The country Joe Biden is inheriting

The dawning of the age of Aquarius it is not

America.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

Long before the morning, the flags were laid out, row upon row as far not as the eye can see but as the frame extends: blue, pink, red, blue, white, pink, blue, orange, white, blue, red, in their teeming millions. A hundred blue lights shining forth into the heavens. A spectacle, a repudiation of a movement against the disgraced emperor, and, very likely, everything the man himself dreamed of. Armored cars on K Street. Barricades. Barbed wire seven feet high around the totems of power. Threats vaguely defined but, we are told, everywhere, at least until the adoption of the new security law — here is the Party of Order dedicating its new temple to authority. No word on when the newspapermen get their jobs back. Something, or nothing, will happen. The continued maintenance of gross domestic product; or, as the text messages from relatives announce with what can no longer be even described as confidence that someone — Mr. Potato Head, My Little Pony, MyPillow.com — will usher in the counterrevolution. No universal love here or even being loved alone. The dawning of the age of Aquarius it is not.

Biden's inauguration is set to take place in a Washington that is reminiscent of Children of Men: armored cars, steel barriers, guns, masked and sign-toting lunatics, total social stratification, a city divided into zones. It is, in a sense, the only city that could be the capital of the nation to whose presidency he is about to succeed.

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