Throwback: Centre students attend Jon Stewart’s 2010 “Rally to Restore Sanity”
With Jon Stewart’s departure from The Daily Show this week, Centre College students and alumni are fondly remembering 2010 when about 70 members of the Centre community traveled to Washington D.C. with Professor of Sociology Beau Weston for the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.
Hosted by Stewart and Stephen Colbert, the rally’s objective was to step away from extremes and fear mongering perpetuated by the media and restore political discussions to topics that really matter to voters.
After traveling 1,150 miles to join 215,000 individuals on the National Mall, Centre students sporting “Left Right Centre” t-shirts emblazoned with Stewart’s visage met up with each other and D.C.-area Centre alumni. Former Centre Republicans President Greg Brooks ’11 and former Centre Democrats President Abby Woehrle ’11 were even interviewed by a Norwegian television station.
Maria Kennedy ’11 attended and thought the rally was a fantastic opportunity; she said she was pleased so many Centre students were able to take advantage of it.
“I chose to attend the rally because of its bipartisan message and call for reasonable discourse,” Kennedy explained. “Jon Stewart’s central message boils down to this: constructive debate, not destructive hate. That kind of message really resonates with me; I’m passionate about politics and the future of my country, but so are many others who have different ideas about how to best help our nation grow.”
Five years after that rally, looking towards next year’s 2016 Presidential Election and all of the debates and rallies that will come in between, Weston notes that Stewart’s voice has been a “crucial” one.
“His commentary has been very good; he does what critics do—satirize anybody in power,” he said, recalling Stewart’s jabs at everyone from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. “His call to talk civilly and not polarize topics was a great lesson; as a nation, we will miss it.”
Weston hopes we haven’t seen the last of Stewart.
“My fantasy is that he’ll be a senator for New Jersey,” Weston concluded, “to universal acclaim from the center-left.”
Watch a video created by Adam Brown ’07 on Centre students at the Rally to Restore Sanity here.
by Elise L. Murrell
August 7, 2015