As 1 in 200,000+ attendees at John Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity, Saturday, I was wildly enthusiastic about the whole program until the end.
I might only be .000005 th of the voice of the mass, but I think I reflected most of humanity which had encased me. Stewart’s ending soliloquy on too much negativism and polarization ran hugely hollow.
Almost everyone there, like me, was a progressive. The cast of characters that marched onto the stage, from Cat Stevens (now Jusef) to Father Gaducci were liberal cut-outs of a very long and historic left-wing movement in this country.
The great skits depicting the wrongness of generalizing about religious fanaticism, of exaggerating the coming of the apocalypse and the reactionary views of most of the “mainstream” media, were all great and enlightening.
And the police helicopters circling endlessly above and the Batman-like snipers on the building tops made us all realize this wasn’t all fun and games.
So Stewart’s attempt to accentuate neutrality, compromise and thereby bring back a feel-good America drew about as much applause as Father Gaducci when he called for God to give us a sign that Methodism was the true religion.
There was more polite laughter.
But that was hardly ten minutes of five hours. The rest was great. We progressives came in thousands and thousands and we weren’t shrill or ridiculous (like the Beck crowd), and there was a lot of humor, something I believe progressives have always maintained. And a real indication that our beliefs are constructed not divined from the supernatural.
One of my favorite signs was, “Give me ambivalence, or give me something else.”
I think we were a great sea of wait-and-see. Our enthusiasm was really for sanity, something currently missing from American life. Anyone who wants to tap into us has to start speaking in grammatically correct sentences that can easily be fact-checked!
And how will we vote?
But will we all vote?
Not sure. It just might be better to let the crazies duke it out first.