The McCain campaign has taken to calling Barack Obama a socialist. This is neither as derogatory as McCain's handlers seem to think nor as baseless as Obama supporters would like U. S. voters to believe. Yes, Senator Obama is something of a socialist. So is Senator McCain.Birds of a statist feather (National Post, 25 October 2008)
In the 21st century it's difficult to run for office without being something of a socialist. There's a basic philosophical split between people who think of government as the problem and liberty as the solution, and those who think of liberty as the problem and government as the solution. People who think of government as the solution are statists, and one of their left-wing subspecies is called "socialist." Their right-wing subspecies include paleo-or social conservatives. In reality, they're birds of a feather. Their policies may be diametrically opposed; their mindsets are near-identical.
If you ask the Republican candidate, the Democratic candidate is a socialist. So is the Republican candidate, if you ask me. To be anything else, he would have to run on a platform of reducing government -- and not just a little, but a lot. He isn't. At best, he's running on a platform of throwing good government after bad government.
I would be more exercised than I already am over this, except that my irony meter blew the day I realized we're running around calling people socialists in a year the US and many of our biggest trading partners have just had to nationalize banks and insurance companies.