[alt.desert-storm] Actually, Nine Percent Ain't Bad

gcf@mydog.UUCP (Gordon Fitch) (04/03/91)

Much has been made of the fact that, of people who were awake at
all, 91% approved of Bush's handling of the Gulf crisis and 9%
disapproved.  While I have a lot of doubt about these polls,
let's assume that 9% is factual and represents three components:
hard-core pacifists, the peace movement, and irreducible
curmudgeons (those who disapprove of _everything_.)  And let's
assume that the proportion of hard-core pacifists and
curmudgeons remains about the same over a period of time.  I
think this is a reasonable assumption because hard-core pacifism
and irreducible curmudgeonry have little to do with outside events
and conditions; they're internal and personal.

Now, during the war in Vietnam, the opposition was even smaller
at its lowest point: 6% (in 1965).  I remember this well because
it was so at variance with my own perceptions -- but that's
another story.  Let's assume that this figure, too, is factual,
or if it is non-factual it is non-factual in the same way as 
"9%."  Now, if we assume that the proportion of the population 
which consisted of hard-core pacifists or curmudgeons was the 
same, then the peace movement has been growing rather rapidly.  
In fact, the smaller you say the peace movement is, the faster 
you say it's growing.  

For instance, let's say the constant element in the opposition
to the appropriate war is 5%.  Although there are not many
hard-core pacifists, it is certainly difficult to think that 
fewer than one out of twenty is a curmudgeon, given what we
see in daily life.  5% seems like a minimal figure.  If it is,  
then the peace movement grew from 1% of the pollable 
population to 4% in 26 years -- one generation.  If its 
numbers increase fourfold in every generation, it will 
represent 16% of the population 26 years from now and become 
a majority in about 45 years.

However, if you say that the constant element in the opposition
to the war is 5.5% (it can't be more than 6%) then the peace
movement went from 0.5% of the population in 1965 to 3.5% in
1991, that is, increased sevenfold.  At this rate the peace
movement will become a majority in 27 years.

In other words, many of you now in your twenties or thirties
have an excellent chance of seeing the dissolution of the War 
Machine in your lifetime.  And you would not know this without 
the public-relations victories of the War Machine's servitors 
and sycophants.  Keep the faith.

Gordon Fitch  |  gcf@mydog.uucp  | uunet!cmcl2.nyu.edu!panix!mydog!gcf