Honorable Mention TOKYO-2017 Editorial / Political

‘A Republic, if You Can Keep It’

  • Photographer
    ASHLEY P GILBERTSON

I’ve heard stories about towns in America that celebrated when Donald J. Trump won the election. People shouting on main streets, driving around honking their horns — elation. Washington wasn’t one of those towns. Here, 4 percent of Washingtonians voted for Mr. Trump. Ordinarily, people put their heads down and get on with it. This inauguration is different, though. There’s an infectious sense of fear and anxiety that’s impossible to avoid. Exhausted by the constant political chatter, I went to the National Portrait Gallery to disengage from the present and get lost in history with the portraits of presidents past. But the distinct sense of foreboding followed me. I came across a captivating painting of Yarrow Mamout, a freed Muslim slave. Above Mamout’s portrait was a quote from Benjamin Franklin that encapsulated all the emotions I was feeling, and so succinctly: “A republic, if you can keep it.”