I think you have to take into account a nation's overarching culture as well. Despite doomsayers, the USA would never take to an authoritarian dictatorship; it isn't in our national makeup. Socialism works very well in most European nations, where it is mixed with capitalism and overseen by a democratically elected government. Cuba and Venezuela are examples of strongman, El Jefe states, very authoritarian and without a long tradition of democracy. Pakistan is nothing like the USA as far as human rights and democracy, let alone a strong secular government.
The United States already has a mixture of socialism and capitalism, though much more strongly in the capitalist stance. Think of all the socialist-style institutions we have in this country--the Post Office, Medicare and Social Security, police, firefighting, and military services, public education. Even the NFL is has a strong dose of socialism in it's method of sharing the income among all 32 teams equally, regardless of the size of their individual markets. The result is that every team--and every fan base--is invested in the game and its future, and growing. Baseball, which is classic laissez faire capitalism, has haves and have-nots among its teams and cities, and it shows in which teams have succeeded over the years, and which teams have struggled just to have winning seasons.
As far as Bernie Sanders advocating nationalizing of private industry...that's more a communist tactic, not a socialist one. Besides, the extreme right-wing with fascism has done the very same thing, so both extreme ends have no problem doing so...but Senator Sanders isn't an extremist by any measurement...only to those who are already extreme themselves on the other side of the spectrum.
Still, I think the word socialism has been soiled by way of its detractors, much how liberal was denigrated in the 80s. To be honest, I don't know how modern conservatives would treat conservative presidents of the past if they ran for office today. What with Eisenhower and his 78%+ effective tax rate on the wealthy and warning of the military-industrial complex, Nixon's attempt to create a national health care plan, and Reagan's desire to ease immigration law, I think they would be run out of town on a rail.