Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Sanity/Fear Rally (Part 2)

In a previous post I described the Sanity/Fear rally and Stewart's reason for having it.
What follows are my reasons for going.
I came to the Rally to restore Sanity and/or Fear for civic fellowship, to affirm civility, and to negate the Beck-Tea Party axis’ stranglehold on national discourse.
1.I went to Stewart and Cobert’s rally because friends were going. On one level I mean Onleilove, Samantha and Aaron who I rode down with.
On another level I mean the many friends and friends of friends (for example my Hebrew study partner from undergrad in Oregon and the boss of the woman who convinced me to get Simul in Wisconsin) who also attended, but because of the massive crowd I never saw there.
On still another level I mean all those people who came together who share shades of the same cultural, social, generational, and political views as my own. I’ve heard it said the Sanity/Fear Rally was my generation’s Woodstock. I think that’s a little far-reaching, but the point it well made.
I wanted to participate in a big event in the national-life of our country. There seem to be fewer opportunities for communal and community oriented events in our national life. I think this lack fed into the Beck rally. But it is not only Sarah Palin’s heart that yearns for national purpose, for a public life and the ability to earn some social capital, but my own as well.
2. I also went to the Sanity/Fear rally because I am pro-civility. Much of Stewart’s expressed reason for going to the rally mirrors my own. I think many people are truly fearful. They are acting like chickens with their heads cut off because the media, and, I would add, reactionary people with far more detrimental intentions than simply selling newspapers and gaining high television ratings, are telling us we have everything to fear. These same people also demonize those with whom they disagree, and next thing you know everything becomes a yelling match. I believe healthy discussion and clear discourse can do wonders for understanding what those you disagree with believe.
3. That said, there are people out there with whom I disagree deeply. They are the final reason I went to the Sanity/Fear rally; I went because I am anti-Tea Party and anti-right wing extremist. In fact, because of the way they have handled themselves they deserve to be mocked. Their claims upon the soul of my country (and theirs), their overblown sense of their own strength, and their manufacturing of reality is unacceptable. Thumbing my nose at these tendencies is the third and final reason I went to the Sanity/Fear rally (and yes I am aware there is a disconnect between this and my previous reason for going to the rally).

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