The Rally to Restore Sanity, etc: Early Thoughts

Just a couple of early thoughts about the rallies as I sit on the Metro bringing me back to Maryland.

1) The crowd was huge. I think a lot of people underestimated the draw of this event. Stewart’s appeal was evident through the turnout – and I’m really excited to see the crowd estimates. And to demonstrate the size…twitter, facebook, and pretty much all Internet use was down while at the rally (at least for me).

2) Don’t get me wrong…the rally was awesome and I’m really glad I went. But a rally is about the crowd and the experience, so I didn’t hear quite a bit of the actual program. I’m going to need to watch the rally to understand what went with that context and to get all the jokes.

3) But from what I did hear, one thing was clear. This was a political rally above anything else. While comedy may have to make the point, the point was political. But it was political in the best sense – about contributing to democracy – not about supporting a particular party or position.

Well, those are my first thoughts. I plan to post more later, including some of our favorite signs. I’m not looking forward to the 15 hour drive home tomorrow.


  1. I hope you guys had an amazing day of people-watching and rallying! Hope you have a safe and uneventful trip home! Here are some thoughts from the peanut gallery:

    If I had to summarize the rally in one sentence, I would draw on the words of FDR: “The only thing we have to fear if fear itself.” Stewart and Colbert did a good job of moderating what I consider their generally left-leaning tendencies to raise a valid point about the often paralyzing fear-mongering perpetrated by our “main-stream” media on both sides. The question is: Was this ultimately a political rally or was it a critique of the role of the media in contributing to social and political stagnation for the sake of ratings, dollars and competitive edge?

    What I took from Jon Stewart’s speech was that, as far as he is concerned, Americans, regardless of political affiliation, race, color or religion, are not a problem. Disagreement is not a problem. It’s the magnifying and distorting mirror through which the media projects us back to ourselves and to each other that leaves little space for moderation or civility. Truly, if we indulge his argument for a moment, the problem extends beyond the news media. From Biggest Loser to Extreme Home Makeover, from Jersey Shore to Lady Gaga, from the Hills to Family Guy, from Cosmopolitan to People Magazine, Michael Moore to Glenn Beck … from Anderson Cooper to … Colbert and Stewart… extremes rule the day where the media is concerned and those extremes are often portrayed as representative of or relatable to the values and beliefs of a sizable sector of our society. Those extremes elicit extreme responses that are equally too unidimensional to holistically represent even a portion of our society. And yet, we are forced to choose between extremes in our entertainment, in our news media and, ultimately, in the voting booth.

  2. Pingback: The Rally to Restore Sanity: The experience « Emily K Vraga

  3. Pingback: The Rally to Restore Sanity: Politics & targets « Emily K Vraga

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