A new survey that finds what MarketWatch calls “widespread ignorance” of socialism and communism among millennials offers insight about younger voters’ fascination with the presidential candidacy of self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders and suggests they’re not getting the education they should about politics and history from schools at all levels.
YouGov polled 2,300 Americans of all ages for a report that the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation intends to release annually. Only 55 percent of millennials surveyed agreed that “communism was and still is a problem,” whereas 80 percent of baby boomers and 91 percent of elderly respondents did.
An especially appalling example of millennials’ ignorance is that a third of them told pollsters that they believe more people were killed under George W. Bush’s administration than under the murderous, decades-long tyranny of Soviet strongman Joseph Stalin. And just as disturbing, 42 percent of millennials are “unfamiliar” with Mao Zedong, arguably the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century.
Education that ignores or glosses over what the foundation’s executive director calls “the collectivist system and its dark history” fails not just the students subjected to it, but America’s civic health. And schools at all levels that don’t teach the historical evils of the likes of Stalin and Mao deserve far more blame for millennials’ ignorance of those evils than millennials do. After all, that’s what they’ve been taught — or not.
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