God smiled on America yesterday, with a beautiful blue sky day and thousands on the Mall, stretching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument. All to see two silly men pretend to hold a rally. Except, it really wasn't pretend. And except that even two silly men can be serious.
The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear came from Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and Steven Colbert of The Colbert Report, both from Comedy Central. An interesting group of entertainers lent their talents to the show and Jon & Steven went back and forth for three hours from noon to three in D.C.
The thing is, that Comedy Central has managed to become a political commentator of note. First it was their political convention coverage -- both irreverent and asking the questions which just weren't being asked. Hell, the President of the United States was on The Daily Show this week and Stewart didn't just lob jokes and softball questions at the man. Really.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Rally reached a wide demographic of people, who took time from their schedules to show up. And cheer. And applaud. And sing. And somewhere in all that people actually told the truth. Even some West Michiganders went to the Rally, both in DC and about 150 or so showed up at the Wealthy Theatre to watch it projected on a screen.
And as Robert Reich said on his website:
We’re better than this.
This is not respectful disagreement. It’s thuggery. It has no legitimate role in a democracy. And most Americans are fed up with it.
Sadly, we needed two comedians to remind us.
This election cycle has been brutal -- the most uncivil I can recall -- and lots of talk about Freedom and the Constitution and Us (versus Them). Except they aren't talking about any Freedom or our Constitution that I know about. It really is about their version of "Us" against all versions of "Them". And things which are known not to be true are bandied about as if they are the truth at rates which hurt my brain.
And we needed two comedians to let us know that We The People are not left alone and desolate and inconsolable in our own country.