Today, Jeremi talks with Paul Edgar about the complex and evolving relationship between the US Armed Forces and the citizens it aims to protect.
Zachary sets the scene with his poem, “They Were Supposed to be Us, We Were Supposed to be Them.”
Paul Edgar is the Associate Director of the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for National Security at the University of Texas-Austin. He holds a PhD in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of Texas at Austin. Before entering academia, Paul served more than 22 years as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. Among many other missions, Paul deployed to Iraq during the 2006-2007 surge, serving as an infantry battalion operations and executive officer, conducting counterinsurgency and combat operations in both Fallujah and South Babil Province. In 2008-2009, as an infantry brigade operations officer, he deployed to Afghanistan and conducted counterinsurgency operations in Paktika, Paktia, and Khost provinces. After returning from Afghanistan, Paul served as the executive assistant to the commander of the Kingdom of Jordan’s Special Operations Command. He then commanded the 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry in The Old Guard where he supported official ceremonies and provided security for the President of the United States and other senior civilian, military, and foreign officials. In his final assignment for the Army, Paul was the political advisor for Israeli affairs to the United States Security Coordinator in Jerusalem. Paul is fluent in Modern Israeli Hebrew and is trained to read and conduct research in Akkadian, Hittite, Middle Egyptian, Classical Hebrew, Ugaritic, Aramaic, Syriac, Sumerian, and German.
- Paul EdgarAssociate Director of the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin
- Jeremi SuriProfessor of History at the University of Texas at Austin
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Dr. Jeremi Suri: Welcome to our new episode of This is Democracy. This is our a 101st episode, which is really quite extraordinary and we have an extraordinary guest and an extraordinary topic. Today, we’re going to discuss the evolving relationship between the US military, the Army in particular, and American society. How should a large world-class military interact with citizens in a democracy? What is the history of this relationship? How has this relationship changed? How do we understand the crisis we’re in around this relationship today? Where are we going from here? No issue could be more central to our democracy today than this issue and we have with us a gentlemen who is an expert based on experience and study. He’s a good friend and former student of mine, Paul Edgar, and he’s now the Associate Director of the William P. Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin, one of the leading centers in the world for the study of national security. He holds a PhD in Middle Eastern languages and cultures from the University of Texas at Austin. Before entering academia, Paul Edgar served more than 22 years as an infantry officer in the US Army, among many other missions. There really is a long list of incredible missions that Paul has been on. He never said no, it seems, he said yes to every mission. He deployed to Iraq during the 2006-2007 surge, serving as an infantry battalion operations executive officer conducting counterinsurgency and combat operations in both Felicia and South Babil province. In 2008-2009, he was infantry brigade command operations officer and deployed to Afghanistan and was responsible for counterinsurgency operations in three provinces there. After returning from Afghanistan, Paul had a few minutes to catch his breath and then he became executive assistant to the commander of the Kingdom of Jordan’s special operations command. He then commanded the fourth battalion, third infantry and the old guard, which among other things, provides security for the President of the United States and other senior American officials. In his final military assignment, Paul was a political advisor for the Israeli affairs to the US Security Coordinator in Jerusalem providing key advice in that important area of the world. Paul is fluent in modern Israeli Hebrew. He’s trained to read and conduct research in languages I didn’t even know existed before Akkadian, Hittite, Middle Egyptian, classical Hebrew, Ugaritic, he’ll correct my pronunciation of that, Aramaic, Syriac, Sumerian, and German. We have with Paul someone who has studied these issues in the global span of history and experience these issues. Paul, thank you so much for joining us today.
Paul Edgar: Thank you, Jeremy. Thanks for your help not just having me on this program, but getting me to this point.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: Well, I’ve learned at least as much from you as you have for me and on that subject of learning, we have our learned poet with us, of course, Mr. Zachary Suri. Zachary, what is the title of your poem for today’s episode?
Zachary Suri: They were supposed to be us, we were supposed to be them.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: Let’s hear it.
