It wasn’t a big shark but Jon Stewart jumped one just now with the “everybody on the cable is the same” naïveté.
I love that Jon Stewart is parlaying his celebrity into political action. I think a rally to counter Beck’s and Palin’s is long overdue and I think Stewart, from what I know, is as good of a leader as any. I’m less thrilled about the name. You could even say I’m angry.
The implicit message behind the “Rally to Restore Sanity” is that individuals influencing America’s current political climate are “insane.” Crazy. Wacko. It’s Stewart pointing at a picture of Beck and circling an index finger around his ear. And it pisses me off. No one in Stewart’s entire machine thought twice about invoking the experiences of an entire group of people who are already oppressed and using them for their own purposes. This kind of language only serves to reinforce the existing and damaging stigma against mental illness. It both pathologizes the lack of critical thought characteristic of Glenn Beck’s particular brand of bigoted conservatism, in some ways removing personal responsibility from individuals who choose to adhere to that political ideology, and fails to actually address the flaws behind it. At the same time, it reinforces that crazy is universally a bad thing. Crazy needs to be eliminated to fix America.
I love watching the guy at night, but he doesn’t get it:
“I thought we were in such a place [in 2008], much like the Tea Party feels now, that the country … needed a more drastic reconstruction – I have been saddened to see that someone who ran on the idea that you can’t expect to get different results with the same people and the same system has kept in place so much of the same system and same people,” he said.
It’s the system that is the problem.
All Citizens United vs. FEC changed was that we are now bombarded with bullshit of a few times more on a geometric scale. What exists now as it did before is that all elected representatives have two conflicting constituencies to manage. Here is how you find out what I am talking about:
- look up any of your four federal representatives
- find a contributor that doesn’t live in your jurisdiction (i.e. state or district)
- find a PAC that doesn’t represent your interest or an interest that you don’t think represents your jurisdiction
- find other candidates that the PAC gave to
- does that candidate or representative belong to the same party as your representative does?
- does that candidate or representative have anything in common with your jurisdiction?
Now you know who you are competing with when all you do is vote and write letters (read “don’t pay for representation”).
One can talk about sanity and civility and other ethereal values, but they are meaningless in comparison to implementing publicly funded elections in all jurisdictions along with removing partisan barriers.
How much do you hear/watch Jon Stewart making funny about any of that?
The President hasn’t been shy about going to the places where people are getting their information and trying to make his case. And I think that’s what he’ll do on the show.