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Civil War? A Military Spouse Wonders — And Worries

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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Can The United States Survive The 2020 Election?

At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, a little-known state senator from Illinois electrified the crowd with a speech proclaiming our fundamental unity. "There's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America," Barack Obama declared.

Four years later, he campaigned for president promising that we could overcome our differences. His election offered evidence that he was right. His presidency, however, proved that he was wrong.

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Tributes To Traitors Finally Fall

Ignore President Donald J. Trump, whose latest tactic to mollify his base is to forbid the renaming of military installations that honor Confederate officials. Trump issued that defiant declaration after reports that top Pentagon brass were mulling a process for stripping the names of Confederate commanders.

The president and his reactionary constituency are losing this battle. Around the country, Confederate statues and insignia are being stripped from places of honor as business, political and cultural leaders belatedly recognize their odious symbolism.

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Far-Right Wants To Act Out Its Civil War Fantasies Now

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The Age of Conspiracy Theories in which we are now immured has produced a kind of bastard offspring: the Shared Violent Fantasy. Exhibit A is the "Boogaloo," the far-right's ironic name for the long-sought "second civil war" they believe is on the verge of erupting in the United States—and in which the ongoing novel-coronavirus pandemic has become a virtual petri dish for cultivating the fear of societal collapse essential to their worldview.

Like many conspiracy theories, and all such fantasies, the "Boogaloo" has a powerful tendency to produce real-life violence from people who absorb the underlying paranoid values and believe in them fervently. A recent incident in Texas in which a self-proclaimed "Boogaloo Boi" set out to murder a police officer in order to help spark the civil war underscores the extent to which the believers are likely eventually to attempt manifesting their fantasies—which can entail violence not just against authorities, but sometimes even their unsuspecting neighbors.

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