If the Bernie Sanders presidential bid has shown anything, it is that America is suddenly awash with Socialists, millions of them in fact.
In a nation that has long been resistant to Socialism’s call, deliberately or ignorantly confusing it with its bigger brother Communism, it seems a bit strange that suddenly they are loud and proud about their beliefs but where did they come from and what do they mean by socialism?
Polls show that the vast majority of people who call themselves 'Socialist' are under the age of 30 which may go some way to explain it.
It was the same age group of Americans who said that they looked positively upon the message of Occupy Wall Street, that the 1% has flourished at the expense of the 99%. The collapse of Capitalism in America with the record levels of inequality, scant economic opportunities and a $19 trillion debt has not gone unnoticed and it was the youth who took up the stand and in looking for a fairer way of running society discovered Socialism.
The largest factor though was the length of time since the collapse of Soviet Communism which has allowed younger Americans to identify Socialism with the social democratic nations of Western Europe, all of which suffer from less economic inequality and its attendant woes than the United States.
With Socialism and Communism interchangeable above the more ignorant over 30s (and still very much ignorant about it today it appears) the minds of the under 30s are not muddied by such things as Stalin, Lenin or Castro and see content Socialist nations such as the Scandinavians in Western Europe and say they want some of that.
They see the declining economic conditions in America, where only the rich are rewarded and that appears to be the key to why today there are now Socialists by the millions in America.
For many of them Capitalism was tried and failed horrendously and the under 30s are looking for a new way and though late to the party, young Americans seem immune to the tales of the USSR bogeyman which was used as a stick to beat Socialism and have discovered that Socialism is the place to go.
Even if Bernie doesn't make his way in this time around, in 4 years time, if those tens of millions can collect around a central figure like they have Bernie Sanders and the Socialist ideal can continue to be forced onto the agenda (and Capitalism continues to mess with so many young lives), European style Socialism could be coming soon to America soon enough.