This is a deeply uncanny and very troubling development, it exists, and it wants to take us back. It wants to take us, I mean, way back. I mean sure, they want to go back before the 70’s and the 60’s to the 50’s, no doubt about that. They also want to go back before the New Deal to the 20’s, well they also want to go back before the Progressive Era to the Gilded Age. Well, not quite, they also want to go back before the Emancipation Proclamation to the days of slavery, not even, what they want to do is take us back to a moment prior to the Enlightenment; they want to take us back to a moment when faith registered more than reason. They want to take us back to an imaginary age of absolute moral clarity, when good was good and evil was evil and everyone could see the difference. They want to take us back to an imaginary Manichean age when you’re either with us or against us, which means you either are us or we’ll exterminate you because we can only tolerate ourselves, we can only tolerate those who share our values. If this movement were to be given a name, I think it would most appropriate to call it Christo-Fascism, and if anyone objects to my using the word fascism, because it seems so redolent of the Axis powers, and after all we valiantly defeated fascism once, well, understand this about fascism - when it arrives it never shows up in the discarded costume of some other country, and when fascism comes here, its not going to be wearing a toothbrush mustache with a Luger in his belt and go goose-stepping around the mall, because that’s Germany. And its precisely characteristic of fascism, that it seems absolutely, totally expressive of the homeland, it seems completely familiar, it’s when 150% America puts a flag on its lapel and a cross around its neck and a real folksy way a talkin’, but just because it’s red, white and blue, doesn’t mean it’s American.
A Patriot Act, written by Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media studies at New York University