Socialism doc ‘The Big Scary “S” Word’ an overly simplistic primer

The word “socialism” has long been a convenient bogeyman for politicians on the right.

I’ve always loved the irony of Republicans who appeal to their older voters by vowing to fight socialism while simultaneously promising they’ll protect Medicare and Social Security benefits. Tell me you don’t understand socialism without telling me you don’t understand socialism.

Conversely, young people in the United States have increasingly favorable views of socialism.

The documentary “The Big Scary ‘S’ Word” will probably not do much to close this generational gap. It serves as an often overly simplistic primer on socialist movements in the U.S., a bit of Socialism 101 that seems too geared toward preaching to the choir.

The movie’s title comes from an interview with Lee Carter, a then-member of the Virginia House of Delegates who was elected as a self-proclaimed democratic socialist. He shares a campaign flyer from his opponent that shows Carter’s face next to Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and other famous socialists and communists.