It was with some trepidation that I decided to jump in with the body odor-and-trust fund crowd protesting the Republican convention on its final night. Getting arrested, I'm sure, is no fun, and as a conservative—albeit a radicalized one—I wasn't sure if my message would go over well with the Che Guevara T-shirt wearers, some of whom share Che's taste for physical confrontation.
But given President Bush's absolutely wrong-headed approach to immigration—and the suppression of Rep. Tom Tancredo's heroic attempt to get immigration reform into the platform—somebody had to take it to the streets. That person was me.
My message: Immigration is killing us. And George W. Bush is doing precious little about the problem.
More specifically, I put black text onto a 3-foot by 4-foot sign that read:
"1 Right-Winger Against Bush: Stop Immigration. Deport Illegals. Keep America."To that I added, "Outsource the Open Borders Lobby!" and a picture of Mohammed Atta, below which was a quote from George W. Bush:
"Our country has always benefited from the dreams that others have brought here."Yes, Atta's dream was realized, alright. Surely the point would be driven home for common-sense delegates and New Yorkers. Maybe even the protestors would stop and think.
Whether the protestors were doing much thinking, I couldn't tell. The one or two positive reactions I got from them, I'm sure, were the result of seeing my displeasure with Bush. I doubt they read further down. I didn't connect with them, for the most part.
But look who did:
Perhaps instead of illegals being deported, she was hoping they'd come to her house for tea and a little talk on the wonderfulness of GOP inclusion. Who knows?
But that was the extent of my negative reception.
And there I was, half-expecting to come home in an ambulance.
Now, if my street-level reception in Manhattan last night was any indication, just think of how deep the discontent with Bush's position on immigration is elsewhere. Especially among rank-and-file Republicans and others across the country who are more concerned with a safe, secure and culturally coherent America than posturing for the New York Times as "tolerant" and "diverse."
But the immigration insanity continues, largely thanks to Dubya.
Here's hoping that, in future conventions, anti-immigration voices are heard inside the convention center.
Because if they aren't, the Republican Party will have proven its uselessness in protecting America.
If it hasn't already.