Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, appeared on FNC's 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' on Tuesday to discuss a new Gallup poll that found 43% of all Americans believe "some form of socialism" would be good for the country. Hanson said those who favor socialism never tell you socialism is more than just Finland and Sweden. He said history shows countries with socialism tend to have an authoritarian leader to stop people who say it doesn't work.
"It's sad because history suggests every time we go down this trajectory, and you think you're going to get something for free or you're going to be humanitarian, you're going to virtue signal, somebody decides that they have to use coercion and authoritarianism to stop people like you and I from suggesting it doesn't work and we don't want to be a part of it. And that's in our futures if we're so stupid to go down that pathway," Hanson told Carlson.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: "America will never be a socialist country," says the President. It's hard to imagine this a socialist country. But if you're having trouble imagining it, maybe because you're old.
The number of Americans who think we should bring some socialism into our system is growing and they are mostly young people. Millennials are entering adulthood with more debt, worse career prospects and far less hope that they'll be able to own their own homes or start their families, get married, even, and thanks to that, many of them are giving up on America's economic system entirely.
A new Gallup poll finds that 43 percent of all American adults think that quote, "some form of socialism would be a good thing for this country." Among those aged 18 to 34, fifty seven percent support socialism. A shocking number.
Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and he joins us tonight. Professor, thanks very much for coming on. You hear those numbers. And this is not the only poll to reach this conclusion. And what's your reaction?
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, SENIOR FELLOW, HOOVER INSTITUTION: A couple of things. I think that there's a lot of ignorance of socialism, I think our public school system and the universities or popular culture, they sort of glorify it as a fuzzy-wuzzy Robinhood like taking from people who really didn't build that and giving it to more deserving victims. They never tell you that socialism was more than just Denmark or Sweden that ultimately ends up like Venezuela and Cuba.
And because it's contrary to human nature, it requires a degree of coercion. That's pretty scary. The great murderers of the 20th Century are Stalin and Mao all had the word socialist in their descriptions of their government. Also, Tucker, I think we had 10 years from 2007 to 2017, as you alluded to a flat economic growth, and this new generation piled up a trillion and a half dollars in student debt, and they prolonged their adolescence. It was a life of Julia or pajama boy culture.
And they did not have children. They did not marry. They did not buy homes. Those are all the traditional stimuli that make somebody take the attention off themselves and on to nobody else. They are conservative stimuli.
HANSON: And finally, I'll be frank with your viewers, I think the Republican Party did a very poor job -- and they are the traditional stewards of market capitalism with explaining why market capitalism creates wealth and makes all of our lives better because they embraced a couple of positions, open borders, as your first segment showed drove down the wages of working Americans and overtaxed social services. It impoverished us.
And then they redefined free trade as unfair trade. So when the entire Midwest was hollowed out, it was almost a callous message of, "Go learn coding" or "Go to the fracking fields" or "China is getting us cheap stuff that we can afford, even if we don't have good wages," or "It will make us leaner and meaner and more competitive," or "It's unsustainable for China," but there was never any empathy.
There was never any compassion to say, "Look, free market capitalism is the only system that works, but we have to have protections in place to protect the working classes and young people." And we didn't do that as Republicans and conservatives, so we're at fault, too.
CARLSON: So when you get poll numbers like these, 57 percent of young people say they want something, doesn't that suggests that over time, in a democracy, you're going to get the thing that people want. Are you worried about that?
HANSON: What we see? Well, Tucker, five years ago, Bernie Sanders was a joke. And now he's a serious contender for the presidency. So that proves your point. And that's what's happened. We are discussing a wealth tax right now, at least the Democrats are. That has been rejected throughout Europe as something that destroys wealth and initiative, and yet, why would we even consider it?
The whole premise of the Green New Deal is socialism, and yet we have mainstream candidates that embrace it, not because they believe in it, but because as you say, they think there's poll data that suggests support, especially among young people.
But it's sad because history suggests every time we go down this trajectory, and you think you're going to get something for free or you're going to be humanitarian, you're going to virtue signal, somebody decides that they have to use coercion and authoritarianism to stop people like you and I from suggesting it doesn't work and we don't want to be a part of it. And that's in our futures if we're so stupid to go down that pathway.