Richard Viguerie, who’s seen it firsthand for decades, tells you all about it:
In 1964, when Republicans gathered in San Francisco to nominate conservative Barry Goldwater for president, CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr suggested on the air that Goldwater’s upcoming trip to a U.S. military installation in Germany was part of an effort to hook up with likeminded Nazi sympathizers.
George Meany, head of the AFL-CIO, said he saw “a parallel between Senator Barry Goldwater and Adolph Hitler.“ Drew Pearson, the leading investigative columnist of the day, noted that “The smell of fascism has been in the air at this convention,” and California Governor Pat Brown detected the “stench of fascism” in the air, adding: “All we needed to hear was ‘Heil Hitler.'”
And the “conservatives-are-Nazis” attacks didn’t stop when Reagan won the White House. In 1984, a group of leading scientists declared that they detected “the scent of fascism” in President Reagan’s re-election campaign. In 2003, four scientists published a paper in an American Psychological Association journal likening Reagan’s ideology to Hitler’s (and the ideology of Stalin and Castro, whom they classified as “conservatives”).