Rallying With John

John Stewart is a very funny guy, clearly has a point of view but dishes it out to both sides.  John may also be a brilliant politician.  He senses the middle.  Maybe he met conservatives he actually liked.  Maybe one or two conservative ideas are sifting about in John’s head.  It happened to Dennis Miller.  Maybe John’s being pulled to a belief that not only can we reach a functional middle based on mutual compromise; he contends we already do it every day. 

John Stewart, fake news? Not even close.  Stewart asks the President questions no one named Katie, Brian or Diane would.  His frustration may come from a different place than mine, but John had the spine to ask, in effect; “So, do we have a failure here or what?”  It’s less about “dude” than a comprehensively uncomfortable President confronted by his rational base! 

Favorite Sign: Civil is Sexy

Favorite Live Moment:  Making a point about diversity they had crowd members “count off”, #4 insured that John knew she was single, John responded with “I’m 47 and married”.  The young girl’s response; “That’s, OK, I’ll take it”.  Oops! 

Mr. Colbert seemed uncomfortable in the role of the comic foil.  The “Fear Bunker”?  Sam Waterson made a clever, humorous argument for the role of government. 

John’s key points: “amplify everything and we hear nothing”. “We work together every day, all different kinds of us, we make small compromises, we get things done; everyday!”  Despite some tortured attempts to illustrate the points; on these points it is easy to agree with John in general context.  But, we also have the automatic subtext homage to multi-culturalism and intellectual relativism; much, much harder to agree with. 

Was this political?  Of course it was, but it was positively so.  People peacefully assembled to express a point of view, hear opinion and be entertained.  John to his credit and as a nod of sorts reminded the crowd to clean the place up, “leave it cleaner than you found it”.  Can’t let those Tea Party folks see piles of trash in tomorrow’s paper, as if!  See, good example does have impact.

If the evolution of John’s instincts is a genuine, intellectually honest effort to define the middle from the left; salute the effort.  Would it be a positive circumstance if we could rely on a civil, informed and fundamentally centrist place from which to progress?  Some number of fundamental ideas, agreed to and beyond internecine conflict would indeed be a good place from which to wage future battles in the war of ideas. 

If John’s points is that extremes provoke ugly reactions he’s right, but if we’re going to deal with extremism, all the extremes have to be on the table.  That very idea demands a definition as a starting point.  This is a definition we’ve been unable to find so far, along with any sundry collection of other definitions and facts beyond agreement.

But, we should try!

  • JD

    ” all the extremes have to be on the table”

    I don’t really see this point. From what I gathered from the the rally to restore sanity and.or fear, was that the media needs to stop battling for viewers and ratings and stick to the news.

    I think that is primarily the issue at hand and what has gotten out of hand. Almost all news now is opinion reporting. People don’t tune in to hear about what happened they tune in to hear about what to do.

    Reminds me of the following quote from “the Network” (1976)

    So. A rich little man with white hair died. What has that got to do with the price of rice, right? And *why* is that woe to us? Because you people, and sixty-two million other Americans, are listening to me right now. Because less than three percent of you people read books! Because less than fifteen percent of you read newspapers! Because the only truth you know is what you get over this tube. Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube! This tube is the Gospel, the ultimate revelation. This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers…

    This tube is the most awesome God-damned force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls in to the hands of the wrong people, and that’s why woe is us that Edward George Ruddy died. Because this company is now in the hands of CCA – the Communication Corporation of America. There’s a new Chairman of the Board, a man called Frank Hackett, sitting in Mr. Ruddy’s office on the twentieth floor. And when the twelfth largest company in the world controls the most awesome God-damned propoganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what shit will be peddled for truth on this network?

    So, you listen to me. Listen to me: Television is not the truth! Television is a God-damned amusement park! Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, side-show freaks, lion tamers, and football players. We’re in the boredom-killing business!

  • Paraducks

    JD,

    I guess the irony here is that a self admitted “fake news show” was the catalyst.