Do Americans Really Support Socialism? – With George Barna: Has anything good come from Biden’s actions as President? Do the majority of Americans really support socialism? Do they even know what it is? Which group of citizens likes the idea of socialism the most? Tune in to hear George Barna share his new report on Americans’ feeling regarding the implementation of socialistic policies.

Air Date: 02/09/2021

Guest: George Barna

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture


This is the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach, with the privilege of being here with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, and Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. If you’re wondering about WallBuilders, that is a name that comes out of the book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament, where it says, arise and rebuild the walls that we may no longer be a reproach.

And back, then you had to have those outer walls if you wanted to have a strong nation. Well, same thing today, you’ve got to have a good strong foundation of principles if your nation is going to survive, and WallBuilders is all about reviving the American principles of liberty that were founded in 1776, those biblical foundations of what makes a nation great. We’ve certainly enjoyed the benefit in America, becoming the most powerful, most free, wealthiest, most benevolent nation that the world has ever known.

We’re losing those principles, we’ve rejected them for too long. And so it is time for we the people, the American people to wake up and restore those principles, stand up for what is right. And we’ve got to know what those principles are, we’ve got to understand what those principles are that make a nation great, what makes it prosper, and what those principles could be that would actually destroy a nation. And that’s what we do here at WallBuilders. We talk about all these issues from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

Alright, guys, later in the program, we’ve got George Barna with us, we’re going to talk about some new polling. He surveyed quite a few folks right after the election. And I think I’m going to be really shocked by this, simply because the article says that fewer people are supporting socialism and it feels like more people are supporting socialism when you look at the politicians what they’re saying and how the media is reporting things and how the election turned out. So we might have some good news today with regard to the slide towards socialism, or march very quickly towards socialism, whichever way you want to look at it in the last few months.

Immigrants Understand What Younger Americans Do Not


Yeah, there definitely was a lot of concern leading up to the election. And I think justifiably so that more and more Americans were embracing socialism. One of the things we’ve talked about often on this program, is that so many people who are embracing socialism really don’t know what socialism is, it’s just that this idea has been pitched for the last, arguably, couple decades. But really, you’ve seen it, mostly in the last decade where it’s been promoted to be a very fair, equitable, you know, we’re just sharing and it’s equality, and this is a really good thing.

And so it’s been marketed in such a way that people are going, oh, well, sure. I believe in sharing, and I believe in equality. And some people are really so ignorant about the whole socialist idea and philosophy that they think it even means something being social with people or hanging out with people and friends in the club, because it has the word social in it, and we’re being social.

And what we have suspected and really even seen some polling is people just really didn’t know what socialism was. And even it’s an interesting distinction between people who have immigrated to America, their view of socialism versus people who are Native Americans who are embracing socialism. So the immigrants coming in are going this is terrible, you guys need to stay away from this. And we’ve seen those people warning in elections not to vote for people promoting socialist ideas.

And yet, with electing Biden, that has been largely the fear is that America is now embracing socialism. And nations, once they’ve gone socialist, they’ve not maintained their financial or economic prosperity, they’ve not maintained the same level of freedom. And so the questions have come can we recover from this move towards socialism? And so it is interesting seeing that Barna has some new research out that would indicate maybe America’s not as far gone as we thought.

Why Are Some Americans Surprised by Biden’s Actions?


And interesting when you compare it to what it was. Tim, you mentioned, we’ve been covering this over the last couple of years. But going back to just about a year ago, I think it was we were seeing stats that said 75% of college students supported socialism, 69% of Millennials supported socialism, and that 41% of all Americans supported socialism.

And so at that time, Barna did a deep dive into it, took the 41% of Americans who supported socialism, and went back and asked them, I think it was 47 additional questions. And do you support, for example, the government having greater control of private property? Do you support the government having greater regulation of private business? Etc.

And he went through 47 things that socialism does, and at the end found that only 2% of Americans actually supported socialism. They just didn’t know what it was. But if it means greater government ownership of private property, no, we don’t want that, we don’t want the government regulating more businesses, etc. And so it’s interesting that when word gets out there about what it is, it’s really not that popular.

