The Peace Movement Didn’t Just Disappear

protestAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

Earlier this week, Fox News reporter John Stossel asked a question that often pops up from the right wing media on a slow news day: “where did all the anti-war protestors go?” Stossel suggested anti-war protestors were really just “anti-President Bush,” citing a study by “two college professors,” with no reference to where the study came from. He called the drop off in attendance at rallies from this mysterious study “amazing” (the mystery study he quotes says after Obama was elected president, attendance went from thousands to hundreds) and said that “protestors have remained silent over Libya.”

The study Stossel references was authored by two social scientists, Michael Heaney of the University of Michigan and Fabio Rojas of the University of Indiana. Research was conducted at various anti-war rallies in the U.S. from 2007 to 2009. Heaney and Rojas have been following the anti-war movement since the 90’s, paying particular attention to the political affiliations of people in the movement and tracking the ebb and flow of participants. The study found that participation in anti-war demonstrations “dropped by an order of magnitude” from ’07 to ’09.

Stossel and others in the right wing media seized on this, painting anti-war demonstrators from the last decade as hypocrites who gave up on a lost cause. Making this assumption based on Heaney and Rojas’s study trivializes the anti-war movement and trivializes the study as well. Movements, especially those surrounding huge issues like war or trade policy, aren’t based on party affiliation alone. The study found that the largest amount of people who “left” (stopped coming to protests) were democrats, right after Obama was elected into office. That’s not surprising, given the amount of lip service Obama gave throughout his campaign about ending the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So why aren’t those millions of people back in the streets since we’ve escalated the war in Afghanistan, escalated drone bombings in Yemen and now are involved in the Libyan conflict? Probably for the same reasons mass demonstrations saw their numbers dwindle only a few months after the start of the Iraq war. There were huge protests during the lead up and shortly thereafter, but once the conflict continued on for months, then years – plenty of people started questioning how much of an effect a march in the streets was having. The business of war continued as usual, whether or not a few hundred or 10,000 took to the streets during rush hour.

Read the full post at Diatribe Media

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    I’m not convinced that objective fact really counts for much any more. Maybe we should just concede that Right Wing gasbags like Stossel are right, even if their statements are factually incorrect.

    We live in a total dystopia where up is down and day is night. Perception is reality. Maybe we’ll all feel better if we can just align our personal ethics and aesthetics with the prevailing Misanthropy. Here is a draft 12-step programme for those recovering from PPS (“Post Progressive Syndrome”).

    1. Attend a monster truck rally ripped to the tits on a gallon of Lite beer and paint thinner.

    2. Purchase the inspiring, essentially-true ghost written autobiography of a Tea Party hopeful. You don’t really have to read it–the 100 proof, high-octane American should be able to activate through osmosis merely by physical proximity. Actual reading is for f*ggots anyhow.

    3. Menace a racial, ethnic or sexual minority. Don’t let yourself feel small about using underhanded tactics to bully weaker, smaller or otherwise more vulnerable members of society from an inherited platform of white male privileged; efficient use of social capital to cull the herd is what it’s all about.

    4. Master right wing economic theory. It’s not hard to do, since it’s basically a radically pared down version of microeconomics: “Give me mine; fuck you”. Far from requiring you to be conversant in the complex interrelationships between various forms of capital and market incentives, it requires you to be totally ignorant of them. Truth be told, you can get along pretty well on this score just by repeating, “Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts!” Just ask Paul Ryan (R-WI). And if anyone asks you in return how you’re going to spur economic activity by undermining the infrastructure and curtailing the circulation of money, tell them to shut up. They’re just stupid Dumbocrat f*gs anyhow.

    5. Find a dog to kick. It will make you feel like a real man. Just make sure it’s more of the 13 year-old toy poodle variety rather than a 3 year-old Rottweiller. Even stupid has its limits.

    6. Praise Jeebus. Religious tropes that emphasize His Power and Glory and the Kingdom of Heaven. Subliminal monarchism is what it’s all about. Don’t let flakey whimps like Dominic Crossan confuse you with that bullshit about Him being a populist rebel. And remember the iconography of a tortured lonely man on a crucifix is all about Jebus demonstrating what a badass He is–not about selfless sacrifice or inflexible commitment to “moral” plattitudes.

