Maybe ‘socialism’ won’t be misused as much

Given that “socialism” and “capitalism” were Merriam-Webster’s most looked-up words of 2012, here’s hoping that fewer people will misuse the words – particularly “socialism” – in political debates during the coming year. As the dictionary defines it, socialism involves “governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods” or “a system of society or group living in which there is no private property.” Though the bailout of General Motors made many people uncomfortable, the policies of President Obama don’t fit this definition. Yet the misuse continues, as Sarah Palin said Monday on Fox News that Obama is a socialist and that we may be headed toward communism.