Saturday, October 30, 2010





Bravo to Comedy Central's Jon Stewart for finding America’s mental restart button and pushing it, hopefully in the nick of time!

Saturday on the national mall in Washington. His efforts, and his poignant closing

remarks made more sense for the upcoming midterm elections than ANYTHING

today’s politicians and media have said or produced so far.


Politicians and spin doctors, news producers and columnists keep using to polls and stories to tell us we’re all very angry and we want somebody punished. Saturday’s rally, however, reminded us that our widespread disappointment with many things does not mean anyone has giving up on this nation, or its time honored belief that “We the people” can overcome anything.

In tough economic times, it’s natural for the masses to be disillusioned and point blame for all the misery. Instead of adding more, high octane gasoline on the growing national inferno, Stewart and Stephen Colbert helped everyone realize that fueling the fires of people’s minds was the last thing America needs. They chose to create another great moment in Washington that was truly worth watching by gathering the waters of reason and common sense to throw on the now out-of-control firestorm of diverse thoughts and attitudes in a weary country.

Stewart’s brilliant closing analogy about our crowded roadways and the alternatives people choose made perfect sense. Daily every motorist straps into her or his vehicle with thoughts and feelings about what they face in life. Some viewpoints are strong, even boisterous at times about Muslims, homosexuals, Sarah Pallin, Nancy Pelosi, bullying among young people, and much more.


Yet as drivers we still mange to check those passions as we crank our cars. Once on the road, we know instinctively nothing should distract us from getting to our location as safely as possible, even if that means making last minute concessions to other drivers who threaten all our safety. No matter how annoying that can be, we value the life of that arrogant driver, and collectively we adjust so that no one is ever hurt or killed, even when may feel wronged.


It also doesn’t matter how impressive a car a car you have, or how insistent you are blowing your horn! America is on a very stressful patch of highway, and everyone must focus hard on the bigger picture, our nation’s survival. Complain all you want about the current economic storm, and look for as many detours as you want. Sometimes, however, you just have to slow down, proceed cautiously, and act responsibly by working together until the storm passes, as if all our lives depended on it.


Prof. Bob Rucker 
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
San Jose State University




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