Posted by | November 1, 2010 19:35 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Barry Weintraub

I was at the “Rally To Restore Sanity” on Saturday and have to say it was one of the greatest missed opportunities in the history of this nation. Nearly a quarter of a million people, fed up with being marginalized and ignored for a more vocal minority with better propagandists, showed up and got Bob Hope and Bing Crosby on the Road to Irrelevance.

I don’t blame Jon Stewart or Steven Colbert. These guys are just comics and very good ones, at that. It’s not their obligation to toss their careers on the trash by becoming partisan politicians. That’s the job of …partisan politicians. Couldn’t they have invited one?

Instead we got the former Cat Stevens dueling with Ozzy Osborne. Hardly the stuff of Lincoln v. Douglas.

Not once, with over 200K in attendance, did anyone on the stage even implore people to vote. Would that have been too much of a partisan act?

Instead we got montages of pundits of all stripes, yelling and vilifying each other and a heartfelt cumbaya close by Jon Stewart doing a longer better version of “can’t we all just get along?”

And to really play it safe, the entire blame for our political morass was laid at the feet solely of the media. Sure the media is the weapon of mass destruction in all this. But the politicians who manipulate and exploit that media while making back room deals for the benefit of their deep pocket financial backers are the people pulling the trigger.

Standing out there for hours Saturday afternoon I couldn’t help but feel bored and a bit discouraged.

Those people who came out over 200K strong were motivated to be there because they do not like the path this country is on and that path is a distinctly rightward shift that is about to be solidified with today’s election.

The naive notion that to fix this country, all we have to do is let the car merge in front of us and listen to those whose views we despise is not going to get the job done. We are deeply, deeply divided and that’s mostly because we are deeply and deliberately misinformed.

The media is surely one of the symptoms of what ails this country. But it is not the only cause. More than 200K people massed on the National Mall, looking for someone to put this all into words with a promise to do something to set us back on what that massive crowd believes to be the right track.

Instead we got the O’Jays singing “Love Train” …and a couple of laughs.

It was like being part of a sell-out crowd at the Super Bowl where the only ones who came to play were the cheerleaders.

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