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'Socialist' Charge Draws On Old Fears

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'Socialist' Charge Draws On Old Fears

Politics

'Socialist' Charge Draws On Old Fears

'Socialist' Charge Draws On Old Fears

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/96263173/96263171" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The McCain campaign's charge that Barack Obama has socialist leanings has put the spotlight on a word relatively uncommon to modern American elections. Linguist Geoff Nunberg explains how the "S" word was used in the past — and why it's come up now.

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