Updated at 1:40 p.m. with additional comments from Gov. Mike Parson SPRINGFIELD — The word “socialism” kept coming up at Missouri’s largest annual gathering of Republicans, called Lincoln Days, ahead of the 2020 election. GOP speakers repeatedly warned the crowd of party activists and elected officials gathered in a Springfield convention center Friday and Saturday that Democrats were threatening American democracy as their party grows more comfortable with socialism. Republican statewide elected officials pointed toward one of the frontrunners in the Democratic presidential nominating process, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, as a sign that Democrats have gotten away from American values. Sanders has for decades identified as a democratic socialist.