And Tim, as you mentioned, with Biden office, a lot of people been surprised with what he’s doing so fast and so quickly and maybe people are saying, well, wait a minute, this is not what I thought it was going to be. And maybe that’s part of the term. But interestingly enough, George Barna has what looks to be some really positive numbers on how America is rapidly turning away from socialism since the election.


You don’t want to miss this, folks. George Barna with us when we return, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

A Moment From American History

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. In the early 1700s, the Reverend John Wise preached that all men were created equal, that taxation without representation was tyranny, and that God’s preferred form of government was the consent of the government, all of which is language recognizable in the Declaration of Independence. Why?

Because in 1772, the Sons of Liberty led by founders such as Sam Adams, and John Hancock reprinted and distributed the Reverend Wises sermons. So four years later, much of the Declaration reflected the language of those sermons by John Wise. In 1926, on 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, President Calvin Coolidge affirmed “The thoughts in the Declaration can very largely be traced back to what John Wise was saying.” Few today know that the Declaration was so strongly influenced by the Reverend John Wise.

For more information on this and other stories, go to


Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. George Barna back with us. George, always good to have you, sir. Thanks for some time today.


Well, I appreciate you having me back.

George Barna Has Good News?


Hey, you guys have already done a ton of research on socialism and the country’s kind of perception of that and move towards that over the past few years and released all of that. But you’ve got a new report out saying that those numbers have actually improved: there’s less of a thirst for socialism. So are you telling me you have good news for us today?


I know it’s out of character for me. But yes, I have to admit that there are some good things happening in the midst of all the craziness. And one of those is that, you know, directly after the election, we did the survey and we asked people a lot of things. And among those who as we delve into this whole idea of what we see coming down the line with the new administration, do people actually want socialism as the former government economy that loses sport?

What we’re finding is there’s been a big decrease in the past 2-2.5 years in the proportion of adults across America who say, yeah, we would prefer socialism. It’s gone from about 41% at the start of 2018 down to just 32%. Now, 32% is nothing to sneeze at. It’s still big, it’s still bigger than it should be. But nevertheless, at least it’s moving in the right direction finally.


And that’s at a time when socialism is being sold to the American people by even politicians. Now It used to be just a professor’s but now a lot of politicians selling that. So it’s maybe you talked before, I remember you pointed out people don’t know what the word really means.

A Wake Up Call for Americans

It sounds good. It’s makes them feel good, because they think they’re just helping a neighbor or whatever. Do you think maybe the continued push towards socialism has actually caused more people to realize what it actually is?


Yeah, I think that’s the irony of the whole situation is now people on the Left are having their moments where they get to really put this on display for people, certainly, the 2020 campaign season, you had a lot of candidates who were trying to outdo each other in terms of potential socialist programs. And I think it was the wake up call to a lot of people in America, obviously, not everybody, and some people would prefer it, knowing what it is.

But now we’ve got more people who have a better understanding of what socialism would look like in practice. Previously, I think it was all about, well, who’s using those words that language, the ideas, and they were popular celebrities. But now it’s gotten to the point of, okay, you’ve got political leaders who are going to be implementing laws and policies that are going to directly affect you, your pocketbook, your family, your freedom, everything about your life. And people have started to wake up, they say whoa, I didn’t know that’s what it was. And so many of them are saying, well, if that’s what you mean by socialism, I’m not on board.


And that’s a pretty significant drop. I mean, that’s a, would you say in the report, that’s such a 9% decline. And was that an age gap there or was that pretty much across the board it went down?

The Most Significant Decline in Advocates for Socialism


Well, it’s gone down across the board. Last with some groups, like 18 to 29 year olds, still are the age group, for instance, that is most supportive of socialism. They’re also by the way, the one that understands it the least based on our surveys. But even their drop, even their numbers represent a drop over the last couple of years from about half of them a couple of years ago to 43% today, and the drops have been even more significant the older a person gets.

