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Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | NOVEMBER 03, 2010 7:30 AM

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Stewart/Colbert rally ineffective

Had I been with Shay O’Reilly at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (“Rallying for America’s soul,” Nov. 1), I too, might have taken away a sense of the warm fuzzies and a call for a moderate America. Iwasn’t, though, and from a distance the event looked pretty benign and full of the haplessness of well-meaning liberals — the same liberals who have done virtually nothing in the last 10 years but talk about the dangers of an increasingly hostile conservative country.

I am much more inclined to give credence to progressive writers Chris Hedges and Matthew Rothschild of TruthDig.com and The Progressive, respectively, in their immediate condemnation of the rally and its personality-driven center. Both of them point out that when a media star puts on a show (and the rally has to be called a show), it is only entertainment.

Hedges argues that the “left” Stewart is pandering to hasn’t really existed in years. Rothschild — and I agree — believes that a progressive left does exist, but a rally that calls for everyone to play nice does not address the world exactly as progressives see it.

Those of us who have been watching, warning, and demonstrating for decades know that much sterner, and occasionally sacrificial, action needs to take place. A rally of 200,000 on a nice day in D.C. is fine — but it would be a lot more meaningful if a crowd that size marched to the Capitol and refused to move until, say, Congress quits bailing out Wall Street.

Tom Yates
Iowa City resident


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