I've been called by someone trying to defame me, a progressive socialist.
Let me start by saying that I'm proud to be a progressive because to not be is tantamount to being a reactionary. The progress of mankind is what separates us from monkeys. Why would one not be proud of progress?
However, all of the references to socialist that I see are from conservatives pretending that they are in the middle of the political spectrum.
America has had from the beginning socialist type solutions for many problems. It's one way of doing things and the best answer some of the time. I don't see any evidence that the degree to which we employ those solutions has changed much over the decades. In fact, I would say that if there has been any change it's been to move a tad away from, not towards, government owned means of production.
Socialism, to me, only implies that the means of production are owned by all of the citizens of a country rather than, for instance, a corporation, which is owned by some citizens. Realize that "means of production" is in it's broadest sense. The ability to produce a good or service.
Let me give you an example. I live in a condo. The properties here are owned by two entities. The owners individually own the inside of their particular unit and the owners collectively own the grounds and the pools and the building exteriors. I believe that on a small local scale that is socialism. But, it works fine for us. It's what we want. We pay dues individually to the owners association, we have a board to represent our individual interests in collective decisions on maintaining our commonly owned property and we are, the vast majority of the time, happy with the arrangements. Every once in a while someone doesn't get their individual preference in a collective decision, but we are adults here and realize that living is society results in that for everybody some of the time.
Another example is the VA. We collectively promised those who have served in our military (another means of production (of our security) owned by all of us) medical benefits for life. There are any number of ways we could satisfy that obligation. We could send them all a check every month to pay for health care insurance. We could provide the insurance as is done at least partially with Medicare. But we instead have chosen to "own the means of production" collectively. The argument being that is the least expensive way to meet our obligation under the circumstances.
I think that some have been programmed somehow to react to the word "socialism" or "socialist" in a profoundly critical way.
What they don't realize is that the progress of civilization has been one of learning to work together. Joint ownership (corporations) and joint effort (any human enterprise involving more than an individual working collaboratively towards joint goals). The enterprises that take this as far as it can be, extend the concept of joint ownership and effort to nation wide proportions.
And sometimes, that is the best way to accomplish joint goals.