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Imagine you’re in the FBI and a 16-year-old male with no criminal record shows a sudden interest in Islamic State. His grades, previously stellar, are starting to fall, and he's increasingly clicking on jihadist websites. What's more, his parents own legally registered guns, he has been treated by a psychiatrist, and he has repeatedly read news stories about mass killings in the U.S. What do you do?

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Political campaigns and elections; the privatization of Washington; the de-legitimization of traditional governance; the national security state as an untouchable fourth branch of government; the demobilization of "we the people." These are five areas in which the outlines of the new U.S. order are emerging.

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As every schoolchild knows, there are three check-and-balance branches of the U.S. government: the executive, Congress, and the judiciary. That’s bedrock Americanism and the most basic high school civics material. Only one problem: It’s just not so.

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