Issues of War and Peace Among the Jeans

It was not a confrontation with someone with right-wing points of view in the usual sense. No screaming… no denunciations… not even the hint of a physical threat was apparent in the huge, warehouse environment in which this unexpected confrontation occurred. The aisles were not even jammed as would be expected just a few, short days before Christmas, so the discussion could go on unimpeded until it reached its unsatisfactory end.

The dialogue didn’t include any observations on Trump’s plan to pull troops out of Syria, or the impending departure of Secretary of Defense James Mattis, the so-called last adult in the room left standing in the Trump administration. With adults like Mattis, readers can imagine the horrific success of Trump in the deconstruction of governmental departments like the State Department, education, interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency: It’s the stuff the likes of which an actor like Ronald Reagan could have only dreamed about!

The woman and I were perusing a display of jeans at the well-known discount outlet when we began a innocuous discussion about where the waistline falls on a particular company’s line of jeans. Sort of the mundane stuff of a consumer culture. She mentioned that she was purchasing jeans for her son who was stationed at an Army base in Virginia. I replied that I had been in the Army, and before I could go any further, she offered up the expected “Thank you for your service,” a refrain that has…

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