My grandfather was one. My mother's first political memory was being taken door-to-door as her father canvassed for Norman Thomas in 1928. He was also a pacifist until September 1, 1939, when he sat and listened to the radio reports of the Nazi attack on Poland. He encouraged his sons to enter the military; all but one did so (Tom had asthma and other, um, issues). My mother's oldest brother entered the Navy after Pearl Harbor and disappeared until the day after V-E Day (he called my grandmother from Switzerland); my Uncle David was a United States Marine who served in China after the war, then served in Korea during that war.
Both of them are still, even their 80's, farther to the left of the American political "mainstream" than Barack Obama.
I was raised in a household friendly to unions, raised to see beyond things like race and religion and ethnicity to see human beings worthy of love (this despite whatever prejudices my parents may have had).
If you want to know what a real socialist is, you can click here. I thought about joining up a few years back, but they are declared Marxists, and I refuse to hew any party line, especially one as discredited by actual events as Marxism. Yet, anyone who knows anything about real socialism knows that Barack Obama is no socialist. I have relatives who were and/or are socialists; I have flirted with it during most of my adult life, and can tell you with all sorts of certainty that were Obama a real socialist, I would be on cloud nine as he moves a day closer to a landslide victory next Tuesday.
By the way, what's wrong with Sweden-style socialism, anyway? Every office and work space has access to natural light, cradle-to-grace real safety-nets, paid family-leave for up to a year without the threat of losing one's job status, fully-funded education from pre-school through higher-ed - it all sounds good to me. If it weren't so darn cold, I might consider trying it out.