Sanders, Bloomberg go easy on dictators as young voters increasingly favor communism
But are such statements disqualifying when it comes to young voters?
A recent poll suggests it could actually help their chances.
Sen. Bernie Sanders and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have downplayed communism.
Sen. Bernie (I-Vt.) has faced an onslaught of criticism in recent days for his decades-long history of comments about communist regimes but, as Campus Reform previously reported, his tolerance for and partial acceptance of some communist policies could actually win him some votes among a growing voting bloc: young Americans.
A recent YouGov poll, commissioned by Victims of Communism, found that 70 percent of Millennials say they are likely to vote for a socialist, while about 36 percent of Millennials view communism favorably. The same poll found that just over half of millennials (57 percent) say that the Declaration of Independence "guarantees freedom and equality" better than the Communist Manifesto. Among millennials, 19 percent said the Communist Manifesto better guarantees such freedoms, while 24 percent of millennials said they "don't know."
That's compared with 94 percent of Silent Generation respondents who said that the Declaration of Independence better "guarantees freedom and equality." Just 1 percent of those in the Silent Generation said that the Communist Manifesto does a better job of that, while five percent of the "Silent Generation" said they "don't know."
Sanders' history of comments about communist countries, along with visits to such places, were highlighted in a recent Washington Post piece.
The article included a montage of Sanders' statements from the 1980s, in which he praised some of the conditions in countries living under communist dictatorships such as those of Cuba, the Soviet Union, and Nicaragua.
But Sanders is not the only one of the 2020 Democratic hopefuls who has a history of downplaying communism.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, during the tenth Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night, doubled down on previous comments he made in which he stated that Xi Jinping of China is "not a dictator."
In a 2019 interview, Bloomberg said, "Xi Jinping is not a dictator; he has to satisfy his constituents or he’s not going to survive."
"He has a constituency to answer to," Bloomberg added.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg stood by those comments, saying of Jinping, "He does serve at the behest of … their group of people. But, there’s no question he has an enormous amount of power — but he does play to his constituency. You can negotiate with him.”
Michael Bloomberg doubles down on refusing to call Xi Jinping a dictator pic.twitter.com/JtHl1M7oQv
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) February 26, 2020