And No One Knows What It Means
Socialism has been considered a dirty word in mainstream U.S. politics, by both Republicans and Democrats, since the inception of this theoretical system of government. It is based on an ideology and economic system that is antithetical to the U.S. system of government or Americanism. After the Socialist state in Russia collapsed and the Cold War ended few people considered Socialism a credible topic for discussion in current politics. The "threat" of Socialism was considered to have passed. The average person only talked about Socialism in school or in whispers. There were a few who openly voiced concerns that there was an active effort to surreptitiously implement Socialism and a few who were working to surreptitiously implement Socialism. However, both groups were considered irrational conspiratorial fringe elements and were essentially sidelined from mainstream politics. That is, until now.
Due to extreme dissatisfaction with the actions of elected representatives in both parties, significant changes implemented by the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government, as well as open statements being made during the 2016 presidential election, Socialism is now the main topic of discussion. The anger and dissatisfaction of the American people with its government has increased political pressure to the point where the effectiveness of recent elected representatives in both parties has been seriously questioned. Not only are Americans considering whether or not they need to replace their current representatives but they are considering whether they need to replace their entire system of government. What is deeply concerning about this is that so few people seem to know what Socialism is or even understand that it an entirely different economic theory and system of government. In essence, this upcoming presidential election may not be a question of choosing between a Republican or a Democrat but choosing between Americanism or Socialism.
The Democratic Party has often been compared with Socialism but a traditional Democrat is significantly different than a Socialist. That is not to say that some Socialists have entered U.S. politics through the Democratic Party (see Progressivism), because some have, but it is not accurate to say that a traditional Democrat is essentially a Socialist.
The fundamental difference between different systems of government and different political parties is how much control the government should have, over what, and at what level. It is all a matter of degree.
Americanism is a system of government based on a market economy (limited capitalism) and designed to ensure that the citizens retain sovereign power. The United States is a Republic with a strict Constitution where the citizens give government severely limited governing authority. Americanism is designed to codify inalienable individual rights, freedoms, and protections to prevent a dominating government.
Democrats and Republicans
Of the limited governing authority allowed under the U.S. Constitution, Democrats wants more government than Republicans do and they prefer a stronger federal government. Of the limited governing authority allowed under the U.S. Constitution, Republicans want less government than Democrats do and they prefer stronger state governments. All other issues fluctuate over time.
Socialism is a theoretical system of government based on a command or planned economy and is designed to ensure that a dominant central government retains sovereign power. Socialism intends to control both society and the economy (potentially worldwide) in order to establish and maintain total urbanized social and economic uniformity and communal living. Socialism is intended to be implemented incrementally and through, potentially violent, revolutionary action.
Americanism is about individualism and freedom of thought and action and Socialism is about uniformity of thought and action. As the levels of government control required under a Socialist state would be illegal under the U.S. Constitution, Socialism could not be implemented legally in the United States without abolishing the Constitution.
There are two ways to implement Socialism in the United States 1) abolish the U.S. Constitution 2) ignore the U.S. Constitution.