I still can't understand how people can support socialism by voting for socialist candidates? Do they not realize that socialism = communism?
Yes, the two are equal. The form of government is different, but the ideals are one in the same. When you look at the two it appears that they differ on the evolutionary scale, that is, Socialism is the precursor to Communism / Totalitarianism. Socialism is used to destroy the public sense of individuality and liberty as well as their self-worth and self-sufficiency. Socialism professes that "society" is sacrosanct and thus we should all toil for it's benefit. We must all "sacrifice" for the good of society. Such a view then requires that we must all toil in misery as we bring all men down to the lowest common denominator in a vain attempt at "equality." Of course what the socialist ideal does is enslave the people to their government by increasing their reliance on government and law. Add a strong leader with a lust for power and a push towards patriotism / national pride and you've got the beginnings of a Communist State.