Trend Watch

Socialism

When:

Lookups spiked on November 6, 2012.

Why:

President Obama's opponents have used the word to critique his policies – as in "European-style socialism," a phrase from Mitt Romney's stump speech — and lookups peaked after Tuesday's vote.

Socialism is defined as "a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies."

A hot button word in American politics, socialism has often been used by critics of social welfare programs – for example when Ronald Reagan used it to describe Medicare in the 1960s.

Photo: apalapala / flickr

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