James Madison warned that "Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe that there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations . . . ." Stated another way, we don't simply lose our freedom by coups and martial law - our liberties can be suffocated by small measures, which over the course of time, strangle our liberty.
We need to be vigilant to protect our liberties, and the only way we can expect to keep our freedom is if we are well educated in connection with our Constitution and the First Principles that undergird it. Take some time away from American Idol and Tiger Woods, and spend some more about learning about our Constitution and First Principles. Then, and only then, can we halt the otherwise "gradual" and "silent" affronts to our liberty.