Zachary Suri: The soldiers, they go marching by in Saigon, Suez, or through our minds and somehow they are always wallpapered into anonymous testosterone. Somehow we forget they are not the rebirth of all the flags respectfully burned, somehow they are heroes and somehow they are willing to die and no one really asks why. Now they are standing in front of the governor’s mansion with rubber bullets. Or maybe they are waiting in hot troop trucks rushed over the Potomac. Or maybe they are still the poor kids from Mash, confused, just trying to get some strawberry ice cream or forget the dead. Maybe they are just like we are, and maybe they too are waiting for change. But meanwhile, the time clocks keep ticking and the parking lots fill up, file out. The red tapes still clings to office buildings and fortresses like lasers to be dodged and it is nearly impossible to get healthcare, but easy to stoke fear. We are all still waiting here to forgive the lost one fought and over fought wars and maybe they are the consumptive 20 year old in San Antonio bed recovering so they can find themselves at war with their own homes. Or maybe they are the general with buttons on his overcoat, waiting in the vain to do something more than silence. I don’t know. The soldiers have always been something we can’t understand until we choose to make them into living pledges of allegiance so we can forget sacrifice and we make them into sufferers or killers so we can forego complicity. We choose the generals for statesman so we can ignore the death list. We were always supposed to be them. They were always supposed to be us with loyalty to ideals, not ideologues and faith in our virtue, willingness to be governed, always supposed to be us, our children we were sending to war, and yet now we are reliant on strangers not to carry out orders. Sweet talking civility from the soldiers, trying to beg piece from the guys with the guns.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: What is your poem about, Zachary?
Zachary Suri: My poem was really about how the military in the United States became much larger and much more complicated than the founders envisioned it, how in the end, it became a military that did not consist of ordinary citizens from all walks of life, and it changed into a professional standing military that today dominate political discourse.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: You see that as problematic, Zachary. Paul, it seems to me this is a tension that’s been built into our system from the start. A democracy with a strong military, how do you think about that as a soldier and as a scholar?
Paul Edgar: Well, for several decades now, I’ve been educated and trained to think of the citizen soldier that all of us are citizen soldiers and I’ve seen people work this out individually and collectively in different way, sometimes in contrasting ways, in surprising ways. But there is this connection that we cannot dissolve, even though we have professionalized the military, it’s still very powerful. It perhaps it’s arguably is not what it ought to be. It has taken a turn for the unexpected, but it’s still there. We still think of ourselves as citizen soldiers that were both and that we are involved with the political process. Although we don’t dominate or take over the political process, that we participate in the political process the way most people do, in most of the ways that other people do. But at the same time, we tend to be quieter where other people feel and are legally able to be louder about certain topics, certain issues.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: It seems this tension that you point to so well, it’s there from the start with a figure like George Washington and carries through our history with figures like Dwight Eisenhower and others, those who are respected and some ways revered because of their military service, their sacrifice, their commitment to the public, they are model of citizen soldier behavior. But then at the same time, they become political leaders and their ideas become politicized.
Paul Edgar: Yes.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: How does one walk that line? How do you think about that when you think back on your own experiences in very politicized environments?
Paul Edgar: Okay, so I’ve got a good example and I don’t think that this may come across as insubordination, I don’t think it does.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: I’m sure it doesn’t.
Paul Edgar: This was in 2004 in Iraq and I was in the Coalition Provisional Authority and I was there in the late winter, early spring, when things really started to come apart at the scenes, Sadr City exploded, Felicia exploded and a handful of us started talking in terms of insurgency and counterinsurgency. Secretary Rumsfeld at that point in time was not receptive to that language in that framework, but we knew that was going on. That’s the approach that we took. We may have called it something else, but we responded in a way that we thought was most productive for what our end-state was, at least the best that our leaders could describe our in-state. We were acting in a way that was most productive for that end. Even if that went to some degree explicitly, at least against the language of Rumsfeld, if not much more than that. It reflects a deep responsibility to the president, to the people of the United States that we’ve got a role that we’ve been given that we’re responsible for and we want to carry that out faithfully. Sometimes strangely, sometimes carrying out that role faithfully is not necessarily consistent, at least with the rhetoric of senior leaders. I hope that that’s a useful example.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: It’s a very useful example, the very insightful and as you know, those examples come up with every generation where there’s a national mission and our national interests. At times, those who were charged to serve that national interest in the military and in other organizations have to choose whether they are going to go along with some of the politicized side roads and barricades that are placed in the way or whether you describe they’re going to place the mission ahead of that. That’s not being political that’s actually trying to transcend the politics.
