Washington, America, Congress discussed on Weekend Edition Sunday


Testing will use this passion in this moment, um to go back to their communities and to get involved locally and start running for school board and running for City Council and running for local office. We need to take that up. We need to take back our country so no bread. Gifford wasn't there with her 87 year old mother, Nolan, who you heard there at the end to smash windows and attacked police officers, But this hard right swing and conspiracy taking root among conservatives. Means that you get in Arizona grandmother's showing up to the same events on the same side as extremists who are calling for the execution of members of Congress. I mean, that is extremely chilling, and it's incredibly important to note how widespread this is. So I guess the next question becomes. What does this mag a nation become with trump outside of the White House? Whether these pro trump extremists go on to work within the system or outside of the system, you know it's clear they're not going to disappear. But for now, Mac a world is in turmoil. I mean, they've seen their leader kicks off Twitter. Some of his most diehard supporters were mad at him for denouncing the mob now and you know, there's just a lot of anger and disillusionment in uncertainty about what happened. So even within some of the extremist groups, there's no debate because people have died. So this is an important volatile period. And there's still more of these extreme right events planned in the lead up to inauguration on the 20th. But beyond next week, analysts who studied political violence or warning that this is going to remain is a serious national security threat well into the Biden presidency. That was NPR's Hannah Allam. Thank you very much. Thank you. The U. S. Capitol is the most identifiable building in America. It was designed to be at the top of the hill. It can be seen from nearly any spot in Washington to talk more about the symbolism of this singular building, and these attacks were joined by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Philip Kennecott. He's a senior art and architecture critic at the Washington Post. Welcome. Thanks for having me You write often about the meaning and function of public spaces in America. What was your sense of this space? You know, this building is visible all throughout Washington. It's at the Geometric Center city. It's where the basic grid of streets is measured from and it sits at one of the highest points in the city. So you see it. And you know, a lot of American cities don't have a recognizable skyline but of Washington does. And the most iconic thing on that skyline is the capital with its dome. If it's not quite the most beautiful classical architecture, it's maybe a bit of a hodgepodge. It still is beloved, despite some of it's kind of charming, homely flaws. Tell me what it's like to be inside the building under normal circumstances for people who may not have been there. What is that physical space? Like? What does it sound like? Traditionally the capital's been a pretty open space. You could come to town, see the monuments and go visit your representative. And so we were in it. There's this wonderful sort of buoy echoey, noisy quality. People are moving around all the time. And if that's the aural sense of it visually, that hodgepodge of architecture is even more kind of compelling on the inside of it was built over decades and centuries and inside. You really see that from the changes in just the way the building is laid out the size of the rooms and the decorations style. Do you make of the profane nature of these attacks? These were Americans, vigilante mobs attacking their own history. Their house. In fact, we heard them repeatedly say this was their house. There are reports people defecated in the quarters. Yeah, you know. When you say some things are there some things mine. Part of that is care for the thing. Part of that is stewardship. It's not just that, if it's mine, I could do whatever I want with it, And that was the kind of claim of possession that I found so appalling, so sickening and what was going on there when they said it was ours. They basically said, it's ours to destroy not ours to preserve not ours to pass down, not ours, to imbue with meeting and symbol in value and worth ours to do with as we wish I find that repellent. This is not only shocked America in the world because of what they did, But you know, many people feel that this building is really important. It has hurt their hearts. Why do you think that is? I think it's because we take it seriously for what it does. You know, it's a monument or memorial is basically something you go and you were trained to have a set of thoughts. You try and think about the thing that's memorialized there. But this is a building that functions it daily in acts what we Do in a democracy. And so it's when you attack it. You're not just attacking a simple you're attacking the function of the process of democracy. You know, I was really struck by a story that came out after after Congress voted tow certify the election. And after that terrible day on Wednesday, when the crowds poured through there, one of the representatives young guy name and a Kim, I think it was, you know, after all of this He grabbed a trash bag and started collecting trash just cleaning up the space. And maybe that seems a little hokey. But if you live in Washington, you really do feel kind of proprietary sense because these buildings are always there. And because they're so big and the city of solo, you're always being watched by them, you know, in a sense They cast a kind of protective embrace and to see them to filed is just particularly disturbing. You are someone who thinks about buildings and their meaning. And I'm wondering after this attack has the meaning of the building changed. No, I don't think so. I think the history has gotten longer at a very ugly chapter has been added, and I hope we always remember that chapter and maybe we need a plaque. Maybe we need something that says Through this particular door came these people on the state so that we have that memory and so that they can't be allowed to change the appalling nature of what they did by slowly saying over time. Well, it wasn't previous, bad as it seems, it wasn't really insurrection. It was just a little bit of a mob or maybe just a bit of a riot orbit of bad behavior. We can't let that become the memory of it..

Coming up next