Further, while waving a sign condemning socialism, folks should look to see where they are standing. Make sure it's not on any socialistic (i.e., collectively-owned) government property like public parks, sidewalks or roads. Don't seek the help of socialistic organizations like police, courts, fire and emergency medicine, either. No public schools or higher education for your kids; no military to defend you. Rugged individualism sounds good, but most of us, to one extent or another have to get through this life by relying on each other, by collective action. So we vote to elect people to run the government and we pay taxes to fund government works. That is socialism no matter how we try to demonize the word.
In the United States we have a mix of capitalism and socialism. It leaves people free to own private businesses and property and to earn money, most of which they can spend as they choose. Government at all levels enables private enterprise and government protects our individual rights and liberties. It guides the economy and provides safety nets to keep our society thriving. And increased spending now has unfortunately become necessary to save us from a depression brought on by anything-goes, deregulated capitalism. The good news about the current mix of spending is that much of it is investment in the future and much of it will actually return to our collective coffers down the road. This spending creates jobs which tax cuts for the rich just won't accomplish.
It is our patriotic duty to vote and a patriotic duty to pay our fair share of the cost of operating government. How can someone stand on a street corner, wave an American flag, claim to be a patriot and a "supporter of our troops" then call for Texas to secede from the Union? The rest of us, down here in Texas say, "It just don't make no sense!"