Rally for Sanity Left Me Fearful

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you were also on the Mall on Saturday, or maybe watching it on TV. Having organized rallies in DC, I was blown away by the turnout. With all the climate-denying happening these days, it was inspiring to see so many people travel from all over the country in the name of sanity. It felt good to be among fellow sane people.

If you organize around political issues long enough, it’s easy to get cynical. I fight that urge all the time. Rallies and protests are practically a monthly occurrence and it’s often hard to see how they move the ball forward. But, we justify the hard work it takes to organize those kinds of events because they also serve other purposes. Good rallies can inspire people, indirectly leading to future action. And, having a drumbeat of rallies and protests on any one issue might finally get through to our lawmakers and/or the media.

I left the Stewart/Colbert rallies trying to make those same justifications, but have come up short. Did you leave inspired? I left lukewarm, at best. Did you get a sense of what’s next? I didn’t.

If you take the record-breaking Metro ridership that Saturday (825,000 trips!!) as an indication of how many people were there, the numbers for the rally were staggering (10 million by John Stewart’s estimation!).