I think we should all resist referring to this as "the new normal." It would be like coming home to find the smoke detector going off, the drapes on fire, the dog eating the couch, and your kids deciding that "pants are stupid," and figuring, "oh well, I guess that's just the new normal around here!"
There is nothing normal about this.
I had been meaning to get back into DC since I was last there shortly before the inauguration. I knew many of the National Guard troops were still here, and there was still fencing around the Capitol building, but I wanted to see it with my own eyes.
The good news is the "mall," the open green space that runs from the Capital to the Lincoln Memorial with the Washington Monument in-between, was no longer locked behind literally miles of fences.
The bad news is, everything else that counts, still was..............
(Link to site for full array of pics and commentary.)
I tried to do justice to what it's really like to walk these fences, just the awfulness of it all, the extent of it, the razor wire, the armed troops, and the rich irony of doing all that while walking along "Independence" and "Constitution" Avenues.
I would like to end on a hopeful note. This is a beautiful city, and a country of rich heritage that is as imperfect as the human condition, and as filled with potential for greatness and beauty as the human mind and spirit.
It does not have to be the way it is now unless we permit it.