    7. Where art and fashion are concerned remember that Bigger is ALWAYS Better. Don’t let long-haired aesthetes try to convince you that historical context and a refined palate are important. That sort of talk is only good for them rationalize their pathetic inability to purchase a new, large, gas guzzling truck every year or an enormous McMansion with a water guzzling formal garden. Interpret their snide, resentful comments on your fat wife’s hideous hairdo accordingly.

    8. Commit yourself to continuous improvement. Sadly, even the simplest, most straightforward human being is a labyrinth of conflicting motives and instinctual drives, so never give yourself a free pass on being “conformist enough”. How will we ever purify society for Jeebus’ 2nd coming if we’re unwilling even to purify ourselves? Any time you hesitate in crushing an opponent or sense a revulsion towards the abuse of power or even compassion for some disgusting pervo-povo, I suggest you slam your nuts in a car door for at least fifteen minutes. It will restore your hatred of the world.

    9. However, be prepared to show mercy (of a kind) unto the vanquished. True enough, lefties are defined by a constellation of failed ideological programmes that have settled to the filthy end of the social Darwinist gene pool. But they do often have sort of a saving grace–they usually beat the shit out of themselves for you, and top it all off with an apology for having been so contrary. Donald Trump’s recent birther-baiting has been a rather crass violation of this policy, as it is entirely uncalled for; Obama’s done pretty well at undermining himself. Only a true peasant like Trump would feel the need to be running up the board.

    10. Keep on the look out for someone weaker than you. Always. The hallmark of humanity is frailty, and it is just about statistically certain that you will find yourself on the short end of the social Darwinian stick at some point in your life. But there is redemption, something that you can do to purge yourself of your last vestiges of humanity: Abuse someone weaker.

    11. Missionary position. Can’t stress this enough. While the patent hideousness of your shrieking cow of a wife may well make you forego conjugal relations entirely, office parties and naughty secretaries are dangers to the morals of the Christian male requiring eternal vigilance. Whatever you do, if and when you find youself straying into extramarital relationships, don’t compound matters and piss God off even more by assuming foreign, pagan sexual practices.

    12. Remember: It’s not your fault. The world may be a reeking shithole of vice, violence and lies, but that’s the natural order of things. Don’t put yourself on the wrong side of history by contesting it.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I’m not convinced that objective fact really counts for much any more. Maybe we should just concede that Right Wing gasbags like Stossel are right, even if their statements are factually incorrect.

    We live in a total dystopia where up is down and day is night. Perception is reality. Maybe we’ll all feel better if we can just align our personal ethics and aesthetics with the prevailing Misanthropy. Here is a draft 12-step programme for those recovering from PPS (“Post Progressive Syndrome”).

    1. Attend a monster truck rally ripped to the tits on a gallon of Lite beer and paint thinner.

    2. Purchase the inspiring, essentially-true ghost written autobiography of a Tea Party hopeful. You don’t really have to read it–the 100 proof, high-octane American should be able to activate through osmosis merely by physical proximity. Actual reading is for f*ggots anyhow.

    3. Menace a racial, ethnic or sexual minority. Don’t let yourself feel small about using underhanded tactics to bully weaker, smaller or otherwise more vulnerable members of society from an inherited platform of white male privileged; efficient use of social capital to cull the herd is what it’s all about.

    4. Master right wing economic theory. It’s not hard to do, since it’s basically a radically pared down version of microeconomics: “Give me mine; fuck you”. Far from requiring you to be conversant in the complex interrelationships between various forms of capital and market incentives, it requires you to be totally ignorant of them. Truth be told, you can get along pretty well on this score just by repeating, “Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts!” Just ask Paul Ryan (R-WI). And if anyone asks you in return how you’re going to spur economic activity by undermining the infrastructure and curtailing the circulation of money, tell them to shut up. They’re just stupid Dumbocrat f*gs anyhow.

    5. Find a dog to kick. It will make you feel like a real man. Just make sure it’s more of the 13 year-old toy poodle variety rather than a 3 year-old Rottweiller. Even stupid has its limits.

    6. Praise Jeebus. Religious tropes that emphasize His Power and Glory and the Kingdom of Heaven. Subliminal monarchism is what it’s all about. Don’t let flakey whimps like Dominic Crossan confuse you with that bullshit about Him being a populist rebel. And remember the iconography of a tortured lonely man on a crucifix is all about Jebus demonstrating what a badass He is–not about selfless sacrifice or inflexible commitment to “moral” plattitudes.

