WHY WE WILL MISS JON STEWART
AND WHY THE RIGHT WINGERS WILL NEVER "GET IT"
Jon's weepy performance on his show following the attacks on New York and Washington on 9-11, is not a sign of weakness as current conservative philosophy would have you believe, but a resounding reaffirmation of what we used to believe about ourselves as the greatest nation on the face of the planet.
Used to be, and not so very long ago, that the United States of America was known around the world for our compassion, our openness, our dedication to true equality, our near manic obsession with the struggles of people around the world to obtain their freedom. We were a shining beacon of what it meant to champion the causes of the disenfranchised, the downtrodden, the disposessed, the poor, even as our CIA - unbeknown to us - was fomenting dictatorial takeovers of duly elected democratic regimes in a misguided proxy war with the Soviet Union. Today, we seem to be known only for drone strikes and acting as the world's policeman, prone to invading sovereign nations because we don't like their politics.
I began to write a post on the 9-11 anniversary this year in 2015 which was going to be about how one year after the 9-11 attacks, I was driving down to Maryland's Eastern Shore. NPR, my go to station for virtually everything, was broadcasting the reading of the names of the 3,000 folks who died with the collapse of the Twin Towers, About three minutes into the reading of the names of those who had died in New York City - Robert Adams, Benjamin Aaron, Aziz Arzam, Richard Anderson, Rajesh Aamani, Chitera Anong, Aaron Abelman, Dawn Andrews, Abdullah Abad - I had to pull over to the side of Route 50 since my tears were preventing me from seeing the road ahead. "This" I thought "is what America is really all about." Just listening to the names, ordinary men and woman who had gone to work that fateful morning, I couldn't help but feel a swelling of pride coupled with a profound sadness that these folks, these Americans with their native and foreign sounding first and family names representing so many of the world's citizenry, the planet's diverse cultures, it was so wholly appropriate and amazing that they called themselves Americans. It is, I thought, what the American Dream is really all about.
And this was three minutes into the first letter of the alphabet, the "A"s." But even this one letter represented an amazing panoply of the world's citizens who called America home.
We've fallen so far from this world view today. Will we ever regain what our proper birthright as Americans, as citizens of the most diverse nation on the planet, the champion of freedom and liberty for the earth's powerless and destitute should be? Once was?
Listen to what each of the 16 candidates for the Republican nomination for this nation's Office of the President has to say about what America should be to each of us and to the citizens of the world.
THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING.