By Robert Mangel
Popular comedian and social commentator Jon Stewart recently made a vow to organize a rally in Washington D.C., a rally he dubbed the “Rally to Restore Sanity”. Now, whatever your thoughts on Jon Stewart may be, this rally provides a telling insight into American political culture. For too long, those who yell loudest and yell most often have run the American political system. Unfortunately, those who yell loudest are usually those who refuse to do the necessary legwork to make an informed decision.
This is not an indictment of those individuals, but rather the culture that allows them to continue to be the only voice that politicians hear. So Jon Stewart presents a way to combat this culture to those who do think reasonably and are sick of the fear-mongering that plagues the American mind. The website for Stewart’s rally lays out a blueprint for the kind of people he hopes will attend his rally: “We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles.” Stewart presents an appeal to the moderate masses of Americans, those who wouldn’t liken President Obama to Hitler and call Dick Cheney the spawn of Satan.
While the über anti-Obamaites and the über anti-Bushites continue to yell and scream at each other, the voices of those Americans who truly need the government to work for them will be drowned out. The extremism of those few loud voices continues to deepen the divide between the two major political parties, and the truth of the matter is, that the divide continues to hurt Americans. While there will always be discrepancies between the two political parties, there should be an ability in Congress to come together for the betterment of the American people, and that has begun to disappear with the rise of political extremism.
Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity presents an option for those who seem to have no options in the tumultuous political landscape. Whatever your political views may be, Stewart’s rally is a call to political rationality, rather than political extremism. The call for reasonableness is necessary and needs to be heard if Americans and politicians are to be able to move forward together as a country.