    7. Where art and fashion are concerned remember that Bigger is ALWAYS Better. Don’t let long-haired aesthetes try to convince you that historical context and a refined palate are important. That sort of talk is only good for them rationalize their pathetic inability to purchase a new, large, gas guzzling truck every year or an enormous McMansion with a water guzzling formal garden. Interpret their snide, resentful comments on your fat wife’s hideous hairdo accordingly.

    8. Commit yourself to continuous improvement. Sadly, even the simplest, most straightforward human being is a labyrinth of conflicting motives and instinctual drives, so never give yourself a free pass on being “conformist enough”. How will we ever purify society for Jeebus’ 2nd coming if we’re unwilling even to purify ourselves? Any time you hesitate in crushing an opponent or sense a revulsion towards the abuse of power or even compassion for some disgusting pervo-povo, I suggest you slam your nuts in a car door for at least fifteen minutes. It will restore your hatred of the world.

    9. However, be prepared to show mercy (of a kind) unto the vanquished. True enough, lefties are defined by a constellation of failed ideological programmes that have settled to the filthy end of the social Darwinist gene pool. But they do often have sort of a saving grace–they usually beat the shit out of themselves for you, and top it all off with an apology for having been so contrary. Donald Trump’s recent birther-baiting has been a rather crass violation of this policy, as it is entirely uncalled for; Obama’s done pretty well at undermining himself. Only a true peasant like Trump would feel the need to be running up the board.

    10. Keep on the look out for someone weaker than you. Always. The hallmark of humanity is frailty, and it is just about statistically certain that you will find yourself on the short end of the social Darwinian stick at some point in your life. But there is redemption, something that you can do to purge yourself of your last vestiges of humanity: Abuse someone weaker.

    11. Missionary position. Can’t stress this enough. While the patent hideousness of your shrieking cow of a wife may well make you forego conjugal relations entirely, office parties and naughty secretaries are dangers to the morals of the Christian male requiring eternal vigilance. Whatever you do, if and when you find youself straying into extramarital relationships, don’t compound matters and piss God off even more by assuming foreign, pagan sexual practices.

    12. Remember: It’s not your fault. The world may be a reeking shithole of vice, violence and lies, but that’s the natural order of things. Don’t put yourself on the wrong side of history by contesting it.

    • Andrew

      That deserved to be it’s own article.

    • aaroncynic

      I second Andrew’s sentiment

  • Andrew

    That deserved to be it’s own article.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    They woke up and realized that ‘hope’ was indeed audacious. They elected the first black American President, a Chicago community organizer, who had been characterized as being slightly left of Mao…

    …and got the same old shit plus some new turds. If there’s anyone left who actually believes that a vote for any major party candidate makes a difference…they’re still to young to vote, too old to change, or too dumb to matter.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    They woke up and realized that ‘hope’ was indeed audacious. They elected the first black American President, a Chicago community organizer, who had been characterized as being slightly left of Mao…

    …and got the same old shit plus some new turds. If there’s anyone left who actually believes that a vote for any major party candidate makes a difference…they’re still to young to vote, too old to change, or too dumb to matter.

  • Anonymous

    I second Andrew’s sentiment

  • Anonymous

    The Fourth Reich has already won the next election and everyone knows it’s true. The Republicans and Democrats have something in common; their as radioactive as their money and their corporate bosses. Say good night Dick!

  • Guest

    The Fourth Reich has already won the next election and everyone knows it’s true. The Republicans and Democrats have something in common; their as radioactive as their money and their corporate bosses. Say good night Dick!

  • SF2K01

    It’s been clear for years. Most people don’t care about the specific issues, they only care about whether their party is doing it or not. Republicans lead the war, the Democrats go anti-war. If the Democrats are now fighting that very same war, the become pro-war while the Republicans suddenly care about ending it. It’s about the idiotic struggle. You can’t trust parties and the people that devote themselves to them. They simply will serve their own drives and desires (as long as they are in control, they are right) and F the rest.

  • Anonymous

    It’s been clear for years. Most people don’t care about the specific issues, they only care about whether their party is doing it or not. Republicans lead the war, the Democrats go anti-war. If the Democrats are now fighting that very same war, the become pro-war while the Republicans suddenly care about ending it. It’s about the idiotic struggle. You can’t trust parties and the people that devote themselves to them. They simply will serve their own drives and desires (as long as they are in control, they are right) and F the rest.