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215,000 at Rally to Restore Sanity: Bring on the Families

Jon Stewart rally attendance

Rallying for sanity and/or fear

Somewhere between 215,000 and 6 billion people attended the Rally to Restore Sanity on Saturday, depending on your source (CBS News or Stephen Colbert’s Twitter feed). It might not have been optimally-timed for families with young trick-or-treating kids, but plenty of people did bring their children to the event to celebrate sanity and/or fear on the National Mall.

It may have started as a spoof on Glenn Beck’s Rally to Restore Honor — and Stewart definitely conjured up the sentiment when he said to the crowd, “We live in hard times, not end times” — but the event took on a life of its own, and by all accounts dwarfed the estimated 80,000 crowd size at Beck’s rally in August (this based on Airphotoslive.com — here’s a picture of the Beck rally).

So the question is, did it get people (young and old) fired up for tomorrow?

The rally was well timed to inject some energy into the voting turnout on Tuesday — and I think it worked.

In the run-up to the rally, Stewart joked that you should arrange for babysitting that day, but lots of families skipped that and had the kids in tow.

Sounds great to me — the kids were part of something meaningful and got to see thousands of people coming together to to talk and exchange ideas. I also think the atmosphere of satire and comedy set a good tone and precedent for kids — rallying doesn’t mean screaming and drumming up fear, it means pulling together people and ideas based on rational thought and human decency. I wish my family could have been there.

Image: flickr/cliff 1066

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