Probably the most significant decline has been among the Gen Xers. Previously, they along with the Millennials were major advocates of socialism. And what we’ve seen now is that as the actors have growing families, they have growing economic needs, greater responsibilities in the marketplace, and now they’ve got greater information about what socialism is: they were the ones who experienced the greatest decline of all in terms of their willingness to support socialism.


And it’s a good sign. I love it. Good news from George Barna. This is kind of a weird show today, bro.


Well, you know, this was just to prove that miracles do happen. Yes, it is possible that Barna can do some research that shows some positives.

Do People Know What They Want?


Actually, I mean, you just report the truth, man, always have. And it’s one of the things we’re so thankful for that the research is incredible how many people you got survey is just unreal, and the depths that you go to. So what were some of the other things that kind of surprised you, just even the socialism thing, it was a big deal? As you delve a little further into even the issues that you talked to them about, were any of those different from what you had expected?


Well, they’re not necessarily surprising, because what we found is with the people who want socialism also want a much more active government, one that has a very extensive reach, one that has more authority, one that’s implementing more and more laws that will restrict our freedoms and our way of life, and certainly at a cost.

But the interesting thing to me about that is when you look at the socialists, you know, there’s a whole list here of policies that they’re hoping that the federal government will be pushing laws about racial discrimination to health care insurance, redistributing wealth in America to overcome income inequality, by enforcing more stringent environmental standards. But we also found that a large share of them say that they want their income taxes to decline.

Well, timeout here, folks, that’s not how it works. If you’re going to expand the government, if you’re going to give it more authority, if you’re going to have it making and enforcing more laws, and more aspects of life, somebody’s going to fund all this stuff, and surprise, it’s going to be you. So you can, on the one hand, say, I want the government doing everything for me and then on the other hand, saying, and I don’t want to give them my money to do it. That’s not how it works.

Who’s Going to Pay?


So what you’re saying the same people that are saying they want all these new programs, and all this socialist policies are also saying, but I want to pay less?


Yeah, they want to pay less. They want more choices for their children for school, well, that isn’t going to happen without an active government. They want the government to increase manufacturing jobs, do all kinds of other things, which the government is not likely to do, because that doesn’t fit with the activist agenda of being able to control more of society where the elites make the laws and enforce them, and do well and the rest of us just kind of have to go along with it.

So, you know, we did find that there is a tremendous misunderstanding about socialism. We look at a lot of those different things in this release as well, we can talk about that. But yeah, I mean, by and large, Americans want change, they want positive change. They just don’t know what to call it.

And so because socialism has gotten such a marketing push, and so many professors in our universities, you know, are about Marxist approach where they’re pushing it, a lot of people said, well, the change we want, maybe it’s called socialism. And they liked Obama’s smile, and they think Biden’s a kindly old geezer. So, you put all that together, they thought well, how bad can socialism be? These seem like nice people, without recognizing that, yeah, but what goes on behind the curtain, is really what matters.


Maybe that’s why they, because I saw one of your conclusions on the study, the ones who said, they claim to want socialism were eight times less likely than those who preferred capitalism to then choose government alternatives posed by their stated system of choice. In other words, they’re saying, we want this, but then if you give us this, we’re going to not even choose this. Am I saying that right?

Instincts Are Right


Yeah. And you know, to be specific about that, I mean by a 12:1 ratio, Americans want to have individual ownership of private property rather than all property being owned by the government, which is where socialism will take us. By 6:1 ratio, they want the government that takes its direction from the people, rather than to live in a nation where the population takes its direction from the government. 6:1 ratio 76% to 12%.

You know, same ratio, 6:1 want prices of goods based on the free market, rather than the price of goods being set by government policies. You know, I’ve got a whole list of these things. So on the one hand, many of the people who say, oh, man, we need socialism, when you give them what it looks like in practice, that’s where we found that they’re eight times less likely to be consistent about what they say they want, and then in specific actions, what they actually choose.


That’s so interesting. So their instincts are right when it comes to the actual choice. Which I guess means we’ve got to sell capitalism better, we’ve got to explain it better. Like you’re saying, socialism sounds good to them, or they’ve had a politician that they’ve been connected to emotionally or whatever and so they think that whatever that politician selling that they want. So we’ve got to do a better job of explaining why capitalism is so much better so that their rhetoric then they’ll say, yeah, that’s what I want because we describe the benefits on the other side of the equation better.

