Interviews

New study surveys Americans' opinion on socialism

'The O'Reilly Factor' examines millennials and politics

 

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 24, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Impact" segment tonight, on Monday, Jesse Watters will have a report on how younger voters are seeing the presidential election. Tonight, a similar theme. A group called victims of communism memorial foundation has released a report on American attitudes towards socialism and communism. Study found that 32 percent of Millennials, a third of them, believe more people were killed under George W. Bush than the Russian tyrant Joseph Stalin. Is that amazing?

Also, only 42 percent of the Millennials, Americans born in the 1980s have a favorable view of capitalism. Forty six percent, they would vote for a socialist like Bernie Sanders.

Joining us from Washington, Marion Smith from the foundation. Were you surprised by the findings here, Mr. Smith?

MARION SMITH, EXEC. DIR., VICTIMS OF COMMUNISM MEMORIAL FOUNDATION: Unfortunately we weren't really surprised. Over two years we have been educating Americans and especially younger Americans about the now almost 100 years of history since the first communist regime burst forth on the world stage in 1917 with the Bolshevik Revolution. Since that time 100 million people killed in nearly 40 some communist regimes around the world. And we found that most people found that these numbers were shocking and many didn't even believe them. So, we suspected it was a problem.

O'REILLY: Well, let's get into George W. Bush and Stalin. If you don't know who Joseph Stalin is, he was a dictator in Russia Soviet Union during World War II. He killed millions of people, so many people that they can't count them because there was no reporting on it. And it was just mass slaughters that Stalin undertook. To compare him to Bush the younger, is so absurd it's painful, so that tells me that the U.S. educational system, the public school system just doesn't -- they are not teaching anything.

SMITH: Well, we have a sort of withering critique of the American free enterprise system and of our own U.S. history. And at the same time Millennials and, I don't want to be too hard on them, I am one, are finding sort of a difficult job environment as they graduate from college and enter the workforce. Our poll also found that there were more people my age, the millennial generation who thought our economic system worked against them rather than for them.

O'REILLY: Right.

SMITH: And some 46 percent would vote for a socialist. One generation younger than us, those who are in high school now, half of them would vote for a socialist. And one in five would vote for a communist.

O'REILLY: But they don't even know what socialism is, most of them. I want to get back to my question about not knowing who Stalin is. Stalin was as bad as Hitler. All right, the same thing. He just killed different groups of people. And it didn't get reported because there was no allied invasion into Russia to expose these gulags. And you walk down and people your age, they don't know Stalin. They don't know World War II. They don't know anything. So, how can they make responsible decisions about any economic system now? How is it possible?

SMITH: Well, you are right. I mean, what you see is a willingness to almost blow up our own system rather than try to perfect it and refine it in favor of something that we don't understand which is socialist systems. The ideas of Marxism. And it is a dangerous thing, especially because there is a sort of white washing of the term socialism which really historically and intellectually is intertwined with communism.

O'REILLY: Sure. It's the same kind of government runs the show. Communism is more, they confiscate more like the Castro brothers as opposed to some socialist nations that don't confiscate property but they confiscate income. Mr. Smith, a fascinating study. Thank you.

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