I'm sure that some members of my family have experienced this dozens of times and it's no big deal, but it was technically a first for me -- somebody at a public meeting (which was being recorded for rebroadcast on the local TV channel) said the reason I disagreed with him was because I am a 'socialist.'
While there were a number of points on which we disagreed, and even more on which I'm sure we would disagree if we only had more time to explore the full scope of our disagreement, the particular topic was affordable housing development policy. Note that this is a "citizens' advisory committee" established to provide input to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors regarding our county's General Plan update. As far as I can tell based on appearances, everyone on the committee is indeed a citizen and his or her ancestors may even have arrived on the Mayflower, unless some undocumented Canadians snuck in to mooch off the free pizza that the county provides at the meetings. That's actually why I joined the committee, which only proves I'm a socialist because I support this government pizza entitlement.
Apart from, or rather concurrently with, my socialism and the pizza, I'm really there because of my job, and the lack of any low income / non-white citizens on the citizens' advisory committee. I don't think that's any fault of the county; I think it might have more to do with not having any childcare, or not having a car, or at least not one that runs, or not speaking English very well, or being too ill and confused, or just not thinking anyone will listen to you because historically nobody has. Or maybe being too tired.
It's part of my job to advocate for policies that will result in production of affordable housing. One such policy is 'inclusionary housing.' I'm tired of giving my speech about it so I won't right now; suffice to say that some people think it's part of a communist plot to make the system of personal merit and responsibility irrelevant to ones opportunity for decent shelter. The man who called me out on my socialism had posed the very interesting and provocative question, "Is everyone entitled to a house?"
I tried to answer using my secret ninja moves from the government. I said, "Everyone is entitled to have the opportunity for housing and it's up to the individual to decide what he or she will do with the opportunity." Straight out of the Little Red Book. He went on to say how he worked all his life, etc. etc., it's the American dream, etc., arbeit macht frei, etc. etc., everyone starts out in life with the same opportunity...Oops. Maybe I totally misunderstood him, and he meant every white male business owner starts out in life with the same opportunity...but I interjected there, and said "That's where we disagree" and then he said "That's because you're a socialist."
So there you have it. I can hardly wait to go to work tomorrow and tell everyone.
He didn't really speak German. I made that part up. But if I'm a socialist that would make him a fascist. And here we are both on the same committee, eating pizza. It's a great country.