Horton writes: On the subject of the GOP and another political party. I was intrigued by this story [link]
A North Carolina Republican candidate resigns from the party, issuing a statement calling the Bush administration “Nazis.” The candidate's statement makes reference to Karl Rove's comments and validates the statement of Sen. Durbin, for which he was recently pressured to apologize in the well of the Senate.
So is it fair to call the Republicans “Nazis?” Certainly the use of this term in American political dialogue is already a very debased coinage—reflecting a poor understanding generally of who the National Socialists were and what they were up to. It's not a fair label to apply to the GOP generally.
But what serious scholar of Germany in the first half of the last century could deny the astonishing parallels between the conduct of the National Socialist party and that of the Bush regime? They are profound and very troubling. The manipulation of a primitive religiosity; the messianic style of the leadership; the invocation of a terrorist threat to deconstruct civil liberties; the creation of detention camps beyond the reach of the courts and the law; the systematic degradation of the judicial system; the subordination of the legislature and judiciary to the executive; the waging of a war of aggression. These are some examples. There are many others.
Should it be unacceptable to use the label “Nazi” in American political dialogue? I think not. But it is important to reflect that one knows what the label means. Too many wield this term without reflection or knowledge.