As hard as it may be for some people to admit, the political climate in this country is insane.
The yawning chasm between the left and the right has made folks on both sides meaner than those crazies who eat poached toddlers for breakfast, stick sharp objects in the eyes of the elderly, tattoo vulgarities on the infirm and drown kittens for kicks.
So thank God for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who right now may be the most influential people in America, by a par 5.
Stewart and Colbert, of course, are comedians. But their Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. today before tens of thousands skillfully cast the dysfunctional political landscape in a sobering light.
And did so by adroitly harpooning the absurdity of it all with their comic shtick.
A brilliant blend of style and substance by pundits playing preachers.
Part comedy show, part pep talk, the sanity rally in the shadow of the Capitol and the midterm elections poked fun at the nation’s ill-tempered politics, its total lack of intelligent dialogue, its fear-mongers and doomsayers who see a “666” shaved in the hairline of all disagree with them.
At this rate our society soon will descend into one of those ancient cultures that would anoint a man king just long enough to kill him, ensuring a bountiful harvest.
Stewart eloquently summed up the rancor poisoning our political process by proclaiming: “We live now in hard times, not end times.”
As you can imagine, the rally drew a festive congregation of the goofy and the politically disenchanted. People carried signs merrily protesting the existence of protest signs. Some dressed like bananas, wizards, Martians and Uncle Sam.
Stewart, a satirist who makes his living skewering the famous, came to play nice. He decried the “extensive effort it takes to hate” and declared “we can have animus and not be enemies.”
Screens showed a variety of pundits and politicians from the left and right, engaged in divisive rhetoric. Prominently shown was Glenn Beck, whose conservative Restoring Honor rally in Washington in August was part of the motivation for the Stewart and Colbert event. Today’s rally appeared to rival Beck’s in attendance.
With critical congressional elections looming Tuesday, Stewart and Colbert refrained from taking political sides on stage, even as many in the crowd wore T-shirts that read “Stewart-Colbert 2012.”
Actually, a 2012 campaign with Stewart-Colbert on the ticket would be a helluva lot more laughs than the scorched earth campaigns we’ve been sadly witnessing.
Of course, I write all this fully knowing that the passionate politicos will have me targeted in their crosshairs. And by so doing, they will validate exactly the point Stewart and Colbert punctuated today.