Rally to Restore . . .


There is a lot of negative bits and bytes about the Jon Stewart/Stephan Colbert get-together on the Mall for three plus hours on Saturday 30 Oct here, here and here.

Now, the folks that are critizing the event are people I respect.  I read their blogs everyday.  Yet, I feel that they have this all wrong.

The message that I got was “T O L E R A N C E ” Be tolerant of your country men and women.  They have the same rights as I do.

Of the positive criticism, I thought this hit the spot

Contrary to much speculation on the right, he kept his critiques balanced. He addressed Americans of all stripes, specifically noted that his intention to heckle those with which he has openly disagreed– in fact, his only intention was to dissuade those with the power of mass communication from doing so, constantly, on a daily basis. Those who paid attention to Glenn Beck’s speech at “Restoring Honor” will be hard-pressed to find much of a difference at the core of both their speeches, that core being that Americans are truly good and care for one another, and that the only way to get through these difficult times is working together. Beck often describing himself as a bit of a Jon Stewart figure, the fact that it is now Stewart mirroring Beck’s message without much of the excess baggage that being Beck entails seems appropriate.

Unlike Beck, however, there is an immutable truth about Stewart that, while not strong enough to make his words hollow, lend no weight to his message: if those shouting heads on cable news stop shouting, and Americans start working together for the greater good of the nation, Stewart (and Colbert) would be out of a job in a heartbeat. Stewart was right to anticipate that, as a “comedian-pundit-talker-guy,” there are boundaries to what he can say without sounding at some fundamental level hypocritical. The challenge for those Americans who listened to Stewart is to let the words do the talking– that “we know instictively as a people that… we have to work together,” that there will always be darkness, as there will always be New Jersey, but it doesn’t have to define our lives– without letting the impulse to evaluate Stewart ad hominem dilute his message.

The best sign that was readable on TV said:

Tea Parties are for little girls and their invisible friends.

I watched the entire rally on C-Span and thought the overall message was that we do not live in a black-and-white world and most things are not as simple as they are made out to be, as in the appearance of Kareem, with Colbert acting as if he did not know that he was a Muslim.

A treat was seeing Josef (Cat Stevens).  The last I had heard, he was not allowed to enter the country.  Seeing him gives me a little hope.

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