Roger Simon had a post yesterday which reminded me of one I had written just about two years ago. Commenting on the Rinky Dink Antiwar Demonstrations this past weekend, Roger finds their turnout “pretty pathetic.”
Two years ago, I had asked, If Iraq is like Vietnam, how come the rallies keep getting smaller? And the rallies are still shrinking, smaller this year than they were in 2005. Back then, they were only a fraction on what they had been at the outset of the war. By contrast, in the Vietnam era, the rallies kept getting bigger as the war progressed.
Roger ponders the meaning of the increasingly sparsely-attended demonstrations:
What’s interesting is why this low turnout when, according to many polls, the public is supposedly massively against the war. If they are so antiwar, they certainly are pretty apathetic about it. This is another example of why Iraq is not Vietnam when filling the streets with demonstrators was a simple matter.
This also may mean that the public opinion polls themselves are not a decent measure of how people really feel. Although pollsters try, polls in general are particularly poor at measuring the depth of people’s convictions or natural human ambivalence. Ambivalent people don’t tend to get on a bus to go to a demonstration.
Something for Republicans to think about before looking to the latest polls to determine which way they intend vote on a certain issue. For that matter, it’s something the Democrats should also consider.
But unlike during the Vietnam era, when the size and strength of street protests gradually grew over time, the Iraq war initially produced massive demonstrations that have since petered out. On Saturday, only about 20,000 gathered for what was billed a major peace march.