As President Obama's final State of the Union
wrapped up with a series of meaningless feel-good platitudes that seemed ripped from his 2008 stump speeches about bipartisan unity and moving toward a politics that "reflects the best in us and not the worst," I was struck by how much theses cliches resembled the ones deployed by former Daily Show host Jon Stewart during his earnest closing speech at 2010's interminable (even compared to a State of the Union) "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear."
Take a look at the 10 statements below and see if you can surmise who said it: President Obama or Jon Stewart? Answers at the bottom of the page, below the video. No peaking!
- This was not to ridicule people of faith, or people of activism, or look down our noses at the heartland, or passionate argument, or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear–they are, and we do.
- The rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better.
- This is a big country, with different regions and attitudes and interests. That's one of our strengths, too.
- Where we live, our values and principles form the foundation that sustains us while we get things done–not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done.
- Voices that help us see ourselves not first and foremost as black or white or Asian or Latino, not as gay or straight, immigrant or native born; not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans first, bound by a common creed.
- We can have animus, and not be enemies.
- That's the America I know. That's the country we love. Clear-eyed. Big-hearted.
- Because we know, instinctively, as a people, that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light, we have to work together. And the truth is there will always be darkness, and sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land.
- Most Americans don't live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, liberals or conservatives.
- It's easier to be cynical; to accept that change isn't possible, and politics is hopeless, and to believe that our voices and actions don't matter.
Now's as good a time as any to revisit this Reason TV classic, where Nick Gillespie and former Reasoner Michael Moynihan braved the crowds of sane and/or scared people to bring you an on-the-ground report. Watch below.
ANSWERS: 2, 3, 5, 7, 10: Obama. 1, 4, 6, 8, 9: Stewart