How to decode the US political terminology

Every time I have to argue politics with people coming from the US I have to internally cringe at the way most political concepts and movements have been distorted and twisted by their fear of Communism. It only becomes worse when people will ask me “but isn’t libertarian socialism an oxymoron?” or automatically conflate Anarchists with simple anti-statists. I end up having to mentally decode what an US American would say and what they really mean in the political language of everyone else. It’s as if their whole political spectrum has taken as a whole a turn to the right, to avoid mentioning (Oh Horror of horrors) “Socialism”.

And since I notice that there’s others encountering the same issues. I decided to make a handy table to make it easy for non-Americans to understand what the US are talking about.

Name of political theory or newspeak as used in the USA.

What everyone else calls it.

Liberal. Social Democrat.
Conservative. Imperialist.
Libertarian. Liberal.
Fiscal Conservative. Corporate Cronyist.
Anarchism. Anti-Statism.
Socialism when used by Liberals (see above). Social Democracy.
Socialism when used by Conservatives (see above). Totalitarian Dictatorship.
Democracy. US American proxy government.
Free Market. Mixed economy with hefty tax cuts and subsidies for the rich.
Fascism. Mixed economy with benefits for the poor.
Terrorist. Anyone who opposes US policy.
Nazi Communist Hippie Liberal Obama
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