Today's episode of Democracy Now! had an interesting segment with John Dean, author of Conservatives Without Conscience. He discussed some conclusions made by social scientists after WW2 that the type of fascism that Italy and Germany experienced could come to the United States. The social scientists came to the conclusion that there were authoritarian elements within America that could easily rally around a leader regardless of what he did. Dean notes that 23% of people today still don't believe that Nixon did anything wrong. It wouldn't surprise me if that 23% was also part of the 33% that still supports Bush.
It's easy to say "oh, it couldn't happen here", but what do you think would happen if tomorrow Bush announced a plethora of new programs and "security" measures that would be taken to protect against terrorists? The rally I went to on Saturday was very opposed to the actions of the Israeli government. What if he used that to claim that leftists supported terrorists and therefore should have restricted rights? Do you doubt that at least a sizable fraction of the 33% who support Bush would still support him?
Imagine what would happen if there was another large terrorist attack. Mix that with some good media propaganda and patriotic rhetoric and I could see a very large portion of the American population supporting Bush and whatever actions he might take. If terrorists attack again, I will fear our government more than anything else.