Monday, April 13, 2009

Probing the Improbable Rise of U.S. Socialism: Blame the Republicans

A recent Rasmussen poll found that something called "socialism" is on the rise in the U.S.

That doesn't make sense, we know, but Americans are apparently rethinking politics and concluding that socialism might have something to offer after all.

How could this happen? We profess ignorance, but Benjamin Savlin, a writer for The Daily Beast, has some ideas.

Here's a sample from Savlin's recent column:
[I]t’s increasingly clear that socialism’s newfound popularity comes from the Mitch McConnells, John Boehners, Rush Limbaughs, Sean Hannitys, and Glenn Becks of the world, whose repeated invocations of the term have pushed a previously DOA political movement to new heights of popularity.

The Rasmussen poll on socialism needs to be viewed in the context of the overall political environment. The Republican Party is both smaller and less liked than at any time in modern history. In the latest CBS/NYT poll, the GOP had a putrid 31 percent approval rating, its lowest ever recorded. President Obama was more than twice as popular in the same poll, with a robust 66 percent backing his performance. The GOP is also tinier than ever: Only 24 percent of respondents from one recent Pew poll identified as Republican, an astoundingly low number for a two-party country.

So it's not at all surprising that when Rush Limbaugh (approval rating: (19 percent), Sen. Mitch McConnell (approval rating: 23 percent), and Rep. John Boehner (approval rating: 18 percent) lecture Americans about how Barack Obama is a socialist, well, people just might start deciding that they prefer socialism by default. When politicians like Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) channel their inner Joe McCarthy and claim that some 17 members of the House are socialists, one would bet the collectivized farm that the congressional 17 are way more popular than the guy waving the list of them.


Man of the West said...

...Americans are apparently rethinking politics and concluding that socialism might have something to offer after all.What about you? Is socialism your preferred system?

Can't blame me for being curious, can you?

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