Something Happening There?
The Washington Post has a great piece today on the mood in the nation’s capitol on the eve of Saturday’s big anti-war march. It’s a piece shot through with the question of the moment in D.C.: Is something happening here?
Vietnam? The unquiet ghost, the untamed analogy, is loose in the air. There’s that old nervy feeling that Something Is Happening. Here. Now. But you could be mistaken…
Critics cannot easily dismiss this incarnation of antiwar enthusiasm as a fringe passion of anarchists, communists and freaks (though an author still tried to make that case last month at a Heritage Foundation forum). Recent polls say a majority of Americans — as many as 59 percent — think the war in Iraq is a “mistake” and the troops should be brought home. (Brought home when? That’s another question.)
The news is almost too much to handle. Demonstrators walk around saying, We are the majority, trying it on like unfamiliar clothes.
It has been half a lifetime since the peaceniks felt so … mainstream. The last time a majority became disenchanted with a conflict as shots were still being fired — including the Gulf War, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan — was August 1968, when Gallup first detected that most Americans considered the Vietnam War a “mistake.”