When Matt Mowers moved to Washington in November 2016, he wasn't expecting a hero's welcome. The young political operative had worked for Donald Trump's campaign in New York, where you can hardly walk down the block in many neighborhoods without spying the words "Fuck Trump" scrawled somewhere on the streetscape.
But last year, his new neighbors in Dupont Circle, the upscale area known for its stately townhouses and history as a hub of gay life in the District, pulled some moves that surprised even Mowers, by then chief of staff at the State Department's global AIDS office. In the run-up to Mowers' first Halloween here, one of his neighbors strung up a skeleton and a pumpkin next to each other on a tree. The pumpkin had a sign: "Now kids, just because you're orange doesn't mean you're related to him!" With the dangling skeleton was a more menacing note: "Donald Trump's EPA director."