Jon Stewart broke the news recently that the Daily Show will throw a “Rally to Restore Sanity” on Saturday, October 30th on the Washington Mall. He exhorted viewers to come and “Take It Down A Notch For America.” Going beyond a parody of the Glenn Beck Restoring Honor Rally in August, Stewart builds on the “sanity” theme—and invites all of us folks who haven’t been out there yelling stupidities to show up. “Think of our event as Woodstock, but with the nudity and drugs replaced by respectful disagreement.” Stewart’s rally will meet a dueling “March to Keep Fear Alive,” led by his Comedy Central ally Stephen Colbert.
Hearing of the Stewart-Colbert plans is the tonic I’ve needed ever since watching the video of an address by Chris Hedges at the annual convention of Veterans for Peace (VFP) in August. Hedges, a former war correspondent, reviewed recent and current U.S. political and economic behavior and drew a chilling picture of what he sees for the future—a dark-age period that it is too late to prevent.
Hedges talk was a wake-up call for me. His observations fit what I have been noticing, but I had not connected the dots to face the full grip that corporate America has on our status as a democracy. At the same time, neither I nor my friends in the VFP audience agree with his opinion that it is too late for citizen action to turn things around.