil­lion peo­ple be­tween 1924 and 1953. The to­tal killed un­der all com­mu­nist regimes (so far) is es­ti­mated at 100 mil­lion.

The poll also found that cap­i­tal­ism, which of­fers mil­len­ni­als more op­por­tu­ni­ties than the so­cial­ism and com­mu­nism so many of them ad­mire, is viewed fa­vor­ably by 42 per­cent of young peo­ple, com­pared to 64 per­cent of Amer­i­cans over the age of 65.

That so few older adults ap­pre­ci­ate cap­i­tal­ism is also dis­turb­ing, though it is a tri­umph of lib­eral pro­pa­ganda, which tends to base its ide­ol­ogy on in­ten­tions and feel­ings, not ev­i­dence and out­comes.

In part, these re­sults are a prod­uct of a pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that in­creas­ingly treats all ideas and or­ga­niz­ing prin­ci­ples — save democ­racy and cap­i­tal­ism — as equal.

Moral judg­ments are not to be made, thanks in part to an emerg­ing phi­los­o­phy di­vorced from right and wrong.

The late Catholic Arch­bishop Fulton J. Sheen bril­liantly summed up the prob­lem with modern so­ci­ety more than a half-cen­tury ago; be­fore it evolved into the morally chaotic na­tion we are to­day.

He wrote, “Amer­ica, it is said, is suf­fer­ing from in­tol­er­ance — it is not. It is suf­fer­ing from tol­er­ance. Tol­er­ance of right and wrong, truth and er­ror, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our coun­try is not nearly so over­run with the big­oted as it is over­run with the broad­minded.”

When one has lost a stan­dard for judg­ing right from wrong, good from evil, when any­thing goes (Cole Porter wrote a satir­i­cal song with that ti­tle), then so­cial­ism and com­mu­nism be­come one more or­ga­niz­ing prin­ci­ple among many of equal value.

That lib­eral Democrats are suc­ceed­ing in shap­ing young peo­ple’s minds is re­vealed by this find­ing in the YouGov poll: More than half of mil­len­ni­als say the cap­i­tal­ism sys­tem works against them, while four in 10 call for a “com­plete change” so that the high­est earn­ers pay their “fair share” in taxes.

No one ever de­fines what “fair share” means, much less holds gov­ern­ment ac­count­able for the money it wastes, in­clud­ing the fail­ure of costly pro­grams Congress lacks the will to ter­mi­nate.

This way of think­ing is a tri­umph of the envy-greed-en­ti­tle­ment world­view, which be­lieves that if some­one is mak­ing more money than you, they owe you the dif­fer­ence, ex­cept those higher taxes won’t find their way into your pocket.

We used to learn from the suc­cess­ful, be­cause they served as role mod­els and ex­am­ples of how hard work and risk-tak­ing could im­prove any life.

Now, we pe­nal­ize suc­cess and, as a re­sult, get less of it. But we feel bet­ter and feel­ings are all that mat­ter, right?

At least that’s how we have been con­di­tioned to think.

These poll re­sults ought to spur more par­ents to res­cue their chil­dren from an ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that is fail­ing them on many lev­els. Maybe a field trip to a com­mu­nist coun­try would cure mil­len­ni­als of their moral equiv­a­lence.

They might start by vis­it­ing the pris­ons in Cuba.

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