Victor Davis Hanson suggests that Iraq, and the see-saw of public opinion about Iraq, can tell us something about ourselves and our leaders. Since the start of this war, events on the battlefield have swung American politics to the Right and then to the Left. Is it now swinging back?
On the eve of this war about twenty percent had strong feelings to begin the fighting, while twenty percent opposed it — and the vast majority in between had no strong views other than a desire to be on the winning side. Although the Democrats grasped that truth about human nature, and thus all during the last four years adjusted their politics to mirror what they perceived 51 percent of the people believed, they forgot one central truth — evident in the careers of all great statesmen from Pericles to Churchill. While the people are expected to be fickle, they are uneasy when their own leaders prove even more so.