Academic Ignorance Bred a New Generation of Socialists


It’s been almost 15 years since the country was first introduced to the charismatic 43-year-old Illinois state senator named Barack Obama. When the dad of two took the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, young people were especially captivated. They climbed aboard the bandwagon that took America on a sharp left turn, never understanding the danger that his radicalism posed to America.

Now, a decade and a half later, millennials seem just as hypnotized by the glamorous version of socialism that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is making popular with kids who have no idea what it means. And for that matter, neither does she.

During an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Anderson Cooper asked Ocasio-Cortez, “When people hear the word socialism, they think Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela. Is that what you have in mind?” “Of course not,” she replied. “What we have in mind — and what of my — and my policies most closely resemble what we see in the U.K., in Norway, in Finland, in Sweden.”

As a matter of fact, her policies have very little in common with any of those Nordic or British countries Michael Knowles writes on Fox News. It’s that kind of ignorance, he warns, that’s starting to define Ocasio-Cortez’s generation.

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In a jaw-dropping survey from Reason-Rupe and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, the majority of American millennials now identify as socialist. “That’s the bad news,” Knowles says. “The good news,” he points out, is that just 32 percent of millennials can actually define socialism.

Their ideas about socialism were formed by Bernie Sanders — not the Cold War. “Young people today don’t associate socialism with an enemy of the United States,” Emily Ekins of the Cato Institute points out. And that’s part of the problem. This all goes to the heart of what’s not being taught in our classrooms — which, as these surveys show, isn’t history!

“One third of millennials believe President George W. Bush killed more people than Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin,” Knowles explained. “Over 40 percent of millennials have never heard of Mao Zedong; another 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively, are unfamiliar with Vladimir Lenin and Che Guevara. Two-thirds of Millennials cannot identify Auschwitz, and 22 percent have never heard of the Holocaust, twice the percentage of American adults on average.”

They support collectivism over capitalism, and welfare over work. They may be able to name the 58 genders accepted by Facebook, but when it comes to the murderous regimes of their grandparents’ generation, they have no clue. And ignorance on that level can be dangerous. As Tom Palmer points out, this kind of political illiteracy creates the perfect environment for socialists to take over a country and completely destroy the economy.

Is that what’s happening in America? Not yet, Knowles says, but it’s hard to ignore where millennial miseducation, “which grew into the Tree of the Lack of Knowledge as activist educators substituted ideology for scholarship” has brought us.

“During the 2018 midterm elections, the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed 42 candidates for local, state, and federal office across 20 states. Of those candidates, 24 won their primary campaigns, and 18 won in general elections. Millennials have largely cheered them on. Raised in the United States after the fall of the Berlin Wall, these young Americans have been sheltered both empirically and academically from the myriad horrors wrought by socialism throughout history. And so the problem worsens.”

Thanks to the liberal takeover of public education, most of our children are taught to be ashamed of American systems and values — which have produced the most successful republic in all of human history.

Until we start teaching true civics, our schools will continue to put future generations on an ideological path that ends in the most unjust government known to man. “Socialism is an economic disease born of envy and ignorance,” Knowles cautions. “Unfortunately, both abound in our present politics.” 

By Tony Perkins & FRC Senior Staff. Published with permission, Family Research Council, Washington Update, Jan 14, 2019, 801 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001, 1-800-225-4008,

The Language of Liberty series is an outreach project of the Center for Self Governance, a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in principles of liberty. The views expressed by the authors are their own and may not reflect the views of CSG.

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