As we were preparing for the Democratic Convention, I kept hearing things about the possibility of violent protests, and the preparations the Denver police had made, etc. The climate of the country, the war, the anniversary of 1968 in Chicago were all mentioned. I heard very little to nothing about such preparations or issues for the Republican Convention.
And after the Democrats had an almost idyllic convention experience, I heard even less.
Why? In hindsight, it would seem obvious that the party the crowd most likely to protest is angry with is the Republicans. They are the ones in control during this war, like the Democrats were in 1968. They are the ones who have been in charge while the country went to hell in a handbasket.
And unfortunately, their mindset is the one with the history of forgiving overzealous action on the part of authority figures and demonizing zealousy from those who oppose their point of view.
So I suppose I should have seen this coming. But I didn't. Worse, in another example of the seeming inability of much of the mainstream press to give equal coverage to Republican miscues as they do to Democratic ones (Repeat after me: Czechoslovakia is no longer in existence. Please remember this now, John.) I have seen very little in the mainstream media about the violence at the RNC. Yet there have been multiple atrocious incidents. Pepper Spray used indiscriminately. A reporter and her cameraman violently arrested. C'mon now...you might have missed the press credential or even, in a stretch, the microphone. But the cameraman? Since when do we arrest the press for covering a story in the United States of America?
But the one that has me most shocked is the brutal mistreatment of a seventeen year old boy from Milwaukee.
Inside the Convention, Pharisee-like cries of anguish over the "mistreatment" of a pregnant seventeen-year old girl. Mistreatment that I have yet to see come from the Democrats, by the way, despite the tearing of sackccloth and wearing of ashes on the podium.
Outside, a vicious beating of this young man, completely ignored.
The link follows. Please be warned, there are photographs and they are not pretty.
Please, do not allow this to go unnoticed. Five police officers can carry a limp seventeen year old to the side of the road quite easily. And I personally am reminded that leadership and culture flows down from the top. I can not see Barack Obama ignoring this were it brought to his attention. I fear I can not say the same about John McCain, and I believe that this mindset flowed all the way to the authority figures on the streets.