Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Funday: One More Plea For Sanity

Friday is the day for fun, slightly less politically oriented commentaries around here. After the week - or really, the election season - we've all had around here, we could definitely do with a dose of unity and positivity in this counry. Yet that message hasn't seemed to have gotten through to everyone. While the President has communicated he's willing to compromise and work WITH Republicans, Republican congressional leadership seems to be telling Obama to... do offensive things to himself. In light of that difference of approach, we thought it might be good to take one more last look at the real message from last weekend's "Rally for Sanity and/or Fear" with Jon Stewart.

Our staff who were at the rally had a lot of fun - and saw a lot of crazy signs. More importantly, we think Mr. Stewart's message is even more important now than it was before the election.

All of us agree with most of what Jon Stewart said in his closing speech. So we've clipped out what we think are the most important parts, and we'll let his message take you into this weekend.

"We live now in hard times - but NOT end times. We can have animus, and not be enemies. Unfortunately, one of our main tools in delineating the two broke.

This country's 24-hour, political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems, bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen. Or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire, and then perhaps host a week of shows on the dangerous, unexpected flaming ants epidemic. If we amplify everything, we hear nothing....

The press is our immune system. If it overreacts to everything, we actually get sicker... yet - I feel good. Strangely, calmly, good. Because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false...

We hear every damned day about how fragile our country is, on the brink of catastrophe, torn by polarizing hate, and how it's a shame that we can't work together to get things done. The truth is, we do! We work together to get things done - Every. Damned. Day! The only place we don't is here [Congress] or on cable TV! But Americans don't live here, or on cable TV. Where we live, our values and principles form the foundation that sustains us while we get things done--not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done.

[Like cars going into the Holland Tunnel]... this is us. Every one of [those cars] is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear--often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers'. And yet, these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze, one by one, into a mile-long, 30-foot-wide tunnel, carved underneath a mighty river.

And they do it, concession by concession: you go, then I'll go. You go, then I'll go... [It works] 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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