Jon Stewart is hitting the ‘interview circuit.’ He is doing so to promote his new book, ‘The Daily Show, An Oral History.’ Unfortunately for Stewart, not too many are asking many questions about his book. Fortunately, for America, Stewart is happy to answer other questions. Specifically, questions about people who voted for Trump, everyone’s hypocrisies and how America might survive a Trump presidency.
Charlie Rose, in the clip below, asked the former late night host for his ‘post-election’ analysis and reactions to it all. Stewart wasn’t shy in his answer. His answer, however, might surprise some people. Stewart sees America as bigger than Donald Trump.
‘I don’t believe we are a fundamentally different country today as we were two weeks ago. the same country, with all its grace, flaws, volatility, insecurity, strength and resilience exists today as it did two weeks ago. The same people who elected Donald Trump elected Barack Obama.’
His thoughts weren’t all rosy, however. Stewart also commented about the many groups who are now in fear since Trump’s election;
‘I feel badly for the people for whom this election will mean more uncertainty and insecurity. But I also feel like this fight has never been easy.’
Stewart then pointed out what he found to be the ‘ultimate irony’ in this whole circus of an election in this exchange with Charlie Rose;
Stewart: The cynical strategy of Republicans, which is, our position is that government doesn’t work. We’re going to make sure it doesn’t.
Rose: Drain the swamp.
Stewart: But they aren’t draining the swamp. McConnell and Ryan — those guys are the swamp. And what they decided to do was ‘I’m gonna make sure government doesn’t work — And then I’m going to use its lack of working as evidence of it.’ Donald Trump is a reaction not just to Democrats but to Republicans. He’s not a Republican. he’s a repudiation of Republicans, but they will reap the benefit of his victory (despite) all of their cynicism … I will guarantee you now Republicans will come to Jesus about the power of government.
Stewart pointed out that no one ever actually asked Trump ‘what makes America great?’ He then offered an answer to that question, saying that we are an anomaly in the world. He added that many people feel that a multi-cultural ./ multi-ethnic democracy is an impossibility but that is what America is and that it is becoming more and more of that year by year. That is what we are by definition and by our Constitution. Some, however, are afraid of us pursuing that ‘impossibility.’ He pointed out that the ‘natural’ world order historically is that people are tribal, not multicultural. The way Stewart sees it, the whole idea of ‘America’ is counter-intuitive to history, and we need to deal with the people who struggle with those truths — and maybe be a little patient.
He then said that he would rather have this conversation now, in ‘broad daylight’ without the coded language and dog-whistles. The way he sees it, that diversity is what makes America exceptional but getting everyone on the same page takes time as we are fighting a ‘natural history’ of tribalism and societies traditionally being much less diverse than ours.
On that topic, Stewart warned liberals not to paint anyone who voted for Trump as a ‘monolith.’ He pointed out that the same people who get outraged if a minority, religious or ethnic group they support is painted with a broad brush and it is hypocritical to paint Trump supporters as all ‘racist, sexist and misogynistic’ people in turn. He then pointed out knowing many people who aren’t that — who aren’t afraid of blacks, Muslims or gay people, but are afraid of their insurance premiums. According to Stewart, it wasn’t the ‘worst of Trump’s rhetoric’ that drove many to him, but hope vs their everyday struggles — like being able to afford health insurance.
All in all, the former Daily Show host believes that America can and will survive President Trump. he is not ignorant to the fears of some, but at the same time, he is not just looking at it from one side.
A very calm and sobering voice at a time of confusion and chaos. Stewart doesn’t advocate anyone backing down or giving up on gains made but rather fight on with a clear head, facts and a sense of our actual history — all of which, according to Stewart, should calm folks and give them the where-with-all to carry on.
Check out the clip featuring Stewart’s thoughts below;
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com