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Can This Be True? Trump Ties With ‘Unnamed Socialist’

Bernie Sanders socialism
The headline out of the recent Washington Post/ABC News poll was that President Trump’s approval ratings had hit an all-time high. Trump and his supporters were happy about that. But, as the editor of Issues & Insights observed, the real news was buried in the poll and went largely overlooked by the press.

And it should terrify everyone.

The Post/ABC poll asked one question that others haven’t, and the results are truly startling.

In its matchups of Trump versus other Democratic candidates, the poll asked people to choose between the president and an unnamed “Democratic candidate who you regard as a socialist.”

The result: A tie. Trump, 46%; Socialist, 46%. The same poll found that 51% would back a named socialist — namely, Bernie Sanders — and two others who are as far to the left as Sanders — Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Among likely voters, the split was Trump 49%, unnamed socialist 43%.

Think about that for a minute. Nearly half of the public now says it would pull the lever for an avowed socialist.

Now, the poll also found that Trump’s approval rating climbed five points to 44%, his best showing ever in that poll.

Most polls have, in fact, shown Trump’s approval edging up. The Real Clear Politics average has him at 44.6%. It was below 43% a month ago. Gallup’s tracking poll has Trump within a few points of where President Obama was at this point in his first term.

As John Merline, and the editors of Issues & Insights* noted, the news media have tried to explain Trump’s rise as an artifact of the good economy, as though Trump’s own economic policies had nothing to do with it. According to them, it’s a mere coincidence that, after Trump completely reversed course on Obama’s economic policies of tax and regulate, the economy woke from its years-long slumber. It’s a coincidence that business and consumer optimism surged once he took office. That the stock market took off. That millions of jobs were created in an economy that supposedly was already at full employment. That real wages and median household incomes started climbing again.

If it weren’t for the relentlessly negative coverage he gets in the press or the constant attacks by politicians, pundits and celebrities, Trump’s approval number would probably be 10 points higher.

That aside, can America really be so far gone that half the country is ready for a Socialist President?

In a word: Maybe.

Issues & Insights notes that various other surveys have found that, independent of Trump, the appeal of socialism has been growing in the country.

As reported by Issues & Insights, a Gallup poll found that 43% say socialism is “a good thing.” It was 25% in 1942 – which was long before the depredations of socialism were widely known. Among those 18-34 years old, 58% now say it’s a good thing. Even more shocking, 70% of Democrats now describe socialism as a “good thing” — an increase of 13 percentage points from just the year before.

This embrace of socialism comes at the exact same time that Venezuela, the socialist darling of the left just a few years ago, is collapsing back into Third World status. So what can explain the shift?

In the view of Mr. Merline and the editors of Issues & Insights, this is the payoff of the Left’s decades-long campaign to control the news media, education, entertainment and, increasingly, corporate America.

The mainstream media cheer socialist policies like Medicare for All, while ignoring the failures of government-run health care around the world. When they cover Venezuela at all, they conveniently forget to mention why the country has devolved into a violent dictatorship. Schools relentlessly push leftist dogma, no matter the parent’s wishes. Those who go to college get four more years of indoctrination. Corporate America is now a bastion of leftism, or as we call it corporate totalitarianism.

The result, writes Mr. Merline and the editors of Issues & Insights, is an entire generation of people who’ve been misled into thinking that ever-greater government control means better outcomes.

While this generations in the making problem won’t be overcome in just one election, one place to start would be to teach the real history of socialism and its 100+ million victims. To begin that education process our old friend Dr. Lee Edwards of the Heritage Foundation, and the brains and spirit behind the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has this great piece on socialism’s cost in lives and liberty that should be shared on every available platform.

*Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. While it is not per se a conservative news site it has good data-driven, fact-based commentary that is worth checking out.

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