“Second, I’d say the socialist tag is important strategically.”
Well, certainly the Republican Party will consider the socialist label to be important strategically: it will garner millions of votes for them. That word is not quite as bad as “Nazi” in the public imagination, but it’s in the same ball park. What do you think the chances are of candidates who call themselves Nazis?
What’s striking to me is that this is not obvious to you. Without being too nosy, I’m curious as to your background, experience, social group — that kind of thing. I don’t mean this in any sort of demeaning manner. It’s more of a linguistic thing, like the lady I once met who insisted that ‘yard’ meant ‘concrete driveway’. She wasn’t wrong, but I would sure like to know how she came to learn that meaning.