From Greenbelt to the Mall was packed with people. By the time I had made it through the over filled metro cars and pushed my way onto the mall I knew that the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had pulled in a monster crowd.
Though I had read a lot building up to this day, I still was quite unsure what the rally would be like and what it would mean. The ages of those in attendance ranged from infants to the very old, but I would say a large percentage of the crowd were Millennials’ (This is not surprising considering they are the largest block of Stewart’s fan base). I’m not saying the Millennials are more sane than any other demographic block, I just saw more of them in attendance.
Many people I interviewed said they came because they are fans of Stewart and Colbert. Others said they support sanity and feel as if “real America” is being misrepresented. “Bipartisanship does not work when everyone shouts,” said a young lady at the rally. She believes, as Stewart does, that in the search for a good story the media protrays America’s far right or far left as the typical mainstream.
Humor and comedy were the driving forces on Saturday. Stewart, Colbert, and a host of other comedians made the performances tearfully funny. But the other factor to the equation was the crowd. The signs, costumes, and behavior of the attendants were witty, light hearted, and funny.
With so many people I kept expecting something to go wrong; drunken college kids getting in fights, hateful anti-hate protesters, or just stressed activists acting out. I finally realized that the crowd really was there for sanity, and not the kinds of people who tend to cause big problems.
Concluding the rally Stewart gave a serious speech on the necessity for sanity in politics saying, “If we amplify everything we hear nothing.” I do not believe this was a political rally in the sense that Stewart was endorsing a candidate or an ideology. However, the focus was sanity in politics (A fact which has frustrated many of his detractors, ‘cause who can argue with that?)
It is unclear what effect if any this rally will have on the overall sock of sanity. But if nothing else it was thoroughly enjoyable.