I had thought about trying to go, but that was impossible, and the more I thought about it, there really was something about the whole spectacle that bugged me. I guess it's, well, the whole spectacle aspect of it. Yay! We're reasonable! Democracy will live on! OK from the perspective of fun national picnic with cool people, I would endorse it as the feel-good happenin' place to be. And it's a cute jab at Glenn Beck. So fine, it accomplished that much. Plus loads of publicity for Stewart and Colbert, fan that I am of both of them.
But since I'm not smart enough to articulate exactly what it is that bugged me so much, I'll let Chris Hedges explain it for me. Says Hedges:
The two comics evoked the phantom left, as the liberal class always does, in defense of moderation, which might better be described as apathy. If the right wing is crazy and if the left wing is crazy, the argument goes, then we moderates will be reasonable. We will be nice. Exxon and Goldman Sachs, along with predatory banks and the arms industry, may be ripping the guts out of the country, our rights—including habeas corpus—may have been revoked, but don’t get mad. Don’t be shrill. Don’t be like the crazies on the left....
The Rally to Restore Sanity, held in Washington’s National Mall, was yet another sad footnote to the death of the liberal class. It was as innocuous as a Boy Scout jamboree. It ridiculed followers of the tea party without acknowledging that the pain and suffering expressed by many who support the movement are not only real but legitimate. It made fun of the buffoons who are rising up out of moral swamps to take over the Republican Party without accepting that their supporters were sold out by a liberal class, and especially a Democratic Party, which turned its back on the working class for corporate money.
Reading it really got me tuned in to something I hadn't considered until today - a day of national shame - and it is this personal revelation, which I will share with you: I really am a leftist, I really do think democracy in this country is dead, you can't change anything by being moderate and reasonable, and I think people who don't see that are either ignorant, myopic, or just shit-scared, no matter what their politics are.
I still vote, but I vote early because voting on Election Day makes me feel even more like a sheep. I vote only as an act of faith that it might some day mean something again. Right now I know punching the little red dot in the voting booth means nothing: not for me, not even for the voters whose idea of leadership is Stacey Campfield. None of us are winners in the ongoing corporate feudalisation of America. We're all dupes.