Safety is more important than ceremony right now. Survival more important than the perception of weakness. Given the threat level, the idea that we must move forward to make sure the treasonous invaders don’t win seems imprudent. The people who invaded the Capitol are disconnected from reality. They rage under the delusion that President Trump won. They have fully embraced the Big Lie. They are going to make up their own narrative no matter what.

The Secret Service and the military take the lead for security during the inauguration, and they won’t let rebels storm the Capitol a second time. But a public ceremony still gives the mob a target for its ire, and that imperils local residents, everyday visitors and Biden supporters who might also be in town. Their welfare must also be considered next week.

There are other reasons to lean toward safety. We have all had to learn how to swerve and abandon our traditions for the sake of public health in this period of pandemic.