Our crack Ethics Stupid field reporter, Jon K, (he’s the one holding the “Impeach Nixon” sign on the far, far right) had his boots on the ground, as well as several sweaters and a big coat, at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C. last month and filed this report.
“I got to the Rally at 5:20am and there were probably 50 plus people there. People were sleeping in blankets the night before. I felt like I was 18 again and waiting for a rock concert. I settle into my chair and ask the first person who comes along where they are from, what brought them to the rally and what one thing they believe needs to change most. I am totally sober but it is 5:20am and it’s dark. For the life of me, I cannot read my own writing.”
(Jon carries an iPhone but forgot to use the recording app on the device.)
“There’s the high school teacher with a PhD from Seattle who gave herself this trip as a birthday present and is spending four nights in a youth hostel. She came because she idolizes Jon Stewart and just wants people to turn down the volume and stop abusing the airwaves with misinformation. There’s the Whole Foods employee who came by bus from Boston who loves Stewart and Colbert and thought it would be fun and a good event to support.
“Everybody has this infectious positive energy. (Did I mention I was freezing beneath my jacket, sweater, and shirt until 8am?)
“I met an investment banker from JP Morgan, originally from London. He came to DC to study politics as part of his schooling and traveled from New York with two, female roommates because they love Stewart and Colbert and think the political discourse has gotten seriously out of hand. He personally thinks money is the issue and finance reform is the number one issue that needs to be addressed.
“Then there was the Vassar coed who came down from Boston via carpool. They rented two cars, filled them up and drove to DC. She volunteers at a suicide hot line because she believes people can be saved if they just have someone to talk to in their time of pain and anguish. She worships Stewart and Colbert.
“Once the sun came out, the temperature was great. Between events on stage, people were making coffee runs, donut runs, fried chicken runs. Where are they getting all this fried chicken? I spot only one food booth.
“People held signs that read: “I am NOT a terrorist,” “I’m with her.”
Others read: “My parents told me there would be candy here,” “Stark Raving Reasonable,” and “It’s a sad day when are politicians are comical, and I have to take our comedians seriously.”
“Because we were so close to the stage, we really couldn’t see the 12 blocks of people, (some 200,000 reported), until the large, TV monitors showed the crowd all the way back to the Washington Monument.
“We had a great time. It was nice not to hear people screaming at one another. We came away with a sense that the rally was a nice thing to do. We all felt good. We all should be decent people.”
Thanks Jon. We all appreciate your braving the crowds and the cold, but I have a question about this $1,800 expense receipt for fried chicken and donuts.