Maddow's latest book, Drift, makes clear that the United States has become, without a vote, what amounts to a "national security state." That's her term, and here is what she says about it:
As the national security state has metastasized, decisions to use force have become painless and slick, almost automatic. The disincentives to war deliberately built into our American system of government - particularly the citizen-soldier, and leaving the power to declare war with Congress instead of the president - we've worked around them. We ought to see that constitutional inheritance as a national treasure, yet we've divested ourselves of it without much of a debate.
If we we are ambitious to be citizens again (citizen-soldiers or just the plain vanilla variety of citizens), we've got a lot to do. Maddow spells out a program to shrink the cancer on pages 249 through 252.
I think the title is wrong. We're not "drifting." But we are heading in the wrong direction (fast).