they certainly come across that way, don't they?
I would truly like to believe that it's just exaggerations and hot air on their part, yet I'm stumped to think of the last time a conservative defended liberals' rights. The reverse happens all the time, of course, - the 'evil' ACLU is but one of numerous groups that have defended conservatives often, and even do today. I know of no comparable conservative organization devoted to the freedom of everyone.
A core principle of liberalism is, "I may disagree with what you say, but I defend your right to say it." conservatives talk of freedom often, yet they give the impression it's only freedom for people like them.
fascism, on the other hand, is not only a form of right-wing authoritarianism, but one in which government and corporations blur together. so the potential is there... but I truly doubt most conservatives (consciously, at least) intend to go there. Even so, the lengths they go to in order to silence opposition is quite troubling to a genuine fan of freedom.
one could argue that it's a fair-game comparison, since they always try to label non-conservatives as commies (etc) and Nazis (which, dessite the name 'National Socialism' was a right-wing endeavor. Look how many communist regimes called themselves 'peoples' democratic republics.' Hardly democratic, eh? similar situation)....
but to me this only encourages tit-for-tat name-calling. If we don't take the high road, how can we ask them to? Granted, most of our olive branches get rebuffed, or taken as a sign of weakness.
the real dangers are the things any partisans start to rationalize once they have demonized the 'other' side, whichever side is the other. It's easy to see our complaints about tactics and abuses of the W era as valid and their talk of Dem 'dictators' and 'socialists' as hot air, yet somehow from their side they seem just as convinced as we are, despite the evidence we see to the contrary.
it is possible they've worked themselves into such a frenzy over nothing that they would support the very dictatorship they claim to oppose... but is name-calling really the way to prevent that fate? I don't think so.