While coronavirus is the subject of conversation now, Socialism has been a close second, especially to the young Gen Z and Millennial Americans. It’s a topic of interest on the news, at schools and universities, and on social media. If you’ve heard of Socialism, you’ve heard of Bernie Sanders, but there is another name you have to know and remember in the upcoming months, and her name is Morgan Zegers. She is the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization Young Americans Against Socialism (YAAS). She is a New York native and, in 2018, at age 21, ran against Democrat Incumbent Carrie Woerner for New York State Assembly District 113 seat but lost with a 44% to 56% vote. Her platform was in response to the one million jobs which left New York lost since Governor Andrew Cuomo took office, and she wanted to work to change that. After her campaign ended, she started a company called Zegers Freedom Flags, which makes handcrafted wooden American and patriotic flags. It was so successful that it is now a family business. Moving up in the ranks of influence, Morgan has begun a national movement and is stirring up a social media firestorm through her interviews and educational videos that work to expose the dangers, mystery, and failures of Socialism to our country’s younger generations. Her videos work by telling the stories of freedom using the power of social media.
70% of millennials have stated that they would vote for a Socialist according to a recent poll conducted by data and research firm YouGov on behalf of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Zeger responded to this poll during a panel interview at this year’s 2020 CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) by saying, “I don’t think 70% of people my age want to seize the means of production. I think they’re just falling for the lies of Bernie Sanders, who is saying that Socialism will make us like Denmark, the problem is Denmark is Capitalist… and it’s the biggest lie of 2020.”
According to The Heritage Foundation, “The same poll revealed that only 33 percent of the respondents could correctly define socialism as based on the common ownership of economic and social systems as well as the state control of the means of production.” It is a common misconception, but one that could be damaging to our nation’s future in the short and long term if students and young people are not educated. One of YAAS’s most instrumental propellers on social media has been through the stories they share of individuals who have fled Socialist nations such as Cuba, the USSR, and most notoriously Venezuela. In one interview, Daniel Di Martino from Venezuela stated, “When Chavez took office in 1999, my parents were earning thousands of dollars a month between the two of them. By 2016, due to inflation, they earned less than $2 a day. I had to stand in those bread lines that Bernie Sanders talks about; Politicians like him destroyed my country in Venezuela.” One of the great advocates of Capitalism is John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, who was a Democratic Socialist in his early 20’s. At the beginning of building Whole Foods to what it is today, he had a hard time breaking even after trying to conduct his business according to Democratic Socialist beliefs and was only making $200 a month. His friends viewed him as a “capitalistic exploiter” who was overcharging his customers and exploiting his workers, according to The Action Institute. After moving over to a pro-Capitalist way of conducting business, he now says, “I believe that all forms of Socialism have been proven over time to result in a loss of both economic and civil liberties, with increasing poverty.”
Morgan Zegers and her organization YAAS are pivotal in getting the conversation started and in educating the youth of today to warn them of the woes of yesterday and the dangers of tomorrow if nothing changes. She says, “The polls look very negative, but I feel very optimistic about the future of the country. I think my generation is one of the most creative, entrepreneurial, innovative, Capitalist generations that we’ve ever seen; they just aren’t able to make that connection that they are truly Capitalist.”