I have a friend from an eastern european country that finds Americans incredibly naive about the eas in which a country can become dictatorial.

One comment that boggled his mind was spoken by an administration official regarding the patriot act and went something to the effect "If you aren't doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about." This was the type of thing said in his country to appease moderates whilst those on the fringes were gathered up.

He is also somewhat astonished that a country this large, free and rich is so easily lead around by its nose.