About my Blog

I am writing this blog from a radical political point of view. To be a political radical is to examine everything critically. It is about taking today's news, today's unmentioned news, history, or even just the way we think about ideas, and adding a totally new perspective to them. If you are a radical, and a socialist, like me, you will agree with a lot of what I have to say. If not, I hope I at least make you think about things that you previously took for granted. Most of all, I hope everyone enjoys this blog.

About Me

I have just graduated from college, where I wrote opinion pieces for my school newspaper. Though I started out a liberal, I have moved far to the left since then. Despite my politics being different from most people, many people found a lot of what I had to say interesting and insightful. I hope to continue challenging people to think here on my blog.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why I Oppose the Rally to Restore Sanity: The Insanity of Moderation

Tomorrow people are going to march on Washington as part of Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity."  People may show up to support Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, to oppose the Tea Party, or to support the Democrats.  But Jon Stewart's definition of "sanity" is something that is problematic.  As he put it when announcing the march on his show, he wants a "million moderate march," a group that represents "70 to 80% of our population" vs the "other 15 to 20%."  He goes on to describe the "other 15 to 20%."  To paraphrase him, they are the "extremists." The problem is, based on the clip that Jon Stewart shows, the tea party is basically the same as the activist group Code Pink.  You can watch the full announcement here:  http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-september-16-2010/rally-to-restore-sanity.  And I seriously doubt Colbert will add anything good to this idea, since he is there to "restore fear," as a joke of course, and therefore implying that the choice is either moderation or fear.

I've argued against this framework before, but its worth repeating. "Extremism" is not inherently wrong.  Nor is it inherently insane.  Copernicus was an "extremist" for suggesting that the Earth actually revolves around the sun.  Gallileo was so vocal about this "extreme" idea, the Church went after him.  Also, they were both sane in an insane world.  And, as Orwell might have put it, I suppose if "70 to 80% of our population" thinks that 2+2=5, then it is, the truth be damned.

Medea Benjamin, the cofounder of Code Pink, described Jon Stewart's position as "slacktivism" which absolutely describes what this rally is about.  After all, Jon Stewart suggested that the people at the rally might "need to go home at 6" and aren't usually out there because they have "actual lives."  Medea Benjamin was put in a skit last night, grouping her with an anarchist, a tea partier, and a guy wearing a giant Ahmadinejad head.  Her article can be found here:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/10/27-6.  Code Pink, its worth noting, is a prime example of sane extremism, because, at least in this country, its viewed as insane to demand an end to war.

We need a little more sanity regarding the issue of "extremism," and what it really means.  This rally is intended to replace real sanity with centrism.  With a "centrist" government moving government policy further to the right every day despite the insanity of the previous administration, this is not what we need right now.

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