Explanations for the accelerating militarization of the U.S. come from many directions.
Is Trump a fascist? When are we justified in using the "f" word to describe a right-wing politician or movement that we legitimately find frightening?
"I'm too old for this s--t," the deputy says as we wait on the bus for processing. He is 65 years old. "I feel sorry for the ones coming up, I couldn't do 25 years of this." He is referring to a lack of public appreciation for police.
When people are armed and outraged, the world so easily collapses into us vs. them. All complexity vanishes. People's life purpose clarifies into a simplistic certainty: Kill the enemy. Indeed, sacrifice your life to do so, if necessary.
In recent times, one of the strangest aspects of war, American-style, has been the inability of the most powerful military on the planet to extricate itself from any of the conflicts it's initiated or somehow gotten itself involved in -- even those it's officially walked away from.
In the decades since the draft ended in 1973, a strange new military has emerged in the United States. Think of it, if you will, as a post-democratic force that prides itself on its warrior ethos rather than the old-fashioned citizen-soldier ideal.
The very ferocity and coordinated nature of the attacks on Sanders makes clear that the Democratic establishment views Sanders not merely as an annoyance, but as an existential threat. And he may be, at that.
During a recent visit to Sri Lanka, I (unsurprisingly) saw a lot of military personnel. Many times they were riding around in vehicles. On other occasions the interaction was a bit more personal.