Sounds like the USSR, only that we get rid of this delusion almost 30 years ago.
Now it's slowly coming back thanks to the Russian government's propaganda, but it is still far from the present US level.
What is unsettling is that the US is clearly not a dictatorship (or at least, not like "any dictatorship ever"). It manages to stay reasonably democratic even with this and other dictatorship enabling mechanism (powerful Executive Power, heavy sectorial financing of the government, etc). On this point, they are exceptional.
I don't understand how people still believe the US is an exceptionally democratic country even after learning about how democracy is implemented here. The whole thing with Electoral College and two-party system is just the tip of the iceberg. For me, it was the revelation about the existence of riders  that was the final nail in the coffin of my belief in democracy.
+ significant increases in secret courts and endless budgets and free reign for intelligence agencies that report to executive branch.
All shifts that have been happening over the last two decades.
It only becomes a problem to most people when someone they don't like is given those powers. Which is why they should never have those powers in the first place. Something many have warned about this for a long time and something the US has had a unique history of pushing back against, which is now long ago.