Can Comedy Central Rally the Radical Middle?

September 20, 2010

When Americans badly needed a few laughs during the Great Depression, a cowboy comic named Will Rogersbecame a huge star–and influential public figure–by tweaking politicians and announcing, “I don’t belong to any organized party, I’m a Democrat.”

Now that Democrats and their independent ilk are even more disorganized and disheartened, here comes another comic calling for a “Rally to Restore Sanity” at the Washington Monument on October 30th.

After Glenn Beck’s crowd scene at the nation’s capital, Jon Stewart is organizing “people who’ve been too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs.” The effort may be starting out as a parody but could turn into a rallying point to counter Tea Party excesses.

The call to arms starts with the now classic “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” and goes on to riff on it:

“Who among us has not wanted to open their window and shout that at the top of their lungs?

“Seriously, who?

“Because we’re looking for those people. 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; and who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles.”

Stewart, along with Stephen Colbert holding a mock counter-rally, have the star power to draw an enormous crowd, and there will be no shortage of big names eager to join them. A cameo by one from the White House is certainly not out of the question.

Striking back at the Tea Party with reasonable argumentsis not likely to sway millions of voters. Holding its excesses up to ridicule may work better

As Will Rogers used to say, “People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.”

Copyright 2010 Connecting.the.Dots

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