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Are Americans Changing The Way We Think About Socialism?

Pixabay/Public Domain http://bit.ly/2NkmJVa

Since Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' run for president in 2016, the nation's movement towards democratic socialism has gained traction as a new American political concept. 

The traditional core of socialism refers to an economic and political theory of supporting the community through equitable production and distribution, as well as collective ownership of resources for the public.

Key issues of democratic socialism generally include universal health care and fully funded public education, plus reform for the current federal systems like criminal justice and campaign finance.

With the success of U.S. House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezover longtime incumbent Joe Crowley in a New York Democratic primary earlier this year, what kind of support can "new socialists" garner in the next election cycle? Can the concept of socialism further divide political views on both sides of the aisle?

According to a Gallup surveyreleased this month, Democrats now have "a more positive image of socialism," compared to views on capitalism.

Since the group began polling this topic in 2010, Democrats surveyed have maintained over 50 percent favorable views on both socialism and capitalism. However, recent numbers reflect a decrease of positive attitude towards capitalism, down to 47 percent. 

Are shifting perspectives on capitalism changing ideals in America? Which economic factors most impact a population's political leanings? 

What is the difference between socialism in the 20th century and today? How are different interpretations of socialism in foreign countries affecting views across America?


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.