First of all, look at the definition of the word. Merriam-Webster defines it as:
The key words are "a tendency toward." This means a state does not have to be ruled by a dictator to be fascist. If the administration of the state tends to be autocratic, that's fascism.
fas·cism: 2 a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
Does the Bush administration tend to be autocratic? The 1,760 people detained in New York during Bush's convention recognize the GOP as being autocratic. Crowded into a filthy pier, the detainees were exposed to the frigid New York nights common in the autumn, some without needed medical care, and many without ever being charged with a crime. The conditions were so bad, a judge finally ordered the release of those held over 24 hours, although the police department refused to obey the order.
If that doesn't sound fascist to you, watch the video of a recent event in Utah. You'll see camouflaged "troops" trespass into a licensed and insured party and show. Dropping in from helicopters, armed with assault rifles, and firing tear gas, the police began kicking women and siccing their dogs on the men. The one thing the police failed to bring was a warrant permitting them onto the private property where the peaceful event was being held.
I'm sure Cyrus Kar considers the administration to be fascist. Iranians considered what happened to him so outrageous that they reported it in their newspaper. After all, this American citizen was imprisoned in Abu Ghraib for 55 days without being given his day in court. He was finally released without being charged for any crime (because the FBI cleared him of any suspicion). Even this former Navy Seal, known as being decidedly right-wing, was not exempt from the Bush administration's autocracy.
If you still think Bush believes in freedom, then scrutinize his idea of "free speech." Before any public appearance, Bush sends his Secret Service to set up a "designated free speech zone." What are these zones? They are the only place where peaceful protestors against Bush's administration are permitted to "publicly" express their discontent. While Americans are permitted to cheer him anywhere they please, those who want to jeer him are caged and roped off into small areas well away from Bush's -- and the media's -- view. Don't naively assume that all of the United States is a free speech zone anymore.
Sadly, the examples of fascism in our great nation these past five years could go on and on. However, it's not necessary to cite them all. The above events are sufficient to show that there is now a tendency toward strong autocratic control of Americans by our government. So, the next time someone tries to tell you we don't live in a fascist state, break out the dictionary.