In terms of relating it to say, former East Germany or the ex-Soviet Union I would completely agree with you. However, in relation to the history of civil liberties freedom in the U.S. it is not much of an exaggeration as we are a far cry from where the country stood just 30 years ago. While social issues have advanced, and rightly so, civil liberties have become more and more restricted over time. Case in point, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was passed in 1978 ostensibly as an effort to protect Americans from domestic spying by our own government. Now the same act is being used to justify spying on Americans and is being protected for the government by the very same body (Congress) who passed it in an effort to protect the citizens. This is only one single example of the vast trove of civil liberties that are trampled on every day by those who would rule over us, not for us. So perhaps my original use of the term "police state" may be a slight exaggeration, but if it is now it will not be hyperbole for long if the government continues down the path it has chosen and the citizens continue to apathetically allow it.