Last summer I took my family on a trip to Washington, DC, where we visited the National Gallery of Art’s East Building, a so-called Modernist masterpiece designed by architect I.M. Pei, who also designed the Louvre Pyramid.

Well you know what, I.M.? I.M. not impressed!

I was, in fact, horrified, and shielded my children’s innocent eyes from the ugly sight. “What has become of our once beautiful nation?” I wondered, looking on in disgust at the open, angular walls and ceilings that lead the eye into unexpected spaces.

I’m sure I speak for the entire 99% of Americans when I say: Quel garbage. The building is almost as horrifying as the Modernist simplicity of Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which attempts to bring the visitor into an intimate, meditative connection with those lost in the war.


What’s next? Frank Lloyd Wright comes to the National Mall? Don’t get me started on his ungodly house Fallingwater, a “tour de force” that supposedly offers a harmonious relationship with nature, and which has welcomed millions of visitors since its 1964 opening. More like “Failingwater”!

I left DC in a pit of despair over our country’s civic architectural crisis.

Then I learned about the draft executive order “Make Federal Buildings Beautiful Again”- a proposal to mandate the design of government buildings to the Neoclassical style- and I let out a sigh of relief.

Finally, I felt seen and heard. As an American patriot, I know what I want: I want to be dictated to.

Some elitists have criticized the order, saying it “restricts freedom of expression”- like that’s a bad thing! But the National Civic Art Society, the organization that drafted the order, gets it, and they get me. They say, “For too long architectural elites and bureaucrats have derided the idea of beauty, blatantly ignored public opinions on style, and have quietly spent taxpayer money constructing ugly, expensive, and inefficient buildings. This executive order gives voice to the 99 percent — the ordinary American people who do not like what our government has been building.”

That’s me! That’s what the Founders wanted when breaking free from King George: legibility in architectural design, harkening back to imperial Rome. Right? I’m not sure, I never took any of those elitist Civics courses in school. If the current leaders say it’s what the Founders wanted, that’s good enough for me. Please, please don’t make me have to think for myself.

Look, I’ll be honest. I don’t know what Neoclassicism is. And I don’t care to know. But if the people’s choice wants Corinthian and Doric columns, I’m in. If they want to make it with playdough and Legos, sure. And if they want new Roman temples, an autocracy, and a coliseum with hundreds of thousands of humans and animals slaughtered, conjuring images of humanistic leaders such as Caligula and Nero, I trust they just have my best interests at heart.

I hope to one day return to our great nation’s capital and proudly show my children the re-beautification we deserve: Current Modernist federal buildings replaced with replica Caeser’s Palaces.