While most Americans still reject Marxism, recent developments should give conservatives cause for concern. While the socialist crowd has not yet won the country over, there is evidence suggesting that they might be playing the long game.
A recent Axios and Momentive poll revealed that the socialist crowd is gaining inroads with younger Americans. Liberty Nation noted:
According to a new poll by Axios and Momentive, 49% of Americans aged 18-34 possessed a positive view of capitalism, while 46% did not. Within this demographic, 42% of Gen Zers (18-24) maintained a positive position on capitalism, and 54% said they disapproved of the present system. Even young Republicans are shifting their opinions, with only 66% of youthful GOP voters holding an upbeat attitude about capitalism, down from 81% in 2019. A slim majority (51%) of young Americans reported being ebullient about socialism.
These numbers should be troubling for those who don’t want to see the nation move further towards socialism. Indeed, the drop in the percentage of young Republican voters who approve of capitalism is particularly alarming.
It might be tempting to assume that, like many, the younger generation will grow more conservative as they get older. This might be true for many – but it would be a mistake to conclude that this is a certainty.
The bottom line is that conservatives are not winning the ideological war.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece in which I warned about the growing popularity of Marxism and how the word “socialism” is no longer a dirty word in the realm of American politics. I pointed out that if the conservative movement fails to develop a better messaging strategy, the percentage of young adults moving away from capitalism would only rise.
Unfortunately, I was right, according to the Axios and Momentive poll. Messaging has been a constant sticking point for the conservative movement and Republican Party. One of the biggest messaging failures I have noticed is a laserlike focus on attacking the left’s ideas without making a concerted effort to also sell the benefits of conservative ideas.
We spend an inordinate amount of time talking about how wrong the left is. But all too often, we forget to tell the nation why conservatism is a superior ideology.
We rail against the Green New Deal but fail to articulate how the free market could do more for the environment than massive government overreach. We point out the flaws in idiotic ideas like defunding the police but fail to communicate how we should address police brutality. We rightly denounce the left for pushing a government takeover of the healthcare system, but you saw what Republicans did when they finally had control of the White House and Congress, right?
After years of promising to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a system that would rely chiefly on the free market, Republican lawmakers caved. When they had the opportunity, they failed to deliver. And the fact that none of us were overly surprised is telling, isn’t it?
Republican politicians and conservative influencers have made a cottage industry out of loudly decrying the ills of socialism. But those who can deliver better alternatives are rarely elevated. If we don’t want America to become a socialist nation, we need to get our you-know-what together.
This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t continue to point out the issues with so-called progressivism – that would be ill-advised. But the conservative movement needs to learn how to deliver a one-two punch. It has to formulate a marketing strategy that effectively communicates the benefits of capitalism, limited government, and individual liberty.
We need a better sales force, one that can reach as many Americans from different backgrounds as possible. We need evangelists who can speak to the problems people are facing in their daily lives. This must happen in local communities, on the airwaves, on social media, and in other venues. Not even Big Tech has acquired the means by which they can suppress all conservative voices. Besides, we have always found ways to subvert the hard left’s stranglehold on America’s institutions. We can do it again.
Just like we did with the battle over Critical Race Theory (CRT), the conservative movement needs to get comfortable with being on offense. Americans won’t truly reject the growing Marxist movement until they are provided with a viable alternative. If we fail to deliver, the United States will lurch even further towards Marxism until it crosses the path of no return.