I have not set foot in St. Paul--nor have I ventured into downtown Minneapolis since Saturday night when Cristina and I went to Barrio, the details of which are forthcoming--and I don't plan to until this RNC crap is all over. Actually, even then I probably won't be over there for a while because, well, it's St. Paul.
I have a lot of media and media-loving friends, though, and they've all been over there. Naturally, you have Chuck with The Uptake, then Coco was down there catching some riot cops on camera and of course Steve, my favorite local writer, journalistic and otherwise, is all over the convention.
Aaron also experienced the RNC protest movement and all its glory, writing about it in a slightly disturbing blog post. One that made me think twice about my previous belief that, if the cops weren't walking around in preemptive riot gear and spinning their batons, the protesters wouldn't be acting so insolently. But now I don't know; these protesters seem, as Aaron calls them, "fairly unorganized" without any agreement on their goals. And what's with the senseless destruction of personal property? Smashing car mirrors, throwing bricks through retail buildings. What a bunch of dicks.
But then again, these people are angry for all the right reasons. Hell, I'm angry. So angry my eyes well up when I think about soldiers being deployed and stop-lossed, unlawfully detained prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, and the fact that the Administration has somehow convinced Americans that undocumented Mexicans are not only a recent phenomenon, but are somehow a severe threat to our economy. ($340 million dollars a day spent on combat efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan sounds like a threat to our economy, if you ask me.)
So I get it, I get feeling so angry that you can't even contain it, that you have rage inside of you. But I also think the anger might be a little misdirected. Rich seems to share my opinion here in that protesting and basically rioting in the streets of St. Paul with not much of an audience is just sensationalist overkill. Yes, we have the bloggers, dutifully posting to YouTube and Flickr, but every time I turn on CNN or any other news source watched by the majority of Americans, they're talking about Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston.