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29.8.04

Bad Protest Messages

I find the "Republican convention in a blue state" theme in coverage of the RNC a little strange. Yes, there are a lot more liberals than conservatives in New York City. But it's not like there are no conservatives -- heck, their last two mayors have been Bush-backing Republicans. Yet there's this view that somehow liberals own New York, that for Republicans to come to town is tantamount to trespassing. It's well-illustrated by the rhetoric of the RNC Not Welcome group (link via Matthew Yglesias), who want to "remind them [Republicans] that these are our theaters, our streets, and OUR CITY."

It's great if protesters use the forum to point out that Republican actions have and will hurt Americans in general and New Yorkers in particular. And I can understand concern about the convention exploiting Ground Zero for political gain (though at this point it's not clear how much of that will happen). What I don't agree with is the idea that it's especially inappropriate for Republicans to come to, and praise their bad policies and wrap themselves in 9/11 in, a city that happens to have a larger number of liberals than conservatives.

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