The whole thing has always amused me. Your list is a fine one and I only have to wonder what you left off. I continue to quibble about "socialist" as that is a political takeover by gov of just about everything. The term is the thing. The Republicans are great at name calling and, this time around, "socialist" is the goat.

All that being said we continue to have, basically two sides to gov. One, the Left, believes in social undertakings (your list) and the Right actually believe that such things take people's freedoms away, ie. their right to do the "right thing". The very strange thing is that they actually believe that folks will do the right thing if just given a chance. Over the years I have had several friends that believed that. The interesting thing about that is that they have all been flat out rich. When I asked about them that were not rich there have been a number of responses which actually boil down to "they made the wrong decisions" usually followed by "but they demonstrate what they should have done for others that follow". I used to argue the points but I stopped that years ago. What I do find fascinating is they have a LOT more faith in their fellow human beings than I.

All that being said I also believe it all works (I keep repeating this) when the two sides are civilized to sit down with the other, find common ground and base their actions on that common ground. Somehow that seems to be old fashioned, what we have now is that neither side can sit down with the other without their own side turning on them like mad dogs. I think, more than the promises from either side, we need a set of rules that both can live with that stops the crap. The problem. of course, remains - not gonna happen.

I am a big fan of "because he/she can". When somebody asks me why somebody did something stupid, hurtful, bad, etc. that is my standard response. I remember when an Indian (feather) asked me why white people treat them so bad and that is how I responded. If folks really want to change behavior that both sides claim to dislike then the first thing they gotta fix is "because he/she can". Its really kinda interesting. Most of the time I give that response it tend to kill the conversation. Folks just stop and stare. When my wife asks why Jackass did, or said, something I continue with my standard response. This is not a solution but I continue to believe its a place to start?