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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Columns

March for sanity is greatly needed


Oct. 30 of this year will mark the fifth anniversary of National Forgiveness Day, a day to celebrate unconditional love and restoration. It is rather fortuitous that Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” is going to fall on the same day. The rally will take place in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., the same place Glenn Beck held his “Rally to Restore Honor” several weeks ago.

Stewart’s rally is being hyped in the media as a response to Beck’s rally. In perhaps a more direct response to Beck, Stewart’s faux conservative nemesis, Stephen Colbert, will be holding a dual rally at the same place and time as Stewart’s. Colbert is calling his rally the “March to Keep Fear Alive.”

While Colbert’s rally will undoubtedly end up being quite entertaining, it’s not attracting the same kind of attention Stewart’s rally is attracting.

There are currently 145,000 people signed up for March for Sanity on its Facebook page. The event is still over a month away, which means the numbers of those pledging attendance will likely increase exponentially by the time of the rally.

Stewart’s rally is supposed to cater to moderates — people who are tired of having to choose between two ideological extremes every time they enter a voting booth. It’s a rally for people who don’t think calling a Democrat a Socialist, or a Republican a Fascist, is productive in the least bit.

There are probably people who will read and say that the rally is not for moderates, and that the majority of Stewart’s viewers are of a liberal mindset. It is possible that they are correct in their judgment, but it is too early to determine the demographics of those who plan on attending the rally. However, most of the posts on the event’s Facebook page have been critical of both political establishments. It should be obvious to anyone who watches “The Daily Show” that Stewart is an equal opportunity comedian who attacks people on both sides of the aisle.

This rally could be an excellent way to address the partisan poison that is seeping through the veins of America’s political establishment. We need to try to find a way to work together and find common ground.

Politicians and pundits need to stop demonizing those who disagree with them, and start building relationships with them instead. Perhaps Stewart’s rally will provide the comedic catalyst to propel the moderates out of their houses and into the streets — then the real work can begin.

Daniel Renfrow is an anthropology junior and may be reached at [email protected]


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