Sunday, January 22, 2006

Dude, where's my country?

Just back from a weekend in my old hometown of Washington, DC. I haven't been back in a number of years, pre 9/11 I think. Man, how the place has changed since I was a kid. In 1972, you could drive around all sides of the White House, Pennsylvania Avenue, 15th Street, 16th Street, The Ellipse. Now, you can't even get close. At least not in a car. Same at the Capitol.

Today, the view you get around the White House and the Capitol is of concrete and steel barricades, a massive armed police presence, Do Not Enter signs and a general sense that the public is no longer welcome in the Public's House.

How sad. In some sense, the terrorists have already won.

Still, no matter how much it troubles me to see what has become of the city I love - and no matter the disdain, disgust and sheer animosity I admit to possessing towards the current occupants and leaders of these two most important icons of our democracy - I confess to still being awestruck by the mere sight of that elegant white mansion and that spectacular alabaster dome.


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