The Closet Moderate: A Movement in No Direction

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Movement in No Direction

Over at Slate, Timothy Noah makes a case to avoid the upcoming Stewart/Colbert yak-a-thon in DC. Noah seems to think the March/Rally is part of a political movement aimed at countering the Tea Party and/or Glenn Beck... or at least a political movement of over-educated elitists. It's an odd point though, as I think the rallies are better viewed as an indictment of "movements". These are satirists, after all, and the target here is any political march, rally, or protest that eschews nuance and pragmatism for narrow-minded, self-interest, of which there are plenty of targets across the political spectrum and well documented by these comedian's shows. It's true that Colbert/Stewart attract a lot of liberal viewers, and Democrats will likely be overrepresented at the event. But Stewart specifically called out liberal pols in his announcement. So while the audience of the shows is left of center, the March/Rally is being sold to people who have dem, gop, and libertarian friends, gay and straight friends, Christian and Buddhist (Aqua too) friends and are tired of movements that purport to have the answers to all political questions. It's a critique of the banality of political speech in the U.S., not a movement with proposals on deficit reduction, or national security, or immigration, or health care. No one economic class, religion, or political party has a monopoly on pragmatism or reasoned discourse. So if it's a movement, it's a movement in no direction (or all directions).

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