We Must Market the Benefits of Capitalism


Yeah. And we’ve got to remember that we’re up against public school systems, and we’re up against media that are consistently pushing socialist thinking. And they dress it up and make it sound great. But in our schools, nobody talks about the fact that, well, socialism doesn’t really work. When you look at the different nations of the world, if you do an objective analysis, socialism fails the people that it’s there to try to help. Capitalism is the system that has worked the best of any that have been tried.

And so when you have school systems that are pounding into the heads, in the hearts of our kids, yeah, socialism is the way to go, it’s kinder, it’s gentler, it’s more compassionate, it’s more effective, it’s more efficient, and then you’ve got movies and you’ve got music, and then you’ve got celebrities, who are all kind of getting on that same bandwagon, because they don’t know either, they’re buying into the lie, yeah, that’s what we’re up against.

So you’re exactly right. We really have to do get serious about marketing the benefits of capitalism.


Last question on this postelection survey. SAGE Con, something that you’ve pioneered really digging deep into that group of spiritually active governance engaged conservative Christians, how did they do on the questions about socialism?


They did great. You know, I mean, they were only about a third as likely as the average Americans who say they would prefer socialism, only about one out of every eight of them. But it’s interesting, because even in the last couple of years, there’s been a significant wake up call, even amongst SAGE Cons, where they’ve dropped from 22%, who said they would prefer socialism back at the start of 2018 to just about 12% now, so that’s been cut in half in the last couple of years, as even they have gotten more information.

Cultural Research Center

Again, as you say, their instincts were originally right that this is not something that we want, it’s not something that fits with a Christian perspective on how to help people to have the best possible life and God wants them to enjoy. But you know, even they’re catching on to a greater degree right now.


Love it. Love it. Alright, so Cultural Research Center, Arizona Christian University is the place you can read the survey and we’ll have a link to the actual results of the postelection survey and I asked George off air, with all this good news, would he be willing to come back and do a second show with us because he also has good news on the issues that could actually bring a super majority of support in America.

So George, look forward to having you back again tomorrow. Thanks so much for being on today.


Thanks so much, Rick.


Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

This Precarious Moment

Hi, this is David Barton. I want to let you know about a brand new book we have out called This Precarious Moment: Six Urgent Steps that Will Save You, Your Family, and Our Country. Jim Garlow and I have coauthored this book, and we take six issues that are hot in the culture right now, issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration, and race relations and our relationship with Israel and the rising generation Millennials in the absence of the church and the culture wars, and where American heritage is, our godly heritage.

We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both biblical and historical perspective on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference. These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved. So you can grab the book, This Precarious Moment and find out what you can do to make a difference. This Precarious Moment is available at


We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Thanks to George Barna for joining us and guys really good news here. I mean, this is not I think what people are expecting, not what I expected. I mean, this is very positive results. And it’s what you said before, Tim, they don’t know socialism, they don’t know what they’re saying when they say they support these things. So once again, education is key and speaking truth is key.


Yeah, and the idea that this has been promoted at educational facilities and academic institutions, for so long that people are embracing an idea that they don’t know how to define, which is what George pointed out, is that really Millennials are the ones who are the least likely or I guess, also, would include Gen Z.

People are Waking Up

But the younger generation is the ones least likely to know what socialism is. And so even though that the trend overall went down, they understandably would go down less for the group that knows the least about it, at least in the sense of not knowing what it actually means and what it actually does.

But man, so encouraging to know that what we’re looking at in the nation is there are some people who are waking up. Now, the fact that it’s only a 9% difference, you would hope it would be bigger than that, but I’ll take any progress at this point that more and more people are recognizing that something about this doesn’t make sense.

It’s not really right. We don’t want more government control of our private property, of our private lives, of our money, our finance, our business, etc. So it certainly is a good trend in the right direction.


