Conservative activist Charlie Kirk has two questions he asks millennials and young Americans from Generation Z that he has found effectively dissuades them from supporting socialism.
Multiple polls released last year showed that a large percentage of millennials, ages 23 to 38, and Generation Z, ages 16 to 22, say they support socialism.
A YouGov/Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation poll conducted in September found that 70 percent of millennials say they are either “extremely likely” or “somewhat likely” to vote for a socialist candidate.
A recent poll found 70% of Millennials are likely to vote for a socialist candidate. My takeaway here isn’t that younger Americans love socialism but rather that they feel today’s capitalism is failing them. pic.twitter.com/KptVmRLMlO
— Steve Westly (@SteveWestly) October 29, 2019
Similarly, Axios reported that a Harris Poll conducted last year found that 51 percent of millennials and 61 percent of Generation Z have a “positive reaction” to the word socialism.
In fact, socialism ranks higher than the free enterprise system among Gen Z in the survey, with just 58 percent saying they have a positive reaction to the word capitalism.
Another surprising finding in the YouGov poll is that only 57 percent of millennials “said they believe the Declaration of Independence better guarantees freedom and inequality over the Communist Manifesto, compared to an overwhelming 94 percent of the silent generation [ages 75 to 92] of Americans,” The Hill reported.
Millennials and Gen Z and are projected to make up 37 percent of the electorate in 2020, according to Axios.
Kirk, the founder and president of the conservative student group Turning Point USA, told The Western Journal he has been raising the red flag for years about young Americans being indoctrinated on college campuses to hate their country and embrace socialism.
“They don’t actually understand what it is they think they’re advocating for,” Kirk said of students who say they support socialism.
“Some students believe that socialism means helping people in need or looking out for the vulnerable, which of course it’s the exact opposite of that,” he added.
Kirk explained that when he dialogues with students and describes how socialist governments use their power to limit human freedom, not expand it, peoples’ views tend to change.
The activist has found two questions to be effective in these conversations about socialism.
“You ask the question to a student, ‘Do you trust the government?’ Traditionally, their answer will be, ‘No, I don’t trust the government. The government’s horrible,’” Kirk recounted.
“You ask the next question, ‘Then why do you want to make government bigger? ‘Well, I don’t want to make government bigger,’” is the normal response, he said.
“Then you’re not a socialist,” Kirk informs the person. It takes him about 15 seconds for the entire back-and-forth.
Overall, he has observed that millennials and Gen Zers do not tend to trust politicians.
“Students think they’re advocating for freedom when they advocate for socialism,” Kirk said. “I know that might sound bizarre, but that’s the messaging campaign that the Marxists have undertaken.”
The 26-year-old believes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — perhaps the nation’s most high profile millennial socialist — is a “danger” and a true by-product of philosophies being espoused on college campuses.
“She’s a real danger to our country,” Kirk said. “Her ideas are, and she represents those ideas; therefore she is.”
“I’ve told people she’s going to multiply in Congress,” the conservative activist added. “There are hyper-entitled, clueless millennials that are ready to undo every piece of true progress that our country has made over the last 200 years, just because they think a professor has told them something different.”
Asked if he felt President Donald Trump is having a positive impact on younger Americans’ view of conservatism, including the free enterprise system, Kirk said he is.
“Very positive,” he said. “For once we actually have a fighter and we have someone who represents these ideas, and someone who is able to actually point to them as successful policy implementations, unlike the traditional failed Republican class in previous years where they say one thing and do another.”
Kirk contended that Trump is overseeing the best economy in U.S. history and in the process revitalizing the American dream and the nation’s spirit.
He cited Turning Point USA’s “Student Action Summit” in West Palm Beach, Florida, right before Christmas as evidence of the president’s ability to promote the ideals of liberty and capitalism to America’s youth.
Trump was warmly received by the nearly 5,000 millennials and Gen Zers in attendance from all over the country.
Kirk told The Western Journal that Turning Point USA has chapters on 1,500 college and high school campuses around the country.
The largest ever gathering of young conservative activists—nearly 5,000 American patriots turned out for @realDonaldTrump
Absolutely filled to MAX capacity!
The media says young Trump Supporters don’t exist
RT to prove them wrong! pic.twitter.com/hR1YaPeSvp
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) December 22, 2019
Trump spent a significant portion of his remarks at the summit talking about the economy — saying his administration’s new tax, trade and regulatory policies are the reason for the current boom, which has led to the lowest unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans ever recorded.
“Poverty levels are the best numbers they’ve ever been for African-American, for Hispanic-American. For young African-Americans, our numbers on employment are the best they’ve ever been. So, I mean, we’ve done great,” the president said.
His message to America’s youth clearly is capitalism, not socialism, is what helps people the most by creating opportunity for them.
“While [the Democrats] want to punish America, we will fight to preserve America,” Trump said. “And that’s what we’re doing. And you’re doing it incredibly well. Together we’ll stand up to socialists. We will defend our nation — the greatest and most glorious republic in the history of this world.”
— Turning Point USA (@TPUSA) January 5, 2020
Kirk believes Trump is living up to his campaign slogan to “Make America Great Again.”
“Look, turning a country away from inevitable decline is one of the most insurmountable challenges a leader can face,” the activist said. “It’s only be done a couple times in world history.”
Kirk warned not to underestimate the appeal of socialism heading into the 2020 elections — even with the current manifest success of capitalism.
“Unfortunately human beings — believing in original sin — we’re greedy and self-interested by nature, and it’s very easy to be generous with other people’s money,” he said.
“Socialism is the greediest, most self-righteous, envy-driven political philosophy in the history of the world,” Kirk continued. “That really incentivizes people to want others’ stuff, others’ liberty and others’ labor without actually wanting to work for it themselves.”
If socialism is adopted in America, “it will destroy our country,” he argued.
— Turning Point USA (@TPUSA) January 13, 2020
“It will break the spirit of our country and aspirational, successful, entrepreneurial people will flee,” Kirk said. “They’ll go somewhere else.”
The conservative leader sees the 2020 election as “the most important referendum of ideas in the history of our country.”
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