The author of "Real definition of socialist ignored or distorted" (Letters, Sept. 22) declared that the Tea Partyers who insist on calling the president a socialist are either "pitifully ignorant or deliberately trying to frighten or mislead the rest of us."
Perhaps the letter writer doesn't understand that with our progressive tax system, we've had a socialist government for decades.
The question posed by the Tea Party is: How socialist are we willing to allow our government to be? Anyone who understands the definition of socialism would know this.
In the last few years, we've seen the accelerated government interference/takeover with the auto, health care, banking and energy industries, accompanied by failed stimulus and failed jobs programs. President Barack Obama says we must tax the rich to redistribute the wealth and promote a fair and classless society through taxation and regulation.
We must continue to spend because of the dependence on government. And citizens must defer to government, which now controls so many aspects of their lives because you didn't build that, we (the collective) government did.
We have all heard the old saying that giving a man a fish feeds him only for a day, while teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime. Redistributionists give him a fish to leave him dependent on government for more fish in the future.
These memes are all principles of socialism, Marxism and communism. It's just a matter to what degree the government controls/interferes with commerce and individual freedoms.