Living in Baltimore and having off yesterday, I teamed up with a friend and headed down to DC. I figured if a good number of people showed up both sides would try to spin it. (And having attended Tea Party rallies, I know exactly how that ends up.) As it turned out a huge number of people showed up. Seriously.
I spent today surfing the web checking out what various sources are saying about the event. A lot of it is spin. The left is claiming it as a Democrat event. The right is marginalizing it (when they're not ignoring it altogether). I see a lot of people doing what the left does to the right- namely posting the loonies and ignoring everyone else. I think yesterday was important- if not for the national dialog then at least for the people who attended (physically or online).
A lot of people would like to get back to a place where no one was Hitler or Stalin except for Hitler and Stalin. A lot of people think that being obstructionist not because you honestly disagree with a thing, but for the sake of partisan obstructionism is actively detrimental to the ability of our country to function. And yesterday was a way for a lot of people to express that. So I'm writing this post. And here are a few things I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else:
1.) It really was non-political: Stewart and Colbert kept things light and non-partisan. Stewart's speech (scroll down) at the end summed up the idea nicely. Sure, you had a number of people who defined "sanity" as their own political agenda, but they were definitely in the minority from what I observed.
2.) There were Republicans!: Granted, there were certainly more Democrats, but it was by no means a one party event.
3.) Most people seemed to be fed up with both parties.
4.) From what I saw it was pretty interesting mix of people. But then I was amongst the (larger) number of people who couldn't see the stage at all (figure 2/3 to 3/4 of the crowd- but just a guess based on our location (land marks) and aerial photos.) Posts closer to the stage definitely have a monochromatic theme going on though. Still, after everything ended walking through the crowd and around the mall the mix seemed pretty good.
You might be thinking "Sure, now that Democrats are in power using inflammatory rhetoric necessitates a call to "restore sanity", but where were they when people were comparing Bush to Hitler?" And you'd be right- there are a hell of a lot of hypocrites in this world, but being a hypocrite doesn't make you wrong. The appropriate thing to do when other people act like an ass isn't for you to act like an ass too. But there are two possibilities for yesterday: 1.) I spent the day surrounded by a bunch of hypocrites with a good point. Or, 2.) I spent the day with a bunch of people who had finally had enough. Either way you cut it, I don't find a loss.
Sorry for the lack of pictures, but the phone died on the walk from the car because I forgot to charge it the previous night. (I did hope to be able to get at least a few shots before it quit, but no such luck.)
Anyway...that's all I have for you for now.