One thing that caught my eye, in particular, has been the wailing that Americans have turned socialist. (Conservatives haven’t failed America — America has failed conservatives!) Thus John Hinderaker of Bush is a genius fame declares,

To me, the most telling incident of the campaign season was a poll that found that among young Americans, socialism enjoys a higher favorability rating than free enterprise. How can this possibly be, given the catastrophic failure of socialism, and the corresponding success of free enterprise, throughout history? The answer is that conservatives have entirely lost control over the culture.

Oddly, he doesn’t even seem to consider the more obvious possibility: after decades in which right-wingers have attacked long-established institutions — Social Security, progressive taxation, unemployment insurance — as “socialism”, a lot of young people now believe them, and think that this “socialism” thing really isn’t so bad.

Socialism now means: The bare bones, the basic components for any society to function.