The biggest threat to American liberty has never been Fascism,Communism,or other "alien doctrines". Americans have-by and large-recognized such threats rather promptly, and have put them in their proper place : the wastebasket.
Rantings and ravings on the Internet aside, we are in no real danger of suffering under an "Imperial Presidency", a "Runaway Congress",or a "Dictatorial Court". The biggest threat to liberty tends to be much closer to home .
I speak here of local government : of planning boards that can seize our property "for the common good" ; of "beautification" commissions that can dictate what our property should look like, and how it should be maintained ; of town or city councils that can ban smoking, or drinking ,or a whole shopping list of "undesirable" activities on properties they neither own or control ; of building inspection departments that can make a homeowner's life hell if the "wrong" home improvement contractor is hired; and yes: health departments that insist on supervising what foods we eat, and how they are prepared.
From time to time , you will hear those who run afoul of these pettifoggers cry : "Who gave these people such authority over our lives ? "
The short answer is : " We did. "
The longer answer is : " We did it. We've been doing it for such a long time that it seems like the right thing to do...so we'll keep on doing it : over and over again. "
Short of descent into actual anarchy, I doubt there is much of anything anyone can do to reverse this trend - because , once something like this starts , it becomes an ever-increasing snowball.It even jumps from one level of government to the next : commission to town to county to state to region ; sometimes to the national level (at which point the courts either solidify it or shoot it down .)
Please think about this the next time someone comes around with a petition to ban this or that - or to "improve" the property of others . Refusing to sign may not accomplish much - but it's a start on what could turn out to be an awfully long road back.