Paul Edgar: Right. No, I think that’s fair to say, but it’s also a slippery slope. Is that you can turn that around for your convenience as well. How do you maintain that fine line where what you’re doing is truly faithful, even if it’s not always aligned with rhetoric.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: What does it mean? This has come up a lot and I think in helpful ways in the last week or two, what does it mean when we talk about those in the military from the beginning in our country through today. Every officer, every soldier, giving an oath to the Constitution. What does that mean that your oath is to the Constitution not to a particular individual?
Paul Edgar: Well, I think that it means that under certain circumstances we would be willing to disobey leaders if they were truly telling us to do something unconstitutional. Again, that’s a very difficult line to define. There’s always going to be at least a little bit of subjectivity to that. I think that’s the sum of it. You see that tension with every administration. Somebody will say this is unconstitutional, I will not do this. Usually, these numbers are small, oftentimes I think they’re wrong and that they are demonstrated wrong over legal proceedings. At least as far as I can remember it has come up at least since President Clinton. In every single administration, someone has said, I am not going to do this. I’m not going to do what the President and the officers appointed over me have told me to do because it’s unconstitutional. You see it reflected again, sometimes well and sometimes perhaps not so well.
Zachary Suri: Since the end of World War II, we’ve seen a real disconnect develop between the leaders who are choosing whether we go to war, or where we fight, and those who are actually serving in the military. How do you bridge this divide? Mainly in terms of the fact that fewer and fewer of those in power have served in the military or have children who’ve served in the military?
Paul Edgar: This is another tricky question because sometimes you have people like FDR Roosevelt, he didn’t have any deep military experience, but somehow he did very well in our biggest conflict ever.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: Right.
Paul Edgar: But then at the same time, experience is a great teacher. You have people like Eisenhower or people like George HW Bush, whose experience at war significantly and constructively positively shape their leadership and decisions and policies when they’re in positions of civilian political power. There’s not a clean answer that military experience always makes you a better political leader, although we’ve seen it happens sometimes. I think perhaps most importantly, this is a Machiavellian that it’s important for leaders to really study these things so that they don’t fall for the easy tricks. War is a great humiliator and we can all stumble into its trap. The more you understand it, both by study and by experience and by learning from other people’s experience, talking to veterans, talking to people who have experienced war from other countries and wars that we haven’t participated in. Trying to understand war in its breadth and depth hopefully enables us to have more sensitive decision-making when it’s our time to face those tensions and to ratchet up, or ratchet down or do one thing or another.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: That’s so well said. I love your line where war is a great humiliator. It’s at the core of what Klauswitz and William Tecumseh Sherman are both saying in their own very different ways that it looks very different in practice than what you lay out on paper. Having that experiences is so significant and certainly was for Eisenhower and George HW Bush as you said. But Paul, do you worry that the sociological divide between those who are leaders of civilian society. I don’t just mean in politics, I mean in the business world as well and those who serve in the military, very different groups now in many parts of our country that that can create a certain degree of hostility and that can lead to difficulties in managing the relationship. I think about that particularly when we’re dealing with protests and certain leaders who are calling for the military to step in and take sometimes violent action against protesters.
Paul Edgar: I’ll try to hit what I detect as two separate questions separately.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: Yes, it is.
Paul Edgar: First, this is where I think that there is a disconnect is not and I may eat my words on this, but I think the bigger disconnect between the experience of military work, the experience of war, and senior leaders making decisions to use their tool of the military or not. That division is actually less problematic than the one between the military, the citizen-soldier, and the citizen, citizen. This is why I think that, I’m sorry, I’m not a political scientist, so I can’t give you hard data. It’s just my sense of things is that our leaders are responsible to our citizens. If our leaders are using the military in a way that does not reflect the will of the people that never registers. Because the people are not connected to the military experience or even they don’t understand where we are and what we’re doing all the time. That’s almost a full-time job for any civilian is to try to keep up with the US military and what it’s doing on any given day, much less not just what they’re doing, but what it is that they’re supposedly doing that for. That is a divide that I worry about. I don’t have any solutions. I’ve been struggling with this, Jeremy. We’ve talked about it a couple times for six years or more is how do we engage Americans not simply in domestic issues that are important to them, that are right in front of their face but in this one as well, on a globally deployed military who I would argue is generally doing ourselves a favor and the world a favor, maybe favor is not an ideal word for it. So please forgive me for that if that’s not the best word, but you understand what I’m saying.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: Sure.
