“ Are you advocating for rebranding, or do you think we should eliminate labels altogether?”
I would like to see labels eliminated, but I don’t know if that is possible in our pre-packaged political system where branding is everything. This system has been so corrupted that anything originating from our federal government is now suspect and assumed evil by default. This is something that was earned by generations of political elites who made their fortunes scamming the rubes of middle America via their seats of power in the coastal population centers.
American conservatism has its roots in our geographical expansion period when multiple generations of an immigrating population were isolated from any centers of culture and higher education before the technology of the railroad connected them in the civil war and afterward. As the more educated and sophisticated America of the coasts began descending upon the vast middle territory for the first time the scouts for this secondary invasion were the less than scrupulous hucksters, medicine hawkers and bankers. As a result of their various cons and legal maneuverings the general population became very wary of anyone “smart” or even hinting at cultural sophistication. This distrust has survived intact and is manifested in our present political divisions that haven’t shifted much geographically in one hundred years.
Socialism, which actually empowers the very people who would be most likely to fanatically oppose it, will have to be sold one issue at a time, and each is likely to be labeled by conservatives as a slur. This is why our present day inroads into socialism have all been accomplished following economic depressions and deep recessions when the “rubes” no longer had anything to be protected from the wiles of the elites and welcomed any relief offered from “big gubmint”. I have said for some time that if the average American ever figures out how their monetary system and economy actually work, and what they could have had from the power of a sovereign currency that is the standard currency of trade for the world, the light poles in Washington would look like macabre wind chimes with all of the conservative politicians hanging from them.