2 teachers attend Colbert, Stewart rally in capital

By Arielle Maxner

Director of Financial Aid Geoff Bird and Upper School Dean Mike Bird attended the Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear at the Washington, D.C. National Mall on Oct. 30. The Rally was actually the merging of two rallies, the Rally to Restore Sanity and the Rally to Keep Fear Alive, that were created separately by Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show, and Stephen Colbert, host of the eponymous Comedy Central Colbert Report. Its purpose was to use political satire to mock and expose the antics of politicians and the media in a humorous fashion.

The Rally’s official website says “Ours is a rally for the people who’ve been too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs) — not so much the Silent Majority as the Busy Majority. If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence… we couldn’t. That’s sort of the point.”

“I thought that their message was really good,” Bird said. “I mean, there was a lot of funny stuff, but it was right on target. A lot of what you saw – I mean sure there were lots of outrageous, silly things – but for so many people I think this whole idea of restoring sanity was important.”

Despite Stewart’s claims that the Rally had little to nothing to do with the November elections, the Rally did spark something of a global political happening, for 84 countries had 1,160 mini-rallies, including a mini-rally in Los Angeles.

However, Geoff Bird said he thought that the Rally “probably won’t make a difference, but it was needed. The point needed to be made. It got the attention of a lot of people, but it clearly didn’t touch enough young people to get them to go cast votes.”

Bird thinks that the “level of exaggeration and lying that goes on in the political world today…is really harming democracy,” and is glad that there was a “public expression of how much people don’t like the kind of partisan ranting that we are exposed to.”

Even though he had not planned on attending the Rally and was only in Washington, D.C. for the College Board meeting, Bird said he felt everyone “was there to make a statement, and that’s why I’m glad I was able to go…it was nice to be there in that environment. All in all, I think they [Stewart and Colbert] did a really good job.”