ROGER SIMON: An Inauguration in the United States of North Korea.
And what I caught glimpses of more than anything else was a massive display of guard troops, not quite what you would see marching through Pyongyang to commemorate Dear Leader’s birthday, but enough to make you wonder what kind of state you were in, democratic or autocratic.
The putative excuse was to avoid violence and a repetition of the occurrences of Jan. 6, but a hundred troops or so would have been more than sufficient to have blocked entry to the Capitol that day, had they been so empowered.
For the inauguration we had twenty to twenty-five thousand troops, an army of greater size than Lincoln employed to prevent the invasion of Washington during the Civil War.
All this with no known threats, at least none reported. (The actual “insurrection” at the Capitol was far less than your average weeknight tussle in Portland for the last six months.)
The attendance estimates at the inaugural were around two thousand, less than many high school basketball games.
What was the purpose then of all this saber rattling on a day that was supposed to be a celebration of the peaceful transfer of power in a democratic republic other than an ominous show of force, a reminder to the unruly masses that “stability” had returned and you had better accept it?
At least for the moment, Americans can still mock Fearless Leader: