So what do you say when you find out that 53% of Democrats and 61% of liberals are perfectly at home with socialism?
What do you say when you find out that 17% of RINO Republicans say they’re quite at home with the concept?
I reach for the nearest receptacle that can hold the entire contents of my stomach and hurl.
This is what socialism is according to Merriam-Webster:
Main Entry: so·cial·ism
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
You likey? Can I bring my family to live in your house, drive your car, and eat all your food? I mean, I hope you won’t be one of those capitalist pigs and object to me bringing my welfare mom and our 19 snot-nosed kids to spread your wealth around.
There’s a pooh-pooing view that the people who said they were positive to “socialism” simply didn’t understand what the word meant. On this view, of course, there are a lot of profoundly stupid people in this country – and the overwhelming majority of them are Democrats/liberals. Take careful note that NONE of these stupid people are Sarah Palin supporters, who are smart enough to know a lot better.
As for me, I tend to take people seriously. If they claim to be positive toward socialism, I take their words for it.
You might remember Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters using the “S” word and saying she wanted to socialize privately-owned businesses:
You might remember all the hullabaloo when Barack Obama was caricatured as the Joker with the word “socialism” attached to it:
(It wasn’t such a big deal when liberal Vanity Fair did the same thing to George Bush sans the socialism, but the left have always wholeheartedly embraced their hypocritical double standards).
Barack Obama got himself in trouble when he let the tiger out of the bag about how he wanted to “spread the wealth around.” Joe the Plumber responded, “That sounds like socialism.” Oh, how the Democrat spin doctors started to spin and spin and spin some more. Obama isn’t a socialist, we were assured. And my, my, anybody who thinks something like that is just talking crazy.
And then Obama got elected, Democrats passed Barry Hussein’s gigantic $3.27 trillion dollars “stimulus,” and the liberal Newsweek was triumphantly asserting:
It’s funny how we do this song and dance: oh, no, Democrats aren’t REALLY socialists! How on earth can you possibly believe that?
Well, yes, they are.
And now we’ve got the polling results to prove it.
Bottom line: Barry Hussein and the Democrat Party are every single BIT as socialist as they think they can get away with in a nation that would hate socialism if they only had the first freaking clue about our history and about the history of socialism. They are insinuating mega-doses of socialism into American life as we have never seen before in this country. And if they thought they could impose more socialism on us, they would do it. Period.
February 4, 2010
Socialism Viewed Positively by 36% of Americans
Majority of Americans positive on capitalism, entrepreneurs, free enterprise, and small business
by Frank Newport
“Democrats and Republicans agree in their ratings of several of the terms, but differ significantly in their ratings of others — in particular, capitalism, the federal government, and socialism.”
“Socialism” was one of seven terms included in a Jan. 26-27 Gallup poll. Americans were asked to indicate whether their top-of-mind reactions to each were positive or negative. Respondents were not given explanations or descriptions of the terms.
Americans are almost uniformly positive in their reactions to three terms: small business, free enterprise, and entrepreneurs. They are divided on big business and the federal government, with roughly as many Americans saying their view is positive as say it is negative. Americans are more positive than negative on capitalism (61% versus 33%) and more negative than positive on socialism (36% to 58%).
Democrats and Republicans agree in their ratings of several of the terms, but differ significantly in their ratings of others — in particular, capitalism, the federal government, and socialism.
In similar fashion, there is little distinction across ideological groups — conservatives, moderates, and liberals — in the ratings of several of these terms, but more significant differences in response to others, such as big business, the federal government, and socialism.
These differences will be discussed in the sections that follow.
Socialism had the lowest percentage positive rating and the highest negative rating of any term tested. Still, more than a third of Americans say they have a positive image of socialism.
Exactly how Americans define “socialism” or what exactly they think of when they hear the word is not known. The research simply measures Americans’ reactions when a survey interviewer reads the word to them — an exercise that helps shed light on connotations associated with this frequently used term.
There are significant differences in reactions to “socialism” across ideological and partisan groups:
- A majority of 53% of Democrats have a positive image of socialism, compared to 17% of Republicans.
