If the government buildings are any indication, Washington DC is a city bracing for something. Makeshift barriers surround the Capitol; men with automatic weapons stand watch over random governmental doorways and intersections. Sure, this is no different than other "significantâ€ places in the Western world — London and Frankfurt have their share of fortresses and sentries — but as a citizen and idealist I'd hope that Washington would be different. I'd hope that *we* would do it differently.
Anyway, I hope that we'll search for solutions to the problem of security that don't run counter to the ideals of democracy: that lawmakers operate in the open, that anyone can see how it's done (and indeed that everyone should see how it's done), that people are innocent until proven guilty, and that I'm paying for those fences, dammit, so I should be able to take a picture of them without getting harassed.UPDATE: Even the new $50 bill emphasizes the approachability of the Capitol.