and that jack-booted thugs will be dragging dissenters off to the Gulag any day now, disqualifies you as a patriot.
Interesting choice of metaphor. You might want to talk to Mike Hawas, if you think this doesn't happen.
In the USA, right now, anyone can be abducted by the US government, be detained indefinitely without access to a lawer, and be tried under a military tribunal.
therefore implying that the whole checks-and-balances system of this constitutional republic is somehow horribly broken
They are, in that they're being circumvented by the current administration.
I believe that our civil liberties are in danger. I believe that we're in danger of becoming a police state. As a patriot, I feel a moral imperative to oppose actions and behavior by the current administration which I feel are violating the principles on which this country was founded.