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Throughout much of the last four years, Fox News, and the broader conservative media noise machine, invested incalculable hours yammering about the alleged socialist leanings of President Obama and Democrats in general. It became an obsession that infected even previously sedate Republican politicians as they rushed to placate radical elements of their party who are convinced that Obama is a Manchurian president sent by foreign enemies to hand America over to communist tyrants. And now that the election is over, Fox persists in tagging the President with a label they believe has derogatory implications.

In pursuit of that goal, the Fox Nation web site posted an item titled "POLL: Obama Voters Love Socialism."

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The first problem with this characterization is that it is patently untrue. Obama has presided over an administration that has been nothing but positive from the perspective of hardcore capitalists. The stock market doubled in his first term. He has appointed numerous Wall Street refugees to his cabinet and staff. Trade has increased. Corporate taxes are near an all time low. If Obama is a socialist, he is very bad at it.

But more importantly, Americans who were bombarded with the campaign cacophony of Obama's leftist conspiracy were undeterred and voted for him anyway. That could imply that the American people endorsed the socialism that they were told Obama represents. And that wouldn't be far from the truth. The United States has abundant policies and institutions that are rooted in socialist philosophy. They are some of the most beloved and trusted institutions our government provides, including Social Security, Medicare, the Veteran's Administration, and virtually every public works and infrastructure project managed by both federal and local agencies.

The poll referenced above on Fox Nation was conducted by Gallup. As usual, the Fox Nationalists did not link to the actual poll, but to a partisan analysis of it. They certainly wouldn't want to expose their audience to any real data. The survey found that Americans are quite fond of small business, free enterprise, and entrepreneurs, in almost equal numbers among Democrats and Republicans and across the ideological spectrum. The divergence came with respect to capitalism, big business, and the federal government. These results should not surprise anyone, knowing that the GOP is proud of their favoritism toward the wealthy and giant, multinational corporatism. And why wouldn't Democrats feel favorably toward a federal government presided over by a Democrat?

What may come as a surprise to some is that approximately four-in-ten Americans view socialism positively. That number includes about a quarter of both Republicans and conservatives. That's an indication that the American people have a fairly enlightened view of the political and economic realities in this country. Although a small majority still have a kneejerk ignorance that shapes their views. The President would do well to adjust his agenda to more accurately reflect the will of the people.

The funny thing about Fox's presentation of the data in the Gallup poll is that, according to the Pew Reserach Center, only "about one-in-five Americans (21%) say they regularly watch Fox News." That means that the number of Americans who view socialism positively (39%) is nearly double the number who view Fox (21%). That's an important fact to keep in mind the next time Fox tries to present itself as the voice of the people. It is decidedly not representative of the views of most Americans. And it's evidence that the American people are smarter than Fox gives them credit for.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So... (8+ / 0-)

    ..why isn't there a Socialist-leaning TV networK?

    If the number of Americans who view socialism positively (39%) is nearly double the number who view Fox (21%), then the math should dictate a Socialist-leaning TV networK would have 18% more of a viewership than right-leaning Fox.


    "You just gotta keep on livin man! L-I-V-I-N!" - Wooderson

    by wyvern on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 12:51:13 PM PST

    •  That assumes socialist want to watch TV rather (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      News Corpse, surfbird007, murasaki

      than, say, socialize. ;D

      Of course the reverse might be true, FOX addicts might want to watch FOX more than anything else.

      To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

      by ontheleftcoast on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 12:56:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      exterris, News Corpse, TiaRachel

      I don't think that positive opinions would translate directly into viewership, for one. I view motherhood positively, but I doubt I would watch a motherhood network.

      There's also the fact that the media is owned by large corporations, which tend to view Socialism in a bad light. Although, this being America, if somebody could show that profits were to be gained, somebody else would back a Socialist-leaning network. Which thought makes my brain hurt.

      The best thing would be for a grassroots startup - emphasizing Socialist ideals by utilizing the broad base of workers.

    •  We're really lousy consumers, (5+ / 0-)

      we always want to give our kids what they need, not what they want...

      Basically we're the worst investment of advertising dollars ever. No ads, no revenues- No revenues, No Socialist TV.

      That's why there's a Fox- those folks will buy ANYTHING, and they insist on paying full price because, ya know, freeedom...

      •  I like how your user name (0+ / 0-)

        just kind of was a great conclusion to your comment.

        Not sure if it's elitist to notice that kind of confluence, though.

        Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

        by murasaki on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:54:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  who is going to set up (0+ / 0-)

      A network that believes in paying all it's workers fair wages, and isn't interested in profit above what is required to keep it running? I doubt you'll find many corporations that will fund a network espousing anti-corporate views, that promises them no giant profits.

      •  There is nothing incompatible... (3+ / 0-)

        ...with socialism and corporations. Businesses can generate profits in socialist economies. It's the government that serves to aggregate public funds to use for the benefit of all citizens.

        So a corporate-run news network could exist in a socialist country. That said, I'm not optimistic that this will happen any time soon in the U.S.

        Please check out my new eBook Fox Nation vs. Reality
        The Fox News Community's Assault On Truth

        by News Corpse on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:44:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But I'm not talking about (0+ / 0-)

          Running a corporate network in a socialist country. I'm talking about running a socialist oriented network in a very capitalist country. The point being that a network dedicated to propagating socialist views, is going to find it very hard to find investors.

  •  But... what IS Socialism anymore? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    News Corpse, Calamity Jean

    If you're FOR President Obama's ideas, which are anything BUT Socialist (more reminiscent of the Republican platforms of the 1990s), but which are only CALLED Socialist by the propagandists of FAUX.... somehow people like me who used to have center-right viewpoints, have now become Marxist/Leninist/Socialists without hardly changing at all.


    And people allow them.

    "And the Tea Party shall be maimed forever, becoming a mere spirit of malice that gnaws itself in the shadows, but can never grow or take shape again. And so a great evil of this world will be removed." - Gandalf

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:11:38 PM PST

  •  BTW, speaking of Gallup (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    here's what I saw in our local university news today.

    Wonder what George thinks of the current state of polling?

    Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

    by murasaki on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:57:08 PM PST

  •  News Corpse, happy to see you back in the game. n/ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    News Corpse
  •  Maybe though, that 23% of Rs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotdash2u, blueoasis

    have had it drilled into their heads so often that Obama is a socialist, just maybe they think he truly represents socialism, and thus it isn't as bad as they once thought, because he's shown he isn't going to take all their stuff away and make them share it with the poor which is the interpretation of socialism that I hear bandied about the most IRL.

    I think that's actually more likely but I'm still going to be happy about it because if we can drag these people unknowingly along until they see that they really do like it, it's going to be just as good in the end.

    •  Instinct-driven people need to be told what to do (0+ / 0-)

      because their instincts often lead them wrong.

      If you're a person who needs to be told what to do and prefers to rely on experts for direction, then there are only two options. You either follow the direction or object and do nothing. It is probably unfair to demand of such people that they tell you what they want. They do not know what they want; only what they don't want. Moreover, when they object, that objection is not based on any factual basis. The purpose of the objection is to test the determination of the person giving direction. If, in response to the objection, the director wavers, then there is a good chance that the enterprise is too risky and best not undertaken.

      What happened with Dubya is that he had the form of the decider down pat, but none of the facts. Dubya, like McCain, is an instinct-driven person--good at taking direction, but not capable of deciding anything on the basis of fact. It was when the Iraqis figured that out and determined that they wanted the U.S. out that they got what they wanted and the SOFA was agreed to.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:13:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hardly anybody watches FOX. (0+ / 0-)

    FOX TV is radio with pictures. The pictures just tell you the thing is on, a necessity when the sound is turned down or indecipherable in a work environment. Also, FOX TV serves as a handy clock and, should there be an emergency, a news flash will alert the otherwise unaware.
    People don't necessarily get what's on offer. Just as magazines in the outhouse did double duty, so does FOX TV. Ditto for soap operas. People listen while they work, but that doesn't mean they're buying what's being sold.

    Why do the socialist states of the South vote for Republicans? Because they are socialists. Why do the socialist states of the South collect the bulk of the money from the Feds? Because they are socialists. Yes, they keep shouting that they are not. But that's because they confuse socialist with nationalist and they definitely don't want the national government to tell them what to do. Just send us the money and leave us alone to spend it as we want.

    Romney was going to Washington because that's where the money is. But then the socialists figured out that he was probably just looking to get more for himself and his pals on Wall Street and we've all had enough of that.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 02:58:59 AM PST

  •  Fearing Socialism (0+ / 0-) to abandon one's left leg in favor of your right.  We are both a capitalist and a socialist state.

    Paraphrasing Dee Hock on the balance of cooperation and competition within an organization, one without the other is equally destructive.

    West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

    by Nicolas Fouquet on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 09:31:23 AM PST

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