Compromise, team spirit called for at ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’
WASHINGTON — “We live now in hard times, not end times,” Jon Stewart said at Saturday’s Rally to Restore Sanity. “And we can have animus and not be enemies.”
One of Stewart’s messages was that Americans are more than what they are portrayed as in the media.
“The image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false,” Stewart said. “It is us through a fun house mirror — and not the good kind that makes you look slim through the waist and maybe taller.”
If the image were true, our inability to solve problems would be reasonable and sane, but it isn’t, and Americans are capable of working together, Stewart said.
“We work together to get things done every (expletive) day. The only place we don’t is here (at the Capitol building) or on cable TV. Americans don’t live here or on cable TV.
“Americans do impossible things every day that are only made possible by the little, reasonable compromises we all make,” he said.
Stewart illustrated his point with a video of cars merging together into the Lincoln Tunnel between New York and New Jersey. Things work by a method of constant concessions, Stewart said.
“Sure, at some point, there will be a selfish jerk who waits until the last minute and zips up the shoulder, but that individual is rare and he is scorned and he is not hired as an analyst,” Stewart said.
We know instinctively, Stewart said, that in order for things to work we need to work together, especially in these dark times.
Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was Stewart’s example of a Muslim that Americans were not afraid of.
“We’re all on the same team,” Stewart’s Comedy Central faux-nemesis Stephen Colbert, whose “March to Keep Fear Alive” coincided with the rally, debated Abdul-Jabbar about the importance of sanity over fear, a debate he eventually won with the help of the crowd’s cheering.
Abdul-Jabbar was one of many celebrity guests, which included R2D2, the O’Jays, Sheryl Crow, Sam Waterston, John Legend and The Roots, Ozzy Osbourne and Sami Yusuf.
Yusuf and Osbourne competed, with Yusuf singing “Peace Train,” and Osborne singing “Crazy Train.” Their competition ended with Stewart announcing that he and Colbert would compromise and bring out the O’Jays singing “Love Train.”
The rally drew over 250,000 people, according to CBS News estimates. The crowd gathered Saturday afternoon on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.