Abdul Alhazred wrote:Dictatorship will come to the United States by democratic (sort of) election like we have now.
A majority of the people want it.
Liberty is lost incrementally, and once lost, each liberty is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get back from government absent revolution. A liberty here, a liberty there, and before you know it, there's not much liberty left in a "free" country. The tragic thing is exactly what you identify. The people are willingly and happily ceding their liberties to government. Our latest prominent example is Boston's reaction to the bombings. Everyone cocooned at the urging of the government (state and local, but still government) and many persons were subject to home invasions by para-military SWAT teams and forced at gunpoint out of their homes.
People love to give up privacy and liberty for the illusion of security and protection by government. Yet, it was a private citizen that found "Bomber No. 2," not the thousands of police looking for him. No one is safer for that kind of police state presence.
The secret intelligence community (public sector, including thousands of government contractors) has grown at an alarming rate since 9/11, and hardly anyone knows anything about it. Worse, even when they learn of it, hardly anyone seems to be concerned about it. The effect of this enormous surveillance state, most of it in secret, is that the government and its contractors and their electronics are effectively spying on everyone, all the time. I suspect we are heading in the direction of eventually resembling the police state the Stasi helmed in the streets and in the lives of everyone in East Germany.
I'm not saying the government has a secret file on everyone in the US. I'm saying they have the capabilities to gather enough information on each of us very quickly, including things we did that aren't so kosher decades ago. They (collectively, acting in concert) can compile enough info on you in a week to write a multi-volume biography on you. They can shut down an entire city and essentially declare martial law without actually doing so, which I would argue effectively occurred in Boston two weeks ago.
Am I suggesting it's a monolithic black conspiracy? Hell no. But all the components are in place and have been marshaled after 9/11 so that tremendous resources, at the federal, state, and local levels can be brought to bear to capture or kill anyone, anywhere. As we know, they can sometimes target the wrong person(s), and they can and do ruin lives. See, e.g., Richard Jewell, and his life was ruined even in pre-9/11 America. Think he's the only one or will be the only one?
In the process of making Americans feel safer, aren't we killing "America" itself? The America anyone's grandkids will grow up in will not resemble the post-war America most of us grew up in, and I'm not just talking about economically or socially. They sure as hell won't be as "free" as we were, not by a long shot.
A republic, if you can keep it. We're falling down on the job of keeping it. And we are doing it happily and willingly. We're almost begging government to seize more power and authority over our lives.
Protect us. Sure. To the founding fathers, it would be plain as day that it's the fox guarding the henhouse.