Saturday, August 27, 2005

Why I Love Jon Stewart

I’ve discovered that I don’t have to stay up late at night to catch Jon Stewart’s Daily Show anymore. I can take a quick break at work and watch the highlights on Comedy Central online.

On Thursday, he had the on the show Christopher Hitchens and they started talking about Iraq. And forgive my paraphrasing since I couldn’t find a transcript:

Jon Stewart: “There is reasonable dissent in this country about the way this war has been conducted. . . . . They believe this war is being conducted without transparency, without creditability, without confidence.”

Then later he says: “I ridicule the president because he refuses to answer questions from adults as though we were adults. He falls back on platitudes, and phrases and talking points, that does a disservice to the goals he himself shares with the very people he needs to convince.”

Christopher Hitchens: “You want me to believe that you really secretly want to be on his side, but that you just wish he was more persuasive.”

Jon Stewart: “I secretly need him to be on my side. He’s too important and powerful a man not to be.”

Jon’s right (as usual) on two counts.

1) Tell me the truth. I’m a big boy, I can handle it. We need more troops. We’re going to be in Iraq longer. Acknowledge the mistakes that have been made and then tell me how you are going to fix them. Admit that we can’t solve the problem by ourselves and that maybe we need to ask for help. Maybe it’s time to give some of the Haliburton contracts to the French? Or the Germans? Give me details. Give me enough information so that I can trust you again. Just don’t tell me that we’re going to “Stay the Course”and tell me everything is going to be okay. I’m a citizen of this country and you work for me. I deserve to know the truth. I want to know the truth!

2) I secretly want to support the President as well. I think all Americans do. Red, Blue, Purple. In the Navy we were told to respect the rank/position of someone, even if you don’t respect the person. I respect the Office of the President. I respect the Commander in Chief. It’s almost ingrained in me. I can’t help it. And again, secretly, I want to respect the person in the position. But I can’t until he respects me. I can’t until he treats me like an adult and a citizen. He is very powerful and I need him to be on my side, but he’s not. And I can’t be on his side until he starts telling the truth and answering the hard questions. Leadership is a bitch. When things go wrong, you’ve held accountable. So stand up and say the buck stops here. Be a leader. For all American citizens. Then I might respect you.

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