The Guardian article “Fascist America, in 10 easy steps” by Naomi Wolf is no mere rhetorical flourish. She addressed skeptics in this passage:
Most Americans surely do not get this yet. No wonder: it is hard to believe, even though it is true. In every closing society, at a certain point there are some high-profile arrests - usually of opposition leaders, clergy and journalists. Then everything goes quiet. After those arrests, there are still newspapers, courts, TV and radio, and the facades of a civil society. There just isn't real dissent. There just isn't freedom. If you look at history, just before those arrests is where we are now.
Wolf also includes this call-to-arms, exhorting all of us to support our fellow patriots:
Right now, only a handful of patriots are trying to hold back the tide of tyranny for the rest of us - staff at the Center for Constitutional Rights, who faced death threats for representing the detainees yet persisted all the way to the Supreme Court; activists at the American Civil Liberties Union; and prominent conservatives trying to roll back the corrosive new laws, under the banner of a new group called the American Freedom Agenda. This small, disparate collection of people needs everybody's help, including that of Europeans and others internationally who are willing to put pressure on the administration because they can see what a US unrestrained by real democracy at home can mean for the rest of the world.
Wolf’s upcoming book, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, is due in September. H/t: Ron Chusid at Liberal Values, who observed:
It is obviously an exaggeration to claim that Bush is turning this into a fascist state, but for those of us concerned with the need to limit the power of government to preserve liberty, many of these actions are alarming. It is especially disappointing that most conservatives, who claim to distrust the power of government, can safely be predicted to respond to this article with support for Bush’s policies.
There will, of course, always be political apologists; they usually don’t have to apologize for quite so much.