Where Have All The Antiwar Leftists Gone?
- "What anti-war movement?" former Congressman Dennis Kucinich asked when called for comment last week. Medea Benjamin of the radical group Code Pink agreed: "The antiwar movement is a shadow of its former self under the Bush years." Cindy Sheehan quipped, "The 'anti-war left' was used by the Democratic Party. I like to call it the 'anti-Republican War' movement."
The "Wonkblog" of The Washington Post ran an article (online only, not in the newspaper) headlined, "How Obama demobilized the antiwar movement." As much as our "objective" media lamely tried to portray the peaceniks mobilizing in the streets against Team Bush as nonpartisan and non-ideological, the truth is the movement collapsed as soon as the Democrats tasted power.
Sociologists Michael Heaney and Fabio Rojas surveyed the leftist protesters for a 2011 paper and found that after Obama won, "attendance at anti-war rallies declined precipitously and financial resources available to the movement dissipated ... the antiwar movement demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success, if not policy success."