Last weekend we attended the Stewart/Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. We had planned on writing a recap with clips of our favorite moments and pictures of our favorite signs, but that now seems a bit late. That said, please take a few minutes to watch Jon Stewart’s inspirational closing remarks. Also, as the D.C. arm of Frontier Psychiatrist, we feel the need to talk about what happened last night. So here are our thoughts on the State of the Union.
“But we live now in hard times, not end times.” The sane words of “comedian, pundit, talk-guy” Jon Stewart rang over the National Mall last Saturday. Just this past year alone, the U.S. has seen an awful amount of chanting, berating, insulting, spitting, sulking, stalking, mimicking, mocking, punking, angry drinking, sorrowful drinking, celebratory drinking, name-calling, job searching, chastising, socializing, communizing, facistizing, nationalizing, religionizing, secularizing, fantasizing, downsizing, upsizing, self-aggrandizing, and politicizing. At first glance, one fears that positive public discourse has died, and given way to groupthink and mob justice. But, another thing to remember, this was an election year. Was 2010 really that different from elections of yesteryear?
Now, the FC only has a few years of personal cognitive political analysis under his belt, but he’s beginning to see a pattern here. Yes, the Democrats lost the House of Representatives, not the other way around. Republicans have capitalized on the same exact emotion the Obama campaign exploited just two years ago: distaste. The recent Democrat losses mirror the 2006 Republican losses. This year’s shift to the right was brought on by a distrust of the “Washington Elite”, who were pushed out to make room for those who favor “Main Street”. Isn’t that why we voted for change in 2008? Who exactly are we fighting here?
In an attempt to restore “sanity” to the U.S., 200,000+ presumably “sane” citizens gathered on the National Mall to have their voice heard. The rally was seen as a response to not just Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally, which was held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the same place that exactly 47 years prior Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream Speech”, but to share those opinions that often get overrun by those who shout more. But, be aware, as Stewart said, “sanity is in the eye of the beholder.” So who’s sanity are we attempting to restore? Now that we all have seen the mid-term election results, did Stewart/Colbert and attendees restore sanity? Should we be looking for sanity in politics?
Did you vote for change in 2008? Did you vote for change in 2010? In the wake of yesterday’s Democratic beatdown by Republicans and the Tea Party, we need to reflect on a few things, namely why did this happen, how will it affect us, and will anything change? We here at FP don’t fancy ourselves pundits, but these are questions worth pondering.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. We should all take a moment to be happy that we’re only yelling at each other, hurting feelings rather than killing one another. As Americans, this conflict is in our blood. It’s always been us against them, but as Stewart pointed out, we still find a way to make it work.