280x280-327d5b4ae1a0bdc4bee248d2d3035691Young voters love Bernie Sanders. According to entrance and exit polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders beat Hillary Clinton among voters under 30 by nearly six-to-one.

There are many explanations why Sanders is so popular with the young, not the least plausible of which is that his opponent is so singularly unlikable. There is his apparent directness (“authenticity”), his propensity to promise virtually anything (free college, free health care), and his avuncular demeanor. But the most compelling explanation is that young voters actually like the idea of a socialist revolution.

The lure of socialism to the young is nothing new—though the leftists once popular with the college crowd, such as Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern, never went so far as to proclaim themselves socialists. But I’ve never found students to be particularly put off by the S-word. In fact, they’ve long been eager to embrace it.

Consider Arizona State University, a school not exactly known for campus radicalism. When I was teaching there in the 1980s, I would often start a new semester by asking the class who among them considered themselves to be socialists. The hands would go up—including a majority in many cases. In 20 years of teaching, whether at Indiana, Michigan, or ASU, this never changed. Continue reading