What was Greg Bloom hoping to achieve in his Tuesday column? Never before have I read an argument so self-defeating as to actually bolster the case for the opposition. Bloom's curiosity about Saturday's Raleigh protest is understandable, his objective approach admirable but his conversion was so irrational as to only be considered laughable. When I consider political functions, I do not equate having a good time with having a good point. Clearly Bloom does, for he entered as a skeptic and left a convert. Not due to any rational argument, mind you, but due solely to the seductive powers of the mob. This is how people join cults.
People who lack a persuasive argument find strength in numbers. They believe that their inability to express a coherent opinion is somehow vindicated by padding themselves with their like-minded counterparts. It is in this unifying effect that they find the substance needed for their cause. Bloom was essentially a sheep without a flock, like many protesters, wowed by the ultimately insignificant number of people present also insecure in their own opinions, yet determined to have their voices heard. All this despite, as he all-too-willingly admits, a total lack of anything valuable to say.
"These people weren't here to talk, but they were here to be heard." A quaint sentiment, indeed, but these words are ultimately meaningless. He does, however, expose the self-righteous, self-centered motivation behind the current anti-war movement, which is essentially a nostalgic throwback to the late 1960s. Replacing the festive atmosphere with a symposium or roundtable would quickly expose the utter ignorance of these people.
If Bloom's article provides anything, it's a clear indication that from those "8,000" present, one couldn't squeeze an argument sufficient enough to challenge even one semi-informed counter-protester. But he's satisfied with that. After all, he was inspired by a feeling, not an argument.