Perhaps in the future, this day will be called day zero of year zero, signifying the official closing of one era and the start of a new one. The installation of Joe Biden as president marks the end of the old civic nationalist America and the beginning of the new managerial state. Competitive elections and open debate of the old era have been swept away in favor of ceremonial elections and speech codes. The managerial class has formally seized control of the country.
No one can look at what is going on in the country and think any of it is normal or that returning to normal is possible. Even if Washington wanted to return to normalcy, the last few months cannot be unseen. Joe Biden will take the oath of office behind layers of razor wire, guarded more than a full army division. The imperial capital looks like it is under occupation and it very well may remain this way. The new regime is extremely paranoid, convulsed by increasingly bizarre conspiracy theories.
This is the big lesson of the Trump years. The nature and psychology of the managerial class began to transform after the end of the Cold War. Little by little it was becoming a closed and insulated culture sitting atop of the general culture. The system looked the same from the outside, two parties competing for votes and the right to dispense the benefits of power, but inside it was changing. It was becoming a distinct culture and the people in that culture were becoming class aware.