‘Socialist’ is used nearly like a swear word by the right wing. It’s pretty much the worst insult in their mind, and they throw it out to describe liberals and their policies as often as possible. Unfortunately for conservative news media conglomerate Fox, it seems that Americans in general view socialism more favorably than they view Fox News.
Gallup conducted a poll recently asking Republicans how they viewed each of the following: small business, free enterprise, entrepreneurs, capitalism, big business, the federal government and socialism. Here’s a couple of graphics breaking down how people answered:
By political affiliation:
By political ideology:
Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center reports that only slightly more than one-in-five Americans watch Fox News (21% total). That means that more Americans have a favorable view of socialism than watch Fox News. I guess they understand what the term means, instead of it being a fear- and hate-mongering word as Fox tends to use it.
They’ve especially tried to use it to demonize President Barack Obama. Newscorpse.com reports on those attempts, saying:
Throughout much of the last four years, Fox News, and the broader conservative media noise machine, invested incalculable hours yammering about the alleged socialist leanings of President Obama and Democrats in general. It became an obsession that infected even previously sedate Republican politicians as they rushed to placate radical elements of their party who are convinced that Obama is a Manchurian president sent by foreign enemies to hand America over to communist tyrants. And now that the election is over, Fox persists in tagging the President with a label they believe has derogatory implications.The first problem with this characterization is that it is patently untrue. Obama has presided over an administration that has been nothing but positive from the perspective of hardcore capitalists. The stock market doubled in his first term. He has appointed numerous Wall Street refugees to his cabinet and staff. Trade has increased. Corporate taxes are near an all time low. If Obama is a socialist, he is very bad at it.
Based on those polls, maybe Obama should try being more socialist! I’m kidding, of course, but it is somewhat surprising that even one-in-four conservatives have a favorable view of socialism.