Monday, November 1, 2010

The Rally to Restore Sanity: For the politically moderate or apathetic?

I understand that the purpose of last weekend's “Rally to Restore Sanity (and/or Fear)”, apart from providing some comedic relief, was to make the existence of the nation's moderates known, however, what I witnessed around me when the National Anthem was performed was not only disheartening, but confusing. I saw not the respect I had expected from a large group of politically moderate individuals, but rather a blinding show of apathy. Very few removed their hats and even fewer placed their hands over their hearts. I further witnessed multiple groups of “politically moderate” individuals completely ignore the anthem and continue with their conversations. Don't get me wrong, if you actively choose to not participate in recognizing the National Anthem to make a political statement, that's your First Amendment right, however, considering the fact that this rally was created to appeal to moderates, I find it incredibly difficult to believe that every individual who did not take off their hat or failed to stop their conversation and show some respect was doing it to make a statement. This, in my mind, leaves only simple apathy as an explanation. Although apathy may be the easiest way to stay sane in a strong two party system, it's also a dangerous characteristic to possess. The last thing I want, is for the term “politically moderate” to synonymous with “apathetic”. To me that would be a one way ticket to being placed into that significant majority of non-voters and consequently ignored by our representatives. Therefore, the next time you are a witness to the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, or any other simple gesture of respect for the United States, at the very least, please, stand up a little straighter and look like you give a damn about the welfare of not just our state, but our nation.


  1. Hmm I find your blog very interesting. I was there too. And I saw it as a different side. When the anthem was going on, people were of course milling about, but the individuals around me cheered at the end and whistled and were excited at the end of the song. But I do not understand why taking off your hat or putting your hand against your chest is a true judgement of apathy. From a constructivists point of view, I understand that symbols and songs are seen as a part of patriotism and what not but I do not understand how that is a measure of patriotism. People were there for several reasons: it was comedic, it was a spectacle. Some people saw it as a freak show and dressed up in absurd costumes, but I think ur claim is a bit far fetched.

  2. Well stated, Colin. Everybody cheers at the end of the anthem because that's what they do at football and basketball games. However, witness what behavior a crowd exhibits when a military unit comes home or a Navy vessel returns to port or when a medal is awarded to a US athlete at the Olympics and the anthem is played. That's patriotism. If one is not patriotic, then the behavior observed by Colin would be appropriate. I would hope patriots are in the vast, observable majority. And, by the way, patriots may be moderate, but certainly not apathetic! What are you?

    A Patriot.