RUSH RAISES REDS. A Rasmussen poll raised a few eyebrows when it found that attempts by Republicans and Fox News to associate Barack Obama with socialism appears to be improving the reputation of socialism. While 53% still believe capitalism is a better system, 20% backed socialism and 27% weren't sure, according to the poll released 4/9. Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided, as 37% prefer capitalism, 33% prefer socialism and 30% are undecided. As Steve Benen noted at WashingtonMonthly.com (4/9), "You just can't have an effective red scare with numbers like these."
Harold Meyerson wrote at the Washington Post (4/15), "Twenty-somethings are more open to socialism-or social capitalism-than 30-somethings not only because they never lived through the Soviet threat but because the economy, during the years in which deregulatory policy and Wall Street financialization were at their height, hasn't worked very well for them. Americans under 29 scored well to the left of the general public in a recent survey by the Center for American Progress, and voters under 30 backed Barack Obama by a 34-point margin in November, 66% to 32%." Meyerson concluded that by linking the popular president to socialism, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and other right wing talkers "are doing what Gene Debs and his comrades never could. In tandem with Wall Street, they are building socialism in America."DISPATCHES
The Progressive Populist
A Twice-Monthly Journal from the Heartland
May 15, 2009 -- Volume 15, Number 9