First, it was Rich Lowry and now George Will, two of the right’s most-read political pundits, arguing that all the Democrats running for president are socialists. The political fear-mongering for the 2020 election has begun.

Labels are important for the non-thinking. They neatly categorize candidates into convenient little boxes that too often blur individual differences, ignoring important policy differences.

Conjuring up failed socialistic governments creates an easy bogeyman with which to scare those with knee-jerk reactions to anything less radically right than Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and our great prevaricator in chief.

The truth is that there are a plethora of “socialistic” traditions in America, some of them dating back to before the American Revolution. Puritans, not exactly the proletariat that Marx wrote about, established America’s first public schools.

Besides education, Americans have embraced first responders, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and our interstate highway system as “socialistic” enterprises that benefit all of us.

Despite these realities, Republicans will tell you the next big lie, that socialistic “entitlements” are the root cause of our deficit. As Social Security is paid into by every American, it is hardly an entitlement, but seemingly a convenient source of money, $2.8 trillion, to balance previous budgets.

We know we can count on the daily prevarications from the White House, so too can we be sure that Republicans will repeat their big lie about socialism and entitlements. It is the next battlefield in their relentless attack on America’s middle class.

Gordon LaFleur, Murray