Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Jon Stewart rally fighting for reasonable solutions to political problems

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The MSM’s reaction to the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally is understandable.

They seemed concerned that there was a political agenda, because they look for political agendas in everything. They don’t get that the rally is about blasting the modus operandi of the MSM, because they are as oblivious to self-criticism.

Was the rally political? Naysayers will say “yes” and that it leads Democratic and it’s a desperate ploy to rally people to vote against the teabaggers on Tuesday.

As Stewart put it, sanity is in the eye of the beholder.

If the rally was political, you would spell it with a small p. Political in the sense of getting politicians to get things done, to come up with solutions, to recognize that there are problems and they need solutions.

There is a strong disconnect between the people who elect the politicians and the politicians themselves, which is really bad given that we live in a representative democracy.

Jon Stewart’s agenda is to tap into that disconnect.

Stewart was also trying to showcase that what goes on in the Capitol and on cable TV doesn’t reflect America or Americans.

He notes that the 24-hour pundit cable news channels “did not cause our problems. But its existence makes solving them that much harder.”

There was a lot of music:  the Roots, Mavis Staples, Jeff Tweedy, Sheryl Crow, Yuself Islam, Kid Rock, Ozzy Osbourne, the O’Jays. Comedy reigned supreme with the Daily Show and Colbert people along with Father Guido Sarducci.

There were messages in the comedy: Medals of Reasonableness. Colbert’s fear mongering was tempered by Stewart’s reasonableness.

The analogy at the end of cars going from several lanes to one fit Stewart’s vision of America: regardless of one’s positions, it’s “you go, then I’ll go.” Compromise as part of a normal day’s activity leading to solutions.

“Americans live their lives more as people that are just a little bit late for something they have to do. Often, something they do not want to do. But they do it. Impossible things every day that are only made possible through the little reasonable compromises we all make.”

What Jon Stewart really wants isn’t to vote for a particular politician or party. What Stewart wants, and what the Americans who were there really want is for politicians to say, “We know there are problems. We may disagree on what the solution will be. And even if we disagree with them, they are not evil.”

Stephen Colbert’s character personifies the things that Stewart attacks, but they want the same thing but go about it in different ways. Spotlighting the fear and showing that there is a reasonableness to the world is better than preaching for three hours on tolerance.

“We live now in hard times, not end times. We can have animus and not be enemies.” Stewart got a nice round of applause for that line. That line struck a chord with the crowd and perhaps millions more who watched live at home either on Comedy Central or on C-SPAN.

The only question is whether the people who really needed to hear it — politicians and cable pundits — can or will hear the message. And the only question for the people is whether they will vote for people on Tuesday who understand that. Oh, and whether they will have the enthusiasm to vote.

Too often, the people are told that they don’t matter, that reasonable Americans don’t matter in the cable TV news landscape. Stewart and Colbert and a mess of other people showed them that they do matter.

And a representative democracy works best when the voices of all the people are heard by those in power. If they aren’t going to listen to Stewart and Colbert, they should think about reasonable people who gave up their weekend to hear what Stewart and Colbert had to say. If those people, and millions of others, utilize that power, they can get the change they want, real chance through active solutions to our troubles.

pictures courtesy of Lisa Beuning
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2 Responses

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  1. [...] The rest is here: Jon Stewart rally fighting for reasonable solutions to political … [...]

    PFC Blog Archive

    October 31, 2010 at 4:33 pm

  2. When politcians are afraid of companies sending our jobs across the border due to not giving a tax break to the company
    Why dont they take away the tax break away for products shipped across our border? AS a matter of fact make a larger tax for what is going across the border?

    Brad Sieg

    May 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm


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