Paul Edgar: If they don’t understand that, if they don’t agree with it, if they’re ignorant of it so that they can’t participate in our political processes in a way that influences it, then I think we become unhinged. Some people would say we already are. I appreciate those arguments. I don’t think that we necessarily are. But then we can become unhinged because, and we’re not talking about the use of military on US soil here, we’re talking about US military elsewhere in the world. Then we can be used in any number of ways which may not be consistent with who we are, with what we believe, with where we want to be spending our money and where we want to be spending our lives. Even if the lives we are spending are relatively few, they’re all precious. That’s the disconnect that I do worry about. I wish I had a solution. It is something that I’ve been thinking about and I continue to think about, maybe I’ll come up with something someday. The second question is-
Dr. Jeremi Suri: I’ll restate it. To what extent does the divide that you’ve elucidated so well here in the daily understanding of citizens and the reality of American military deployments around the world. To what extent does that divide or disconnect pose dangers when we have political leaders of different kinds who seek to use the military at home, either directly to deploy it or even symbolically for political reasons at home. We’ve seen evidence of both in abundance in the last few weeks.
Paul Edgar: I think what we’ve seen, my interpretation of what we see right now, this particular relationship. Some people might interpret the disconnect as a violent danger, that the military has become so separated from average civilian life that applying that force. When I say that, I mean in a very personal way, not in a command to go apply force, but for me to shoot you, for me to shoot that person in front of me, for me to hurt that person in front of me because I’ve been told to go into an area where there’s rioting or an area where there’s peaceful demonstration, or whatever it may be. Some people might say that it aggravates the likelihood or increases the probability that violent interaction would occur because of that disconnect. I think that what we’ve seen is actually the opposite, and I couldn’t really explain why, but I’ll tell you what I think I see, is that there’s such an immense respect for the military. Because people don’t know, in some ways the banality of what we do, and by banal I don’t mean that in a negative way I just mean in a common way. In some ways, this is the common work of the common people, the citizen-soldier. Citizens think so highly of the military. Theoretically, when the military does show up in order to put down a problem within the United States that everyone backs down maybe even when they shouldn’t. I’m not talking about violent protesting, although I think in some cases I do not think that we’re there now. I think in some cases that violent protesting can be legitimate, but I don’t think that we’re there, I don’t think we’re even close. At the same time, I think that there really is a powerful ethos of this idea of citizen-soldier, or that we are them within the military. We are not separate from them, that we are them, we come from them, we’re going back to them. I think that that makes today’s service members, today soldiers, airmen, marines, sailors, that it will make them very reticent to employ force and to really think very hard about what they’ve been told to do as they are preparing to do it. One of the things that we’ve talked about Jeremy, is what I would call trust in different directions. That as a service member, I would do anything you tell me to do as long as what you tell me to do is constitutional, is legally and morally right. Now, I have often done things that I thought were not smart, I have often done things that I thought could be done a better way, handled differently, but I have never personally, and some people certainly will disagree with me. But I personally don’t feel like I’ve ever been told to do anything unconstitutional or illegal or immoral. I feel personally that I’ve never been confronted with that moment, but I think it also is very much in people’s hearts and minds that this is a theoretical possibility and that when it moves out of theoretical, I really need to be prepared to wrestle with it.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: Maybe this is all a way of bringing us to where we are today and why this history is so important. I know you’ve taken this knowledge and experience and you’ve talked to many soldiers, many officers who have been involved in the past few days and very difficult decisions. Can you walk us through their thinking, those who were deployed to Washington, and then returned to base, those who are in positions to give orders or not give orders. Can you share how this background that you’ve elucidated so well, how that’s played out in front of our eyes?
