What We Restored Sanely and Kept Alive Fearfully

(crossposted on MyFDL)

I, like most people, had no real concrete idea of what The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was to entail when we packed ourselves onto the D.C. metro cars early Saturday morning.  My expectations were high for the event, and I assumed I would be surrounded by open-minded free-thinking individuals whose passion for such an event was as wholesome as mine.  I was not disappointed.

Feeling guilty for complaining about the miniscule hour drive to the Shady Grove metro station, there were groups of people bussed from Oklahoma, New York, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between.  I hauled my sleep-deprived butt out of bed at the unfamiliar hour of 4 a.m. to attend what I hoped would certainly be a fulfilling day of cooky signs, facetiously witty humor, and maybe some cupcakes.

My expectations were blown away (except the cupcakes, I never found any…)

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are two alternating comedic personalities who have managed to garner some clout when it comes to events such as this and media cavalcades alike.  Upon the heels of Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally, one looked down highly upon from the “left-of-center” audience, Stewart and Colbert cooked up their respective rallies in what most thought to be a moderate response to Beck’s piss and moan festival.  Contrary dear reader, it was not. Err… well not directly so to speak.

So what were we rallying and marching for Saturday in the nation’s capital?  The answer is what you make of it.  Here’s what I made of it.

Fortunately, a good friend scored an extra VIP pass so I managed to see the stage and be very close to the action.  What I saw, for the most part, ended up being good bands, great comedy, and a very selfless awards ceremony.  It was not until Stewart’s final speech that I felt truly enlightened and knew what the purpose of this gathering was.

Stewart gave an impassioned speech, lined with some comedic instances, that truly spoke to the thousands (CBS estimated 250K) of people in attendance.

The message:  We are Americans, we are diverse, we will never all agree, but we are one people.   The political discourse in this country has grown to such immense proportions, and not only just the partisan divide but the division of people in general has multiplied to great proportions.  Why are we here?  To show a sane, moderate, reasonable attitude and prove to people that we can unite as peaceful terms.  We are not Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, Blacks, Whites, Jews, Atheists, Christians, Muslims; We are Americans.  We are working together every day to get things done as Stewart pointed out.

I’ve never been so taken by any one speech in my life.  Maybe I’m a sap, or maybe just a naive college student,  but Stewart’s speech was something so unreal.  Jon Stewart was not a comedian on Saturday.  He was not a Television personality, former supporting actor to Adam Sandler in Big Daddy, or the author of two best-selling books.  Jon Stewart was one of us.  Not a creepy Christine O’Donnell type one of us, he was truly just like us.

Is this an over dramatization of the rally?  I don’t think so.  Some may read this and see these words as just that of an amped up latte-sipping liberal college student and his rants about some hip event he went to.  I hope there is more depth to it than this.  This event is honestly something I’ll tell my children about; something I went to and witnessed.  No, it will not gain the notoriety of the Million Man March (nor should it), or the numbers of Obama’s Inauguration, but it was something that was necessary, awesome, and inspiring.

“We work together every damn day to get things done in this country.”



Tags: Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Rally To Restore Sanity, March to Keep Fear Alive (all tags)


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