However, the term "Socialist" is something that dozens of members of Congress actually claim as a self-description.
The Democratic Socialists of America is a modern Socialist organization in the U.S. It isn't a party, but rather a kind of Trojan Horse to use the Democrat Party as a means to elect Socialist candidates into office. Although it sounds like a pipe dream, it's actually been quite successful.
Here is a DSA newsletter from October of last year. It lists the names of seventy members of the current (111th) U.S. Congress who are (dare I say it?) "card-carrying members" of the DSA - including eleven members of the Judiciary Committee. This means there are 70 seated congressmen who openly and publicly consider themselves Socialists.
And the mainstream media is utterly silent about it!
I believe there are actually far more than this. I believe there are a good number of congressional members of both parties who are philosophically Socialists of one stripe or another: advocates of big government, be it the welfare state, the warfare state, or both. But these seventy seated members all shamelessly call themselves "Socialist." To run either a cradle-to-grave system of social security or a massive worldwide empire requires huge transfers of wealth from the people in the form of confiscatory taxation. And to ensure compliance, such a system requires an authoritarian state. These were lessons learned the hard way in recent times by the Soviet Union. The U.S. currently has more people incarcerated than any other nation - most for non-violent and/or victimless crimes. We are burdened with more and more laws and regulations with each passing day - so many so that congressmen have long abandoned the practice of actually reading the voluminous bills they pass with lightning rapidity. The United States has also given up on the idea of ever living within our collective means. We all know what is coming down the pike.
But ultimately, the welfare-warfare state is about control. It is driven by what St. Augustine called libido dominandi - the lust for domination.
What makes Socialism bad is not merely that it doesn't work, but the fact that it is immoral. It's theft. It is a system that turns ordinary people into criminals and turns the normal and natural human activity of free trade and commerce into a "black market." It criminalizes the very thing that impels human progress. It turns the state into a tyrannical master instead of a godly servant. Worldwide, this philosophy, when given the reins of power in elected governments, has brought us concentration camps at the worst and bankrupted economies and broken dreams and poverty at the very least. Even in relatively benevolent Socialist regimes, such as Sweden and Canada, religious freedom of speech is targeted and ominous tribunals investigate innocent citizens to make sure they aren't having "wrong" thoughts. It is impossible to exert control over people (the way Socialism must) without a system of compulsion - however well it is hidden or however friendly it looks according to the propaganda.
It is the living consequence of the cautionary tale of killing the goose that lays the golden egg.
While railing against greed, this is exactly what Socialism is. It is the desire for a good or service while compelling, by force if necessary, someone else to pay for it. It is stealth slavery, a circumvention of the 13th Amendment. It crushes the human spirit.
And your Congress has at least 70 members openly committed to this philosophy.