Paul Edgar: Well, I think a few things. First, the soldiers that were deployed to the National Capital Region, I think Attorney General Barr was accurate when he described precisely what had happened with them on Face the Nation this last weekend, is that they were moved into a position where they were ready, but they were never deployed. I think that there was a lot of tension and discomfort, not disobedience. But a lot of tension and discomfort all the way up and you can see it in his face, in my opinion, all the way up to the Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper. This is a very serious moment, maybe we’ll need to use force, maybe we won’t, but let’s be very reticent to use it and at a personal level, let me be very reticent to use it unless I’m certain it’s necessary. I think that there has been a lot of, from far away, I do sense and feel relief when all of the, or I sensed and felt relief from those involved when they redeployed that they weren’t necessarily going to be tested with that very difficult question at this moment in our history. Hopefully, I’m hopeful that we won’t have to get there again.
Zachary Suri: Where do we go next? How do we avoid relying on military solutions first at home and abroad, and how do we rebuild trust between civilians and the military?
Paul Edgar: Well, I think that there is trust between civilians and the military. I think what we’re seeing right now is distrust between civilians and law enforcers. There are some important parallels, useful parallels, I think. I don’t know if you remember the incredible job that law enforcers did back at the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, did I get the year right?
Dr. Jeremi Suri: I think so, yes.
Paul Edgar: Yeah. I happen to be there shortly after that when the whole city got locked down, not because of coronavirus, but because the law enforcers had a lead on who did this. Law enforcers came from all corners of the state and all quarters of the nation even to help in this search. We thought so highly, at least in Boston, and I think the whole country did for multiple days, the search went on Bostonians, and others in the area stayed in their home. I had a number of meetings with professors that got canceled because we couldn’t move and they caught them. We thought very highly of them then, and we have and we continue to unacceptably have incidents like we’ve had recently with George Floyd, right?
Dr. Jeremi Suri: Right.
Paul Edgar: We’ve had incidents like this terrible incident with George Floyd, too many of them and now our perspective of law enforcers is 180 degrees and we need to dial back from that. I’m not saying dial back from change, I’m not saying dial back from, and accept things the way they were. But we need to understand, I think just like the military, just like we have come to appreciate the military then we need to continue to appreciate our law enforcers. Understand that we need to be part of them, they need to be part of us, that we need to be integrated much more closely and this works in many places, but it doesn’t work in others. As you move those two groups closer together, seeing eye to eye in practical ways on the beat in city council meetings, in separate committee meetings. Some places you can still do ride-alongs with your local policemen to do things like that, reaching out from both sides to connect, especially in those neighborhoods that receive the brunt of police violence. I think that’s the way that you rebuild, that’s where you go from here and that’s where you have to move one way or another. That’s where you have to move after the demonstrations are over. I think that is possible, I think that is doable, I think there are other solutions to add to it. But fundamentally is the connection between the police themselves or if you decide to go with some other form of law enforcement. I can understand that people want to try different things now, but you’re going to run into the same problems, so how do you anticipate those and get ahead of those? It’s the people who are doing the law enforcing need to be intimately connected with the public that they are serving.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: It seems, Paul, that the issue of race which we haven’t talked about explicitly which we should obviously talk about that, that is a challenge for both law enforcement and for the military. On the one hand, the military has traditionally been one of the leading institutions in making use of talent from different backgrounds. There are many stories, Collin Powell being one of many of disenfranchise, mistreated groups, vulnerable groups, using the military as a source of mobility for themselves and for their community. That’s definitely true. But there’s also a lot of evidence, as you know better than I do, of terrible attitudes that form in these organizations. White supremacy, religious intolerance, or intolerance to those who don’t belong to a certain evangelical faith in some parts of the military. How do we navigate that? That’s obviously a big issue for law enforcement as well.
