Imagine a mob descending on the capitol. They aren’t armed with pitchforks and torches – no, many of them are holding the cotton candy they bought to keep the kids from getting too bored and whiny. They aren’t angry, except maybe at the sitter who canceled at the last minute to go play disk golf with her boyfriend. This is a concerned mob, a group of people who aren’t shouting slogans mostly because they find “Hey, Hey” chants to be a bit embarrassing. Their list of demands is not long – all they want is for people to think for a change.
This is the Rally to Restore Sanity. 30 October 2010. Be there – if it’s not too much trouble.
Jon Stewart has issued the call to march on Washingtoon because he has the one thing that I do not have – a nationally televised show. And a lot of Emmys. Oh, and charisma, I can’t forget that, along with a great comedic sense of timing that transcends traditional television genres. But all those things do not deflate my sensibilities as a blogger when I tell you that not only did I call for a Return to Sanity first, I did it long before it was popular to be anything other than a partisan shill.
But I’m not bitter. No, I’ll claim that this was all my idea because it looks like it’s going to be popular.
Let’s look at the basic facts confronting our nation today: One in seven people live below the poverty line, the national debt is over $14 trillion, a tiny minority of 15 percent of all people control our political agenda by shouting, and 50 percent of all statistics are invented entirely on the fly to prove a spurious point. This is some messed up stuff. And the vast majority of Americans I know are not exactly angry about the situation but are deeply concerned that our politics has been taken over by people with a pretty thin sense of reality.
If you’re one of those people who really wants to talk politics but still thinks it’s a bit impolite in mixed company, or especially if you’re one of those who talk about it but keep your voice down because you really don’t want to hear more of the same (CowPuckey) from the guy in the cube down the line who always goes on and on about irrelevant stuff, this is the rally for you.
It’s not about anger. It’s not about any particular point of view. It’s about how adults are supposed to get together and do the stuff that needs to be done, assuming they can fit it into their tight schedule.
But that’s what we elect people to go off to Washingtoon and do – the stuff that none of us can find the time to take care of. They aren’t supposed to be at parties or appear on TV, and they certainly aren’t supposed to be giving big bear hugs to people who write them insanely large checks just because they won the last election. We know all this is happening because when they do show up on TV they have a long list of cheap excuses that bubble into a totally fake righteous indignation, just like a little kid caught pushing around the kindergartners on the playground. “I’m not the problem,” they tell us, “It’s everyone else! Those guys are so bad they make me really angry!”
That’s not what adults do. Adults get together, vent a bit, maybe have a bagel with a schmeer, and then get to work. They compromise and do their best to make everyone happy because, damnitall, constant anger is exhausting and embarrassing.
If you can attend the rally on 30 October, please do. If you can’t, well, you can’t. That’s OK. But keep the spirit alive by speaking in a quiet voice your well-thought-out concerns. Go ahead and stay up at 3 a.m. staring out the window and worrying, if you have to. But know that there are a lot of other people just like you who aren’t shouting because shouting is annoying and rude and not exactly productive.
Rally to Restore Sanity. It’s an event and it’s a way of life.