Tresspassers Will Be Prosecuted

Ranch Rescue's Jack Foote swears he just wants to mend fences. Is pseudomilitary secrecy, right-wing rhetoric and an armed vigilante militia the best way?

The good old days. It's a fantasy common to conservative mind-sets, and not a few liberal ones as well. It is in fact almost eerie, the commonalties of the far-right and far-left wings of American public political discourse -- the travesty of NAFTA, the shadowy unaccountability of global/corporate elites, fundamental distrust of government -- though both sides arrive at their fears from opposite ideological poles.

Along the border, the schism begins to take on the profile of civil war, with ideologues on both sides calcifying their positions, those positions increasingly clothed in the garments of battle.

Maybe Jack Foote, a self-appointed general in the conflict, is just a fearful isolationist who talks a good game, a lonely militarist with too much time on his hands and an extremism born, inexplicably, of privilege.

Or maybe Jack Foote is right, and the United States is in the painful, awkward, conflicted process of accepting a permeable border, just like Jack Foote fears, and stepping inevitably closer to the brink of learning how to live with the apparently uncomfortable presence of the world outside its fence.

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