Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) sought to get a dig in on President Donald Trump after his State of the Union address by saying "the library and the post office is socialism."
Tlaib is one of several democratic socialists in the new class of Congress, and she accused Trump of not understanding what socialism is when he slammed the ideology Tuesday night. Trump said during the speech that "we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country" as Tlaib and the far-left flank of the Democratic Party are ascendant.
"I mean look, for me I think a lot of people don't understand it [socialism]," Tlaib told the Hill. "I mean the library and the post office is socialism — so many of the things that we have in our country that we all value is very much based on those values of equality."
Awkward phrasing aside, it's simplistic to refer to two government entities like the post office and the library as "socialism."
Socialism means different things to different people, but it's defined by Merriam-Webster as "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of good," per National Review. In another definition, the left-wing political system abolishes private property and places means of production in the ownership of the state in an attempt at equality.
Conservative writer Charles Cooke criticized a meme conflating government programs like the fire department, the FBI, and garbage collection as being "socialist," writing that "pretending that all government action is socialism and that we are thus haggling only over degrees, the meme’s makers hope to imply that there is a certain hypocrisy at play."
He called it a non sequitur, saying the founders of the country acknowledged government was necessary but certainly recognized its powers should be limited.
Tlaib has been a staunch opponent of Trump, memorably saying last month she wanted to "impeach the motherfucker."