Not coincidentally, the September announcement of Jon Stewart’s tongue-in-cheek call to arms for the closeted rational majority or Rally To Restore Sanity precedes November’s election. Not surprisingly, Stewart’s bally-hooed announcement was immediately followed by a counter call to rally from faux foe and media mentored, Stephen Colbert’s own March to Keep Fear Alive. Both rallies are scheduled to be held at the Washington Mall (not to be confused with Minnesota’s Mall of America) for the palindromic date of 10-30-10.
Also no coincidence is the announced rallies’ timing, coming on the heels of Fox faux commentator and ultra-conservative Glen Beck’s pompous and presumptuous Rally to Restore Honor, itself seemingly unwittingly and certainly ironically scheduled to coincide with the late Dr. Martin Luther King’s inspired speech on virtually the same spot.
The war of the rallies between Stewart and Colbert promises to heat up the October run-up to November’s election, when Republicans and tea-partiers doubtless expect many runaway victories. In a polarized nation, the rivalry between the Comedy Central pair of political pundits promises to be as full of feigned vitriol as the war between team Edward and team Jacob. Will Stewart’ self-proclaimed million moderate march (itself a parody of an earlier decade’s Million Man March, later reincarnated as a Million Mom March) serve to whip the saner segment of the populace into a pre-election frenzy? Or will Colbert’s attempt to put the treason back in reason and Keep Fear Alive inspire even more national paranoia?
Either way, the October 30 rallies promise to be a pivotal point for a floundering generation – a generation already weary of unpopular wars, economic impotence, and political name-calling of the kindergarten playground variety. Perhaps the paired Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert rallies can unite a generation that can’t decide between cable providers, Mac vs. Apple, hip hop vs. pop, or anything else for that matter.
In the end, will sanity triumph, or will fear ultimately prevail? Stay tuned to Comedy Central to find out. The November elections might be a bust, but remember that November sweeps aren’t far off.