Visit almost any European country and you will see that socialist, and in some case communist, parties are part of the mainstream political system. Socialist parties have formed governments, introduced legislation to establish the welfare state, comprising national health services, generous maternity and unemployment benefits, rights for labor unions and so on. These policies have created problems as well as given rise to benefits, but the best welfare states give their citizens as high a standard of living as in the United States (I have lived in both places and can make the comparison). What's more, most salaried people in Europe enjoy at least a month of paid annual vacation and work fewer hours than their American counterparts (I worked 32.5 hours a week as a magazine journalist in London. Unless you're a doctor or a high-flyer in business, you probably don't work more than 40 hrs a week in Europe). On the other hand, American homes are generally bigger than in Europe, as are the cars and the gas is cheaper. Broadly speaking, as an employee in Europe you have far more rights than in America. And as an employer, you probably have fewer rights: you can't just fire people at will. But my question is this, why in America is any political position left of Democrat hated, mistrusted and downright unpopular?