Perception is everything. If we provide an actual description for these terms, the ratings would change dramatically.
- Socialism. Our military is the largest socialized program in the U.S. If you asked right-wingers if they support the military in its current form, you’d see about 100% approval. The negative view would come from many on the left and even some libertarians. But many on the right have become convinced that any government intrusion into the free market is socialism and therefore is bad.
- Libertarian. After it was obvious that Bush’s policies were disastrous, many people decided to call themselves libertarians instead of Republicans. There really is very little difference between the two in most cases. The extreme libertarians are the militia groups and various weird cults who don’t want the government telling them that they can’t be weird.
- Capitalism. The term “capitalism” can be interpreted in various ways. Right-wingers who claim to be capitalists are referring to free-market capitalism. When some on the left voice opposition to capitalism, they’re also referring to free-market capitalism. Well regulated capitalism tends to work pretty well, but we’ve gotten away from smart regulation because of the vocal anti-government segment of the population who function under the facade of patriotism.
- Conservative. “Conservative” in the political sense is a radical ideology: aggressive foreign policies, economic policies based on theories proven to be erroneous, and embracing religion over science. If they used the political meaning of conservatism in this poll, only the die-hard right-wingers would admit to embracing such an ideology.
What’s missing from the equation is corporatism (or fascism), which is what you get with the Republican party. We were on the path to fascism with the Bush administration in 2006 when enough people woke up and voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in the congressional elections. But people have short memories, and with the flood of right-wing propaganda and the birth of the corporate sponsored Tea Party movement, Republicans were able to regain control of the House in 2010.
If you were to ask right-wingers how they felt about the tax cut legislation passed during the past dozen years, the vast majority would say they approved, yet those same people are apposed to the Stimulus bill, which was 1/3 tax cuts. Right-wing propaganda defined the Stimulus to be a massive spending bill with no reference to the tax cuts. Propaganda is the primary tool used to promote fascism, and the overly emotional, scared, hate-filled, religious population is easily manipulated into voting against their best interests.