I see a great deal of confusion of terms, and in particular the use of 'left', 'liberal' and 'socialist' as interchangeable terms to describe political ideologies, or some presumed single 'ideology' (mostly from people on the 'right', but also from some on the 'left'). There may well be reasons why this confusion has arise in the USA in particular, with its 2-party system, and the way in which political terms are thrown around (sometimes in order simply to scare people) - in the UK there is somewhat less confusion, because we have separate parties which are nominally 'liberal' and 'socialist' (although I'm not claiming that there is no confusion at all among some). There seems to be a wide assumption that all of the political ideologies that aren't 'right wing' are the same, but this is not the case. To set the record straight, 'liberalism' and 'socialism' are entirely different political ideologies, based on different principles, and which manifest themselves differently in policy. In essence: Liberalism: Socialism: These are entirely different things, and different ideologies. Although there is a range of opinions within each of them, those basic principles remain different, and create different policies and priorities. There can sometimes appear to be elements within different versions of the two ideologies which are common to both (in particular between sub-groups like 'Social Liberalism' and 'Democratic Socialism', which share some common elements, but are far from being the same thing in practise because they are based on entirely different core beliefs, which create entirely different sets of priorities, and entirely different ways of doing things in practise), but there are also common elements between versions of 'liberalism' and 'libertarianism', and versions of 'socialism' and 'communism' - that doesn't make those ideologies exactly the same, but they are probably more closely related than 'socialsim' and 'liberalism' in their basic core beliefs. There may also people who have, an individuals or groups, some kind of mixed ideology, containing elements different particular ideologies (as there can be people with any kind of mix of political ideologies, consistent and coherent or otherwise!), but again that does not make the essential ideological basics of different ideologies become the same. This confusion is causing accusations from some that people who hold one ideology necessarily hold another, or people who are 'liberals' must also be 'socialists'. That is not true, and I think people should realise this - to fail to recognise this will being an inevitable failure to understand what people actually stand for and believe in, and assumptions that people who claim to stand for one ideology actually believe in a completely different one. Both 'liberalism' and 'socialism' are considered 'to the left' of 'right wing' ideologies - that is clear, but that does not make 'liberalism' and 'socialsim' the same ideology at all. The assumption that everyone who is 'non-right-wing' in their political opinions shares the same basic political ideology with everyone else who is 'non-right-wing' is untrue. There is more than one ideology that isn't 'right wing'!