Stewart’s rally brings back sanity

"Last Saturday, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C. With over 200,000 participants on the National Mall, the event was an afternoon filled with music, comedy and special guests, including Tony Bennett, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, R2-D2 and Ozzy Osborne. In addition, the Mall was filled with signs declaring things such as "even my sign chooses not to yell" and "I’m mad as hell, but mostly in a passive aggressive way." All of this was in support of the majority of Americans who don’t lean toward the extreme right or extreme left but prefer the moderate middle.

"Even with the overt comical overtones of the event, there was a moment that was actually serious. Stewart ended the rally with a speech discussing what was at the heart of his decision to host the rally.

""The country’s 24-hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems but its existence makes solving them that much harder," Stewart said.

"He went on to say that because of the 24-hour media, the focus is on the extremes that do not represent the majority of America at all. Furthermore, the various problems in our country are heightened and taken out of proportion causing confusion and more problems; "If we amplify everything we hear nothing."

"Fast-forward to Tuesday’s election and it appeared that Stewart’s message fell on deaf ears. Turn to any news station and the ranting and raving over who was elected and who wasn’t was ringing over the TV. The races that received the most focus were the ones with the most extreme candidates, even if the races weren’t that close.

"If you were watching MSNBC Tuesday night, the pundits were crying that since the Democrats lost the House of Representatives, the world was over. But if you were watching Fox News you heard that since the Republicans gained control of the House, everything in the world was going to be fixed and be right once again. It was just another step toward the confusion and strife between the two sides.

"If anything, this year’s mid-term election coverage only proved Stewart’s point as the pundits fueled the fire of the over-hyped concerns of the country.

"Some may look over the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear as a ploy by Comedy Central to have a giant party in D.C. Yet, Stewart’s message rings true and if our country is going to move forward in working together and fixing the problems, we’re going to have to block out the intense noise of the extremes. As the new Congress and other officials throughout the country take office in January, the citizens need to let the powers at be know that they want policies that work for everyone and not adding to the conflict.

"One of Stewart’s main points in his ending remarks was that despite what the government and the media want us to believe, we actually work together every day. He gave the analogy of cars entering a narrow tunnel during rush hour and how even though there are all different types of people on the highway, they cooperate so traffic can move as smoothly as possible.

"If Congress, other elected officials and the media follows the example already established by the citizens they are suppose to serve, our country will become the great nation we pride ourselves to be.

"As Stewart put it, "Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway, together."

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