Millennials are buying into the socialism hype in a big way.
In fact, according to a recent poll, 70% of respondents between the ages of 23 and 38 say they would vote for a socialist candidate in the 2020 election.
But there’s more than a little skepticism among the other generations toward that ideology, and that’s something self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, at age 78, is hoping he can change as he strives for his party’s nomination.
‘You’re going a little bit too crazy on the word here. Let’s not get people overly nervous about it.’
That’s how Sanders responded when CNBC’s John Harwood asked him if he would appoint democratic socialists to big positions in his administration. Would it be your intention to appoint democratic socialists to big positions in your administration?
“I will appoint people who believe in the working class and the working families of this country, who are prepared to stand up to the incredibly powerful corporate interests, that today dominate our economic and political life,” Sanders continued. “I will appoint an attorney general, who for the first time in modern history, will go after the white-collar crime, which I believe is rampant. Instead of arresting kids whether they are selling marijuana, maybe we go after some of the crooks on Wall Street.”
He said he’s following the lead of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, by campaigning on the platform that economic rights must be considered human rights.
“So you could vote, but you also have the privilege of sleeping out on the street,” Sanders explained in the interview. “You can protest, but you also have the freedom to work 60 or 70 hours a week at starvation wages. You have the freedom not to have health insurance, not to be able to send your kids to college.”
He also said he “absolutely” embraces FDR’s suggestion that, as president, he welcomed the hate of his adversaries.
“You can judge a person by the friends they have,” Sanders said. “You can judge a candidate for president by the enemies they have.”
But does he have a realistic chance of actually winning the election? As you can see from this breakdown, he’s still a long shot:
That doesn’t seem to bother Sanders, however.
“The ideas that I talked about four years ago seemed so radical and extreme. Today they’re kind of mainstream ideas, right?” he said. “Don’t underestimate me.”
Watch the interview: