AMERICAN NOTES: The Welcome (Wrestling) Mat

There was a time in American life when a city bloomed with pride to host a national political convention. The 1968 debacle in Chicago changed all that. San Diego never wanted the Republicans this year in the first place. At the news last week that the G.O.P., faced with myriad logistical problems and the taint of the ITT brouhaha, was joining the Democrats in Miami Beach this summer, San Diego's mayor, police chief and a number of other city notables happily gathered "to toast the convention out of town."

Miami Beach—an island that can easily be closed off against...

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