Atticus On The Trail

When The Devil’s At Your Door: The Republican National Convention

I’d been covering an argument between a man wearing a shirt that said YOU WHORE and everybody in the world, sweating and feeling terrible about pretty much everything. The fights had devolved to the lowest common denominator. Ignorance and ad hominem attacks. I peeled away feeling sullied and dirtied. I was mulling over whether people had a point when they said the system was beyond saving, that Trump represented a deep and buried psychological defect in the species, when a sound erupted, earning the attention of everyone in the vicinity.

Some ducked.

Some ran for cover.

I hustled across the street, listening to a nearby officer say into his walkie-talkie that he’d heard a gunshot.

A rush of people toward the sound, some with guns and some with cameras.

When we got there we found a car with a blown tire. The driver outside smoking a cigarette while police worked the crowd and replaced the tire. Inside the car, in the passenger seat, a smiling man displayed his photo ID to journalists asking how to spell his name. The job was done and the driver returned to the wheel and drove off into afternoon traffic. The crowd cheered the police who shook hands and got back to work.

Let it be known: the assembled law enforcement in Cleveland, Ohio are the only ones walking out of this mess with any credit. Ugly and disgusting were nearly every other facet at play. The people antagonizing and harassing one another, the media gladly lapping it up, the Republican Party reveling in the slop their organization has become. The police were quick, well trained, and saved these people from themselves.

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