Opinion

Why Charlotte must overpay for the Republican National Convention

Can we bring back the Dancing Deputies from the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte?
Can we bring back the Dancing Deputies from the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte? Observer file photo

Time is drawing near for us to decide whether we want to bid on hosting the Republican National Convention.

As always, we will be shrewd in our negotiations.

First we will need to review the list of demands from our gracious guests, like what we can provide them in terms of free money and available real estate.

Then we will need to ask the hard questions about whether handing over uptown for a week to a bunch of near-strangers in goofy hats is the right thing to do. And then we will need to roll over on our backs and give in to every extortion request with that old Charlotte can-do gusto.

We will soon learn that this is a terrific idea because someone will present an economic impact study showing that each dollar spent by the convention will multiply like little flesh-eating bacteria into great, steaming mounds of money that will barely fit into all our pockets.

We will be reminded that for a week, Charlotte will be that dazzling city a-sparkle on millions of TV screens, and people the world over will gaze with envy at the pictures, while making fun of the people in goofy hats.

And there are plenty of other benefits.

We learned in 2012 when the Democratic National Convention blessed us with its presence, that — in exchange for fencing off uptown like old Berlin — we will get a batch of new police bikes from the federal government. This is good. Some of the old bikes are getting dirty.

We might also get those dancing deputies from Georgia to help direct traffic again. They turned out to be the best entertainers at the DNC.

We have many more uptown hotel rooms than we had for the last convention, which means we won't have to bus as many influential journalists and bloggers out to a $280-a-night Bedbug Inn beside the interstate near Rock Hill. They will now write positive stories about their sleek, hip lodgings nestled in a city of glass surrounded by vast pastures of overpriced apartments.

Because we've done this before, we know it won't be the hassle the last one was.

It turned out in 2012 that cops and reporters outnumbered the dreaded protesters about 50 to 1. Those radical groups that popped out into intersections to block traffic had absolutely no effect, because everything was gridlocked anyway. Like the disco deputies, it was good street theater.

Some people are grumbling that the city shouldn't welcome Republicans because they disagree with administration policies. That is duly noted and summarily rejected.

We are a city of progress, industry and commerce. We are big enough to overlook partisan differences. Most of all, we would welcome the GOP because — how can I put this diplomatically? — they actually Pay Their Bills.

Some people gripe that they don't want the convention because of the party's presumptive nominee. This is nonsense.

No one in the last year has exhibited more grace, more integrity or more competence in the challenging demands of a new office. And that's why Charlotte should be proud to be the city where the nomination is bestowed upon a great natural leader and the next president of the United States — U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Email: mwashburn76@gmail.com
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