Home Opinion Opinion: The anti-war left’s convenient disappearing act

Opinion: The anti-war left’s convenient disappearing act

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The anti-war left is lost. Missing since 2008. Remember them? The same group of young activists packing rallies for then Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and likening former President George W. Bush to Osama Bin Laden. Where have you gone? The same outcries over troop increases overseas we heard in the early part of the 21st century have gone silent since 2008. The name calling and branding of a “war criminal” for Bush are two words that have never been uttered towars our current administration from that same group. Killing 49 people for every one terrorist in Pakistan is perhaps seen as a peace-producing casualty of “war” when the strikes are authorized by a man with a Nobel Peace Prize. But of course we aren’t really at war are we, what with a formal declaration of hostilities not occurring in Congress or the Senate since June 5, 1942. Perhaps this oversight eliminates the anti-war left from the burden of caring about innocent Pakistani children and perhaps it frees certain people’s respective minds from the hurt we should feel over our military recording more deaths as a result of suicides than from enemy bullets and bombs in 2012.

Earlier this month when Republican Sen. Rand Paul stood up for 13 hours in the Senate chamber to filibuster our drone program and executive powers under the guise of filibustering now CIA Director John Brennan, it wasn’t the anti-war left that rallied around him but the newly discovered peaceful right. But there shouldn’t be a difference. This new Republican Party is being led by a youth movement of young republicans and libertarians and liberty lovers that just want one thing: To be able to drink a cappuccino at a café without the person sitting next to us having his head blown off by a drone. A truly simple request.

But the left stayed silent. The left did not seem to care. Is it possible that the anti-war left was just more anti-Bush than anti-war? It’s beginning to seem that way. Young democrats seemed to be the last group to dare “#StandWithRand.” The White House switching from Republican to Democrat did nothing to change our foreign policy yet performed a complete 180 on our nation’s voice. According to a University of Michigan report, the Democratic make-up of anti-war protests dropped from 55 percent in early 2007 to just over 20 percent by late 2009. One would imagine that statistic falling even farther today. Going back to 2003, just 22 percent of Democrats approved of Bush’s foreign policy. As of early 2012 that number skyrocketed to 86 percent approval for Obama. What has changed to silence their outcry?

As long as their leader is in the oval office it seems it would be nothing but an inconvenience for the left to dig their anti-war protest signs out of their closets and trunks of their cars. But perhaps they can be found elsewhere, still trying to do good in this country. A simple Google search should clear things up. “Guantanamo Bay protests” yields a result of 21 prisoners currently on a hunger strike. Unfortunately no one seems to care, what with the last newsworthy protest in this country over its continued operation taking place over a year ago. So much for that 2008 campaign rallying cry. And as far as much of the left seems to care, so much for peace too. There are plenty of differentiating views on policy in this country and those separate opinions should at the very least be respected. But when you live under the shadow of supporting peace and human rights only when it is convenient for you then you sacrifice legitimacy and respect. The anti-war left is gone for now and at the decline we’ve seen over the past four years are perhaps gone forever. Good riddance.

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