People are afraid because there are a lot of regressive conservatives in control of every branch of our government. I wouldn't even say it is because they were properly voted in. Gerrymandering is a thing and it HEAVILY favors republican districts across this nation. If you can't win the game by the rules, you change the game or move the goal posts. That is what Republicans are very good at.
Honestly Owain had a point on this topic, and it isn't like Democrats don't gerrymander when they are able, to the same degree. And I really wouldn't call the GOP conservatives, especially Trump - that does a disservice to conservatives.
Sure, you could get into "no true Scotsman" arguments, but really, Trump is about as conservative - in the traditional USA sense - as Mussolini.
On a side note, I've been playing as Trump.... er... Mussolini in Heart of Iron IV, having picked it and the expansion up a couple days ago during a Steam sale. Really cool game.