Socialism is used as a scare word

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Socialism is a scare word they’ve hurled at every advance the people have made. Socialism is what they called public power, social security, deposit insurance, and independent labor organizations. Socialism is their name for anything that helps all people. 

–Harry Truman, 1952

Socialism might have some bite if the right hadn’t tried to dilute it so entirely by throwing it around for everything they don’t like. They attempt to strawman any new public policy that helps people as a whole, like healthcare, consumer protection policies, even minimum wage as Socialism. In doing tho, they attempt to take the most common public goods and extrapolate from them a full blown comparison to Mao’s China or Stalin’s Russia, with the proclamation that “Socialism killed hundreds of millions.”  Either they have to reject this faulty comparison, that public policy alone isn’t socialism, or that if it is socialism, then socialism isn’t even usually bad because fire departments, highways, and libraries usually aren’t responsible for “the death of millions.” 

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