A rally to “Restore Sanity?” Have we as a nation really gone so mad that we need a mass movement to bring us back to reality? Jon Stewart and company politely say “yes.” Stewart’s call to action, or rather, his “slightly louder than a whisper” to action, is titled the “Rally to Restore Sanity” and will take place on October 30 in Washington DC, in the same location as and two months after Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally. Beck recently told Bill O’Reilly that he was “totally cool” with Stewart’s upcoming DC rally. Stewart’s approach will be slightly different from Beck’s, and his message is clear:
“ We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard;… not so much the Silent Majority as the Busy Majority.”
In the world of the 24 hour news cycle where the loudest and often most extreme opinions seem to dominate news media, the idea of rational voices getting a little airtime is promising. It may be that Stewart is right and it is time for those who fall somewhere between “apathetic” and “aggressive” to be heard.
Stewart’s is a rally for those who don’t care if new solutions are from the left or right, from a Republican, a Democrat or a Libertarian.
As of Sunday night there were over 160,000 people “attending” the event, based on its Facebook page. Some irony is found in that Stewart’s invitation is directed toward those too busy to ordinarily participate, yet these “busy” individuals are apparently traveling from as far as Oklahoma to be a part of this sanity restoring event.
Even more exciting than the number of people planning to go to DC are the multiple satellite rallies around the nation that have popped up organically on Facebook. Some of these impromptu local rallies have attracted attention in the news. While not an exhaustive list, there will be satellite rallies in Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Eugene, Lansing, Los Angeles, Portland, and San Francisco.
For those not as enamored with the idea of reasonable discourse, there’s always Steven Colbert’s tongue-and-cheek counter rally: “The March to Keep Fear Alive.”