By Adele M. Stan
3. Recasting liberalism as mainstream - Everybody knows that Jon Stewart's audience is largely a liberal one. Why, then, is he describing his rally as the "Million Moderate March"? Perhaps because most Americans think of themselves as moderate.
The Guardian's Michael Tomasky has dwelt upon this question, and frets that when the liberal colors of the "moderate" crowd are shown, Fox News will have a field day with the most left-wing placards in the crowd. And no doubt they will.
But the Fox News audience is not Stewart's target: it's the millions of Americans who don't watch Fox. A show of strength on their part should give mainstream media pause before endlessly repeating right-wing memes about the Restoring Sanity gathering. Whatever liberals do or don't do, Fox News will find a way to distort either their actions or inaction. Yes, we need to be strategically smart, but hiding is not an option.
4. Energizing young people - More young people get their news from The Daily Show than from any traditional news source. And young people are the slice of the progressive coalition said to be the least likely to turn out for next week's mid-term elections. Stewart's rally, held just ahead of the election, could be the best turn-out vehicle possible for this demographic. He only needs to ask them to vote, and many who might have chosen to do something else that day could turn out. These congressional races are tight. An extra little slice of of the eligible voter pie could make a real difference in some.
Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.
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