- Sixty-one percent of liberals say their image of socialism is positive, compared to 39% of moderates and 20% of conservatives.
“Capitalism,” the word typically used to describe the United States’ prevailing economic system, generates positive ratings from a majority of Americans, with a third saying their reaction is negative.
As was the case with “socialism,” there are differences across population segments.
- Republicans are significantly more positive than Democrats in their reactions to “capitalism,” although majorities of both groups have favorable opinions.
- Opinions of the word by ideology are divided in an unusual, though modest, way. Conservatives have the highest positive image, followed by liberals. Moderates have somewhat lower positive ratings than either of these groups.
One might expect those with negative attitudes toward capitalism to be more likely than others to have positive attitudes toward socialism. That is indeed the case, but the difference in positive attitudes toward socialism between those with positive and those with negative attitudes toward capitalism is fairly modest: 33% vs. 43%, respectively.
Eighty-six percent of respondents rated the term “free enterprise” positively, giving it substantially more positive ratings than “capitalism.” Although in theory these two concepts are not precisely the same, they are in many ways functional equivalents. Yet, underscoring the conventional wisdom that words matter, the public clearly reacts differently to the two terms. Free enterprise as a concept rings more positively to the average American than does the term capitalism.
Strongly positive ratings of free enterprise are generally uniform across both partisan groups, and across the three ideological groups.
Small Business and Big Business
“Small business” is the most positively rated term of the seven included in the list, with a nearly universal positive rating of 95%.
In contrast, Americans were sharply divided when asked to react to the term “big business,” with 49% of respondents rating the term positively and 49% negatively.
This contrast in images, based on whether the adjective “small” or “big” is placed in front of “business,” confirms a number of previous Gallup findings. Americans have a strong tendency to react positively to “small” and negatively to “big” when it describes business entities.
There is remarkably little difference between Republicans and Democrats in their ratings of the images of small and big business. Both partisan groups are overwhelmingly positive about the former, and roughly half of both partisan groups rate the latter positively. The finding that Democrats and Republicans have roughly equal reactions to big business is significant given the usual assumption that Republicans are more sympathetic to large businesses and corporations than are Democrats. These data do not confirm that hypothesis at the rank-and-file level.
All three ideological groups rate small business very positively.
Big business is rated positively by 57% of conservatives. Less than half of both moderates (46%) and liberals (38%) have positive images of big business.
Because “entrepreneurs” are usually by definition associated with start-ups of small businesses, it is not unexpected to find that the term generates nearly the same level of positive reaction as did the term small business.
And, as was the case for small business, there is little distinction in ratings of entrepreneurs across partisan or ideological groups.
The Federal Government
Americans’ reactions to the term “the federal government” are similar to those for “big business,” with about half rating the term positively and half negatively. However, while there are only minimal partisan differences in reactions to “big business,” there are substantial differences in reactions to the federal government, which may reflect the current partisan control of the White House and Congress.
- Democrats are much more positive about the federal government than are Republicans.
- Liberals are over twice as likely as conservatives to have a positive image of the federal government, with reactions of moderates in between those of these two groups.
As most politicians and many in business have learned, the choice of words to describe a concept or a policy can often make a substantial difference in the public’s reaction. The current research confirms that assumption.
“Socialism” is not a completely negative term in today’s America. About a third of Americans respond positively when they hear the term. Some of this reaction may reflect unusual or unclear understandings of what socialism means. Reaction to the term is not random, however, as attested by the finding that positive images are significantly differentiated by politics and ideology.
It is apparent that “free enterprise” evokes more positive responses than “capitalism,” despite the apparent similarity between the two terms.
President Barack Obama made frequent positive references to small business in his recent State of the Union address, perhaps aware of the very positive associations Americans have with that term. In particular, this research underscores the fact that Americans’ image of business can vary substantially, depending on whether it is described as small or big. Along these same lines, it is perhaps not surprising to find that entrepreneurs are held in high esteem by Americans.
The finding that Americans have mixed reactions to the term “the federal government” is not new. Much previous research has shown that at this point in history, a majority of Americans are not enamored with the federal government, particularly the legislative branch.