In August 2010 President Barack Obama brought Gen. James Mattis, then head of U.S. Central Command, to the White House. When Obama asked him what his priorities would be, Mattis famously answered, “I have three: Iran, Iran, and Iran.” But when asked in May this year what worried him most as secretary of Defense, his answer was very different: “The lack of political unity in America.”

At root, what Mattis is talking about is the question of whether or not Americans still share a sense of national identity and pride. Do we all still believe that the United States is something bigger and more important than political parties or who’s president, a bold experiment in individual liberty and freedom worth fighting and dying for?

As Mattis suspects, increasingly the answer is “not really.”

Read the full post at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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About Trevor Thrall

I am a professor at George Mason University and Director of the Biodefense Graduate Program.

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