I flew into Cleveland yesterday accompanied by a reassuringly large veteran of the Iraq war, the war in Afghanistan, and military service around the world (he also is from the Spectator’s Board of Directors), and a woman who has been stalking me for some twenty years. My flight was late, but we made it to the outskirts of Cleveland by 6:00 PM, thanks to the expert driving of a female African-American taxi driver who was not the least bit interested in payment as far as I could see, but only in service to her customers and in burnishing the reputation of Cleveland. So much for the rumors that racial relations are frayed in the Midwest. We tipped her munificently.
I say my veteran friend is reassuringly large as we were soon menaced by a mob of protesters. Yet his brute force was not necessary. The cops were out in force — overwhelming force. Moreover, this mob appeared to be shockingly undernourished, unhealthily debauched, and dithering. They seemed to pose only a threat to themselves. These were not the protesters of 1968. They were not the troops of the Chicago Seven. They were the children of the Great Depression of 2009. They were the children of fatherless homes, of the welfare state. They were lost souls. They were shouting at us and waving their arms and breathing heavily. Frankly, I feared for their safety. I thought my woman friend might attack them.
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