An American Girl in Washington

Reasonable people are Americans too

Posted in Politics- as I see it by AGinDC on 30 October 2010

Seriously people.

Reasonable people are Americans too.

That was basically the theme of today’s incredible, powerful, brilliant and ultimately cathartic rally.  Just because we’re not crying on television, screaming at the parents of dead soldiers, carrying guns to Presidential town halls and using our Second Amendment rights to bear muskets doesn’t mean we’re not Americans, and damned good ones.

As always, John Stewart and Stephen Colbert captured the zeitgeist of a nation at peril.  We’re mad as hell, but not at our President, who most of us actually think is doing a pretty damned good job, not at socialism/fascism/communism, which most of us can actually define with reasonable accuracy, and not even at Hitler, because he’s dead and not actually the current President of the United States.

No, we’re mad at the media, which, as John Stewart so brilliantly put it, “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 sudden, unexpected, dangerous-flaming ant epidemic.”  The media takes fledgling (albeit FNC-started) fringe political parties and turns them into stars.  They only illuminate the ratings-catching stories that shame, scare, and enrage viewers, not the serious, honest, bare truth that would educate, inspire, and motivate us.  But they’re not the only ones.

Most of us are mad at Democratic Party for not having any balls.  Seriously.  Grow a pair.  And then use that pair to hire a PR company.  And then use that PR company to craft a message about the President and Congress’s serious accomplishments over the past 18 months.  And then take that newly crafted message and SPREAD IT AROUND.  On the television.  And the interwebs.  And wherever else you think people will see it that is not in my email inbox four times a day, thank you very much.  And while I’m at it, Congressmen running for office: Grow a pair and stand up for your President and your votes and the accomplishments of the last year and a half.  WTF is up with acting like you’re not proud of health care??  It’s a f*ing HUGE accomplishment!!  Own it!  And do the same with the work you did on the economy, and education, and small businesses, and lord knows what else.  Most of us don’t know because you never tell anyone about it.  Maybe if you grew a spine and bragged like politicians love to do, people would actually, I don’t know, appreciate your hard work and, you know, vote for you.

Most of the signs were mocking other rally signs in a bloodless signage war.

And lastly, we’re mad at the people who are so eager to show us that you’re mad.  A lot of us are unemployed.  Most of us are broke.  Most of us don’t like at least three things that are happening in government right now.  At least.  But the large majority of us do not feel the need to resort to hyperbole and name-calling and violence and listening to Glenn Beck.  Why do you?  We’re Americans.  We’re a team.  We’re all in this together, for better or for worse.  Why can’t you just talk to us like humans who deserve respect, and we’ll do the same with you, and then we can all sleep at night knowing that we behaved like our mothers taught us.  Is that too much to ask?

These are all of the things that were so brilliantly addressed in the rally today, if not by words than by deeds, songs, and even just seeing everyone’s hilarious signs and knowing that there are other people out there screaming the same things at MSNBC/CNN/Faux News that we are.  The best part was the awards for reasonableness, which highlighted the people we should actually be paying attention to, the ones we should really respect.  The woman from the CNBC town hall should be teaching “Town Hall Manners 101”.  She was respectful and articulate and thoughtful and was obviously thinking that she was addressing the President of the United States and that she was going to address him respectfully but was not afraid to ask him the tough questions.  He’s a smart man.  One of the smartest, in fact.  I know that’s difficult to get used to after the last eight years.  But the President can handle tough questions and challenging dialogue.  He can stand up for himself.  But he has also earned the right to be treated with respect.  I was so glad that she was being recognized for showing us all how to behave.

The spelling on the signs was impeccable.

That brings me to another point.  A sign at the rally today reminded me of one of my pet peeves.  How is it patriotic to hate your President?  How is it patriotic to bring guns to an event that the President of the country that you supposedly love so much is attending?  How is it patriotic to say that we need “Second Amendment solutions” to use against our elected officials?  I have never understood (and this was, of course, brilliantly addressed in an episode of the West Wing) how people who claim to be more patriotic than most can go around threatening the life of the man leading them.  It boggles the mind.  But I think it’s also the perfect example of the ignorance and clouded judgement that has led us to a political climate so damaging that it was necessary for two political satirists to throw a damn rally to remind people that we can disagree without calling each other Hitler.

Reasonable people everywhere

And that’s why I love Jon Stewart.  Because he saw that we needed a change, that we were angry and frustrated and just wanted someone to listen, and he gave us our chance.  And he did it with freaking Cat Stevens and Ozzy Osbourne.  Who else could pull that off?

I hope you were there, but even if you weren’t, I hope the rally today gave you pause to think about what’s really important, and that we can all be good Americans, even if we don’t watch Fox News.

God bless America!  And VOTE ON TUESDAY!



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