The Nazis had far, far more in common with our Democratic Party than it did with right-wing faction of the GOP.
Who reveres the traditional institutions of America more--the GOP or the left? Whichever does is closer to the Nazi party, however marginally. Who desires to change the traditional institutions of America in the name of combatting racism and promoting pluralism, creating a classless society? Whoever does is closer to the socialists.
But tribune7 wasn't comparing the Democrats to the GOP, he was comparing the Democrats to the right-wing faction of the GOP. If you define the right-wing faction as the individualist, Constitutionalist, cultural traditionalist faction of the GOP, then his point stands, or at least cannot be dismissed without some further arguments.
Consider this example...
Person A is a collectivist and a cultural traditionalist
Person B is a collectivist and a cultural progressive
Person C is an individualist and a cultural traditionalist
Now, who is more similar?
Over at DU and in the political science departments of most universities, they'll say person A and C are more similar because A and C have cultural traditionalism in common.
But lots of Freepers and guys like Peikoff and Hayek would say person A and B are most similar because A and B have collectivism in common.
It all boils down to which variable you choose to look at. To me, this is the key to grokking this subject and the reason why it's easy for people to talk past each other when they're arguing about it.
I think the collectivist variable is the more important, and the one that should be used to determine "similarity", since it tends to determine the status of the other variable in the society at large. If cultural traditionalist collectivists have control, the society will be collectivist and will tend to be preserve cultural traditions. If progressive collectivists have control, the society will be collectivist and tend towards classlessness and egalitarianism and all that. Both types of collectivists will use the power of the government to shape the society according to their idealology.
However, if individualists have control (that almost sounds like an contradiction), the choice of cultural traditionalism or progressivism will not be decided through government coercion but through persuasion, and people (or counties, or states, or whatever entity the decision is devolved down to) can decide for themselves how they'll redistribute their wealth and how they'll relate to people of other races and so forth.
In this case, the one variable does not guarantee the status of the other for the society at large. Nobody's arm will be twisted so that some societal goal is met. That is what sets the individualist right-wingers worlds apart from the Democrats and Nazis, who have collectivism, with its attendant arm twisting, in common (though obviously to differing degrees).
Exactly right. Rick Santorum, Dick Armey, Tom Delay and Ron Paul would be among the first inmates of the Concentration Camps, if they weren't killed outright. Or the Gulags, for that matter..