The Lonely Centrist

A place for reasoned debate about the issues of the day.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Serious Issue, Frivolous People

I think that one reason the anti-war movement has not taken hold, despite general unpopularity with the war in Iraq, is that most Americans do not see the movement as being serious. Americans are serious about terrorism, even if they oppose the war in Iraq, which polls show most do.

But check out this latest publicity stunt by leading anti-war figures. They - Cindy Sheehan, Dick Gregory (when you're down to Dick Gregory as your "celebrity" participant, you've got problems), a few folks I've never heard of - are now launching a "hunger strike." Or are they?

One participant claims, ""Now it is time to bring the pain and suffering of war home. We are putting our bodies on the line for peace." But then we read, from another hunger striker, "I don't know how long I can fast, but I am making this open-ended." Well what does that mean? Until the craving strikes for a veggie burger?

Then we've got the usual Hollywood "support," including Sean Penn, the very beautiful Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover , and the so on. What are they doing? A"rolling fast." And what is that, you ask? Well, they "pledge to refuse food for at least 24 hours, and then hand over to a comrade." Well, how awful is that? Oooh, that's putting the body on the line, eh? It seems to me it would be more of a sacrifice for people such as Sarandon and Penn, whose careers depend on their physical fitness, to pledge to stuff their faces with Big Macs for 24 hours.

This makes a mockery of people who have truly gone on hunger strikes for things they believe in. Force feedings, and people actually dying of hunger strikes, are not pretty.

Too many prominent Democrats, such as Howard Dean and Al Gore, have identified themselves with these frivolous people, so that Americans, I think, don't really, deep in their gut, trust the Democrats with the war on terror or national security. One of the few who has played this seriously is Hillary Clinton, and it looks like it may cost her a nomination that was once hers for the asking. This is a shame. We need a responsible, serious, opposition party.

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