And that 9%, well, he said 9% straight drop, that’s about a 25% decrease in the number of people who support socialism. And that’s a pretty good jump. And I thought the point that George made was really good when he said, what we’re facing here, and Tim, you just mentioned, most people don’t know what it is, and George pointed out, we’re facing a school system and a media system that does not tell people what is actually going on what the truth is. And so this misled people into thinking that it is something that is not.

And what really struck me was just the hard numbers that George gave in three categories. When you have 12:1 support among the American people, or a ratio of 12:1 in favor of private property, you just killed socialism. Socialism takes private property out. And so the fact that people think they want socialism, but they want private property, those two things are incompatible.

You Can’t Have Socialism and Private Property

You can’t have socialism and still have all the private property that people think they want. And then you throw in the second stat, where that there’s a 6:1 margin in support of pricing goods based on the free market. Well, you can’t have socialism without price controls. And overwhelmingly, Americans don’t want price controls. So there’s a second thing that they clearly don’t like socialism, they just don’t have a clue what it was.

And then Georgia’s third number, that there’s a 6:1 support in the ratio of people who want government to be run by the people. They think people should be in charge of the government, not government in charge of the people. Again, you’ve just destroyed a key element of socialism: which is the government runs the people rather than the other way around.

So it’s really interesting that while the numbers have dropped in pure numbers, almost 25%, from 41% down to 32%, that that huge drop that’s there, it’s even bigger than that. If people actually understood what socialism was, it would be even larger. Because based on those 12:1 ratios, and 6:1 ratios, there’s not that many people in America who actually support socialism once they know what it is.

And so with all the socialism now being on full display with Biden’s policies, people are scratching their head and saying, wait a minute, that’s not what I thought it was. And so this really is good news to see it move this direction.


And, guys, it’s worth noting that as you even look at the survey, and Rick, you mentioned that we can get online and we can go read the full details of the survey, what is very consistent is that so many people who support socialism, they just don’t know what it really means and what it’s about. They think they want a bigger government and government’s going to do more and take care of more and yet they want to pay less for it. Well, that’s not the way it works, right?

It Takes Your Freedom, Your Money, and More

Socialism, when you grow the government, it actually takes more of your money and it takes more of your private property and your freedoms and the control of your business and opportunities. And this is where we need to start having more conversations with people. And we’ve mentioned on this program before, that we need to do a better job even as Christians of discipling the next generation, of reaching out and connecting with people.

And certainly, we would encourage you, look in your life examine. Who are you pouring into? Who are you investing in? Who are you guiding and loving on? Because every single one of us ought to have people that we are pouring into. It’s part of us being Christians in general, where Jesus said go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them everything I have taught you.

Well, Jesus taught a lot of free market principles. Jesus taught a lot of economics principles, a lot of things dealing with individual responsibility. But this is also just part of us investing in people in the next generation. And so if you’re a grandparent, look at your kids, your grandkids.

If you’re a church, look at the people around you, if you’re a parent, obviously, you’re pouring into your kids, maybe you’re single, well, you need to invest in your friends, we need to find people to start pouring into and helping guide them to truth. That’s part of what God’s called us to do as Christians. And certainly, that’s what our culture and what America needs.

Do Americans Really Support Socialism? – With George Barna


Well, it’s what we need. And frankly, folks, listen, there’s an easy way to get involved in this and be a part of the solution. Here WallBuilders, we want to equip you with how you can be a good biblical citizen in modern America, but also how you can help others to do the same thing. So we want to encourage you to get signed up for one of our free classes.

Start hosting that class in your living room or at your church, share it with your friends and family, get other people educated on these things. You can share these radio programs. But we also recommend that you get together in person and have these classes. We’ve got a new website, And there at, you can sign up for this class where David and Tim teach from the library, I teach from Independence Hall where the Constitution was framed.

We have all kinds of great guests. Kirk Cameron teaches how the pilgrims brought these principles to this continent. We have great guests like Jack Hibbs, and Rob McCoy, and Mat Staver and Rabbi Daniel Lapin and George Barna and others in this series “Biblical Citizenship in Modern America”, get signed up today for free at

Thanks so much for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.