How Will America Restore Sanity Now?
~ Amy Lignor
There are times in life where a person you see on the big screen, or one who comes into your living rooms on the small one, decides that their career is headed down another path. Yes, they have the right to say that. They have the right to go wherever they wish to go…they’re human, after all. But then there are some who make the choice and literally leave a hole in society that no one is going to fill.
For sixteen years, Jon Stewart has been the voice of reason. When the country was angry about 9/11, or really upset when Obamacare came along and it took longer to get on it than it did to build a house, he was there. When everyone needed help understanding why the heck this country would choose the things they chose – why certain political figures who were so dumb were able to sit in their seats of power with our lives in their hands and play with them like they would a toy, Stewart agreed with us and did his absolute best to keep the sanity that America seemed to be tossing aside.
Jon Stewart went from a person we loved to watch because he would tell jokes, and his eyes would grow wide, or his head would fall into his hands as he showed the world clips that were, unfortunately, real, of the people we put in charge. He went from that man who made us laugh to the man who made us really think, wonder, and sometimes get so seriously mad at the garbage happening on a daily basis that it brought us together. We wanted to stand up and protest…even though no one would possibly listen.
Jon Stewart, the “joke” news, became the real news. Why? Because it was the truth. It was also like sitting in our living rooms talking to an extremely intelligent, emotionally-charged person who wanted to make things right. He wanted to discuss the issues, and wanted to help us smile in times that didn’t call for one.
9/11: Jon wept on TV. He told the slime out there that anyone can destroy (a trend that continues). But he also spoke about the view from his window. What was once the World Trade Center, a symbol of human ingenuity, had become the Statue of Liberty with the attack, and that was the point! Enough said. America was America – and even with all the bad, sick, and downright stupid, America survived because the people stood up and cared for one another. Even if it was for just a moment in time.
Yes, Jon flayed adversaries, and he pointed out flaws. But he never hid afterwards (like a lot of our power hungry do). He would speak and then face the music. He would debate the people who were so mad at him for showing the world their flaws, yet respected him for doing it. Jon talked about books that changed nations and helped people think. And then…he had a cast of “Newspeople” who stood by his side and literally received careers because of the help and mentorship he gave them.
The fantastic and beloved Colbert. Ed Helms. Steve Carrell. We know these people. They make us laugh. But they will always be a part of that “Jon Stewart” imagination and creativity that we will miss so much it is NOT funny.
We face a new presidential race coming up, and we’re all sad because it is already so ridiculous that not having Stewart at the helm, walking us through it, will be heartbreaking. God knows Stewart and his writing crew would never have lacked for material with this one coming up, and without him joining us in the rolling of the eyes, it’s not going to be funny…it’s going to be downright sad.
The fact remains that this country needed Stewart and still does. Life will not go on the same way. This is a fork in the road that will be a very hard turn for any of us to make. “We’ll be Right Back…” is your line, sir. And I, for one, hope you will be ASAP.