Dissent is disloyalty
Claiming that dissent is disloyalty is basically taking the principle that division is weakness and extending it logically: if disagreement makes a country weak, then expressing dissent is equivalent to helping the enemy. Many neoconservative commentators take this equivalence to the obvious next step and equate dissent with treason, reasoning that dissenters surely know they are helping the enemy.
Members of the Bush II administration have often made this equivalence, as have many of its supporters in the media, even though the idea is completely unamerican in nature and counter to the express beliefs of the US founding fathers.
These commentators appear to be completely unaware that they are thereby redefining the US as a totalitarian state, as some of them have used the accusation of totalitarianism in other contexts (typically against liberals).
- 2004-01-21 [L..T] Best of the Web Today a potpourri of news items, including "The al Qaeda Cheering Section" in which Taranto equates dislike of the Patriot Act with being fond of terrorists.