Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Stand Down

Back in 1992 or so, when I was still an undergrad, I attended an abortion rally in Washington, D.C. Apparently abortion rights were being threatened in some way at the time, though I really don't recall how anymore. I was (and still am) a supporter of abortion rights, so I went, and never have I felt more out of place in my life. The organizers of the rally turned out to be hard-core leftists with whom I shared almost nothing except our position on abortion. Indeed, I think a substantial number of the organizers were even communists (no exaggeration). During their speeches, they spent more time talking about the need for federally funded childcare, expanded welfare benefits, affirmative action for women and minorities, and a laundry list of other left-wing causes than they spent talking about abortion. I haven't attended a rally of any kind since.

That was a very long-winded way of pointing out that the most vocal advocates of an important cause can sometimes drive away potential supporters by sending the false impression that only certain types of people (specifically, radical left-wingers) support the cause. Such is the case with opposition to the invasion of Iraq. The most prominent anti-war activists often turn out to be communists, anti-globalization zealots, and so on, and this creates the false impression that opposing invasion of Iraq is a fringe position. But in truth, opponents of making war on Iraq come from across the political spectrum and from multiple ideologies. Bringing them together is the raison d'etre for Stand Down, a coalition blog whose purpose is to unite reasonable opponents of war from a panoply of political viewpoints. Take a look - it should be worth your while.

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