Paul Edgar: Right. First, I would say that there certainly is active racism in the United States’ military. What I’m describing as active racism is somebody who actually thinks that the people who are different, that black Americans or others serving are lesser than they are. I think that kind of racism is relatively small. I’m not saying it’s unimportant that we don’t need to address it, that we don’t need to be looking out for it all the time, but in my experience, I’ve seen very little of that. This is not simply an institutional problem, it’s one of just entry into the military. I don’t want to say it’s an average slice of America because it’s not necessarily average. In some ways, it’s above average. In some ways, it’s below average. But we’re taking a slice of America, and all of the tensions within it, and putting it in an institution, and forming it, and changing it. But that doesn’t mean that whatever problems, whatever challenges, or difficulties, or pathologies that come in automatically go away. The main thing that I’m trying to address here is what I would say is simply the struggle of living within a majority culture when you’re a minority. Some people will automatically say that that is racism. I have problems using that term in that context because in my mind, an ism is something that you fundamentally believe, that you believe in your heart of hearts that this is right. But there is an incredible disadvantage that for those minority cultures that go unseen. What is the solution? The solution is active leadership, is active conversation, is active listening to what else is going on, what experience am I not tuned into? If that experience is a negative one, if it’s one that is deconstructive of both people, mission, unit, etc., then how do I address it and change it? I don’t want to get too far off the subject but in some ways, I think that this gets us to the end of policy and in the effectiveness of policy and gets to the root of who people are, of character formation. Tocqueville said, and this is to some degree a paraphrase that, “America is great because America is good” and I would take that a step further and say, “America is great because Americans are good and if Americans cease to be good, America will cease to be great.” If we do not form in ourselves, daily, a better character that is understanding of others and makes space for others, then we hit a wall. But I also think that that’s the answer, I think that it’s character formation, it’s personal, it’s collective in a sense, but it’s also not something that you can police up with policy precisely, right?
Dr. Jeremi Suri: Right. That, I think, brings us to our last question where we always like to close which is, how we can use this deep knowledge of history and understanding of our present to build a better future? One of the good things that has certainly come out of this terrible moment is we’ve seen forceful, explicit statements for military leaders as well as leaders of various other elements of our society, even the NFL. Strong statements against racism, strong statements not just that racism is bad but that we have to do active things as you just said, Paul, in our institutions to encourage anti-racism, to encourage inclusion, to recognize how to bring out the better elements of our character, or what Lincoln would call The Better Angels of Our Nature. What do you think our listeners can do? Those who are concerned about these issues, the majority of our listeners are not in the military, what can they do? What can military leaders help them to do to help the military on this road?
Paul Edgar: I’m going to start with a program that is not accessible to everybody, unfortunately, but it can be duplicated in many places. In response to the Kent State killings, this is classic civil rights anti-Vietnam era history.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: May 1970.
Paul Edgar: Students at Kent State are killed in the hall, I can’t remember the details of how everything unfolded.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: The National Guard shot the students. The students were protesting and National Guard opened fire on them.
Paul Edgar: Right. But I’m actually getting even more into the details. Right, this is what occurred but if you try to reconstruct precisely from eyewitness accounts, from those participating, etc., it’s almost impossible to pin it down to who did what when. In response to the altercation between protesters and the National Guard at Kent State, the US Army War College started sending out its students each spring to campuses in order to connect with students and to try to open up dialogue, to give them opportunities to meet students, and students opportunities to meet these lieutenant colonels and colonels at the back-end of their military career, and also these who are going on to stay another 10 or 15 years as general officers. That’s a form of what we might call preventive de-escalation. We’re personalizing both the military and at least at the time, those who made up the protesters. We’re making connections, before personal connections, between citizens where there were none before. I think that’s something that is possible, both in terms of the military and in terms of law enforcement. That program is not to build bridges, but you can use it to build bridges, right?
Dr. Jeremi Suri: Yeah, of course.
Paul Edgar: That’s what my suggestion is that we find ways to build bridges between these organizations and that we really listen to one another so that we understand, in most cases, we are really on the same side.
Dr. Jeremi Suri: This is terrific. Paul, you’ve given us so much insight, both from your experience and from your study, and helped us to recognize that the relationship between the military and our democracy is always a relationship filled with tensions, it’s always a dynamic relationship, and it’s a relationship that always needs curating and tending. It’s not the institutions alone that do the work, it has to be the work of individuals or citizens to be attentive to these issues and to be in dialogue about these issues. One of the good things that’s come out of this terrible moment is that we’re having this dialogue. Paul, thank you, throughout your career and especially now as an educator, you’re fostering these kinds of conversations. They mean so much. Zachary, thank you as always for your poem that encapsulated many of the challenges, the frustrations, and the concerns that so many of us share. Thank you to our listeners for joining us for this episode of This is Democracy.
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