Americans' eroding trust in all forms of government has made it impossible to solve the most serious problems facing the United States today, former Defense Secretary James Mattis wrote in a recent article for The Atlantic.

The retired Marine Corps general laid out why the world's oldest democracy no longer seems to be able to reach a consensus on any issue, arguing that the underlying problem is politicians no longer debate: They just launch personal attacks against each other.

"We scorch our opponents with language that precludes compromise," Mattis wrote. "We brush aside the possibility that a person with whom we disagree might be right. We talk about what divides us and seldom acknowledge what unites us. Meanwhile, the docket of urgent national issues continues to grow—unaddressed and, under present circumstances, impossible to address."

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Army Maj. Brent Taylor was killed in an apparent insider attack in Afghanistan on Saturday, but days before his tragic death, he penned a powerful call to action for his fellow Americans ahead of Election Day in November: Embrace the glory of democracy.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul Peterson

“How many have died?”

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An image posted to Reddit over the weekend shows the discontent some in the military's rank and file have with the mission in Afghanistan, just months before the withdrawal:

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