This past Sunday, February 19th of 2023, I took my son to the Rage Against the War Machine Rally. This is a follow up to a previous essay explaining why I was psyched about the idea that people from different political philosophies can coalesce to fight for one cause and the opportunity to hear many speakers I admire present their cases for peace. I was not disappointed. 

But I did not go there for entertainment. I did not bring my son to Washington DC to see the sights or gain a better sense of the greatness of America. No. To the contrary, we came to Washington DC to protest. 

The day started with making connections to other libertarians, some we knew and others we met for the first time. The Libertarian party of Oregon had a tent set up giving away some key literature. These guys were awesome. Bastiat’s The Law and none other than the book eerily published in 1984, The Butter War by Dr. Seuss. I read that to my family this evening and with the Ukraine war as a mental backdrop and the ending of the book can be construed as this exact point in history. I highly recommend it.

There was recognition and gratitude of all the parties involved. Even the COMMUNIST PARTY who had a table set up. I was scratching my head but if they want to join us to end the possibility of a nuclear holocaust I welcome them. Maybe later, we can sit down and discuss all the ways they are wrong but for now, you are my brothers and sisters. And that is the biggest takeaway for me. We all are evolving. We all are discovering. And we can all help each other reach an understanding. We are all trying to get to the restaurant. We just can’t agree on the best route. The speakers really drove this home in many instances. Some speakers were stronger than others and some of the messaging went to their respective bases but all of the messages were to promote negotiating a peaceful end to the war in the Ukraine. 

Jimmy Dore - Kind of a lefty but very anti-establishment ended his speech with a unifying message reciting Fredrick Douglas:

“I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”

Then he also said a different kind of unifying message.

“If everybody on the Right would just realize not everybody on the left loves Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer; we just want to end the wars and have healthcare that doesn't bankrupt us, that would go a long way. And if everyone on the left would realize that not everyone on the right is a white supremacist, Trumper, gun nuts. They're just f*@king gun nuts.”

Either you get it or you don’t.

Dr. Ron Paul was the last speaker spreading the word about voluntaryism. I get the sense that while Dr. Paul has spoken in front of 100s of thousands of people over the years, few have been as politically diverse as this one. I can imagine socialists and Green party folks hearing for the first time that libertarians are about voluntaryism. It's such an obvious concept that most folks can get behind. And in that simple word, perhaps, one more thread connecting disparate groups.

Protesters from many ilk  in front of  White HouseAfter the chilling video message recorded by Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters concluding in John Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance, we began our march to the White House. My son Jackson and I were close to the front which was kind of quiet compared to the groups with megaphones behind us a ways back. As we stomped up the DC streets a quiet older sounding mousy voice started saying “No War ... No War ... No War”.  She would not stop. Her persistence was compelling. I found myself repeating her call in an off cadence. My son and several others joined in. We were not the quiet part of the march anymore.

We made our way to the White House where a make-shift PA was quickly set up and more people spoke about how they overcame the obstacles of the state through activism and creative solutions. There is a lot we can learn from each other.

It’s been a day since the event, giving me some time to reflect on the experience but also the overall message. What is the US doing? It is clear we are marching towards a war. Is it the hubris, the fatal conceit of those in power that they can control what is to come if they push too far? Or have they pushed too far already?  

An anti-war coalition has begun. We did it. It has started. Unfortunately, I do not feel like we have the time to nurture it. Is it too little too late? The US and NATO are sending more tanks, howitzers, and jets to Ukraine. NATO is further antagonizing Russia as it always has. How much longer before a frustrated leader pushes the button? There is an urgency for peace. Now more than ever. But most Americans don’t know this. Unless people actively seek out the truth they will always be at the mercy of lies.


“2023 Doomsday Clock Announcement

January 24, 2023

This year, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves the hands of the Doomsday Clock forward, largely (though not exclusively) because of the mounting dangers of the war in Ukraine. The Clock now stands at 90 seconds to midnight—the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been.”

I have not seen this in the news. Have you? I have not seen this anywhere! We as a nation and world are talking so much about who provoked what that we are missing the big picture. Without a peace treaty it does not matter what anyone thinks about strategic alliances, NATO, and the MIC. It doesn’t matter what we think about CRT in schools and how old someone can be before they are allowed to change their gender if we are all permanent shadows. It doesn’t matter if a hundred billion in “aid” to Ukraine could be a good long term investment for America in the long term as I have heard. There will be nowhere to run or hide. Everyone needs to rally for a peace treaty between Ukraine and Russia and we need it now. We need as many voices as possible screaming at the tops of their lungs and we need them now. Like Horton, not Scott but the one who heard a who in Dr. Seuss's other book, we need all of the people to raise their voices as loud as possible so that someone who can stop the certain destruction of the world will hear. It is a matter of survival.