Jon Stewart has been missing from our nightly lives since leaving The Daily Show, but he’s been great about popping back in once in awhile, which is sorely needed during these uncertain times.
This past Wednesday, Stewart appeared on TimesTalks alongside author Chris Smith, to discuss their collaboration, the new book, The Daily Show: An Oral History, and naturally, the main topic of discussion was the election and particularly, Donald Trump.
“It is odd to be in a position of knowing that the leader of the free world tweeted that you were a pussy at 1:30 in the morning.”
His interview at TimesTalks was very reminiscent of the one he had on CBS This Morning where the former host opined that party lines are not to blame for the divisions in this country.
Watch that interview here:
On Wednesday, he spoke again about this subject saying that we can’t blame Trump’s win on racism alone:
“Not everybody that voted for Trump is a racist,” he said. “I don’t give a fuck what any of you say to me. You can yell it at me, you can tweet it at me. They’re not all racists. Or they’re not giving tacit support to a racist system … We all give tacit support to exploitative systems as long as they don’t affect us that badly.”
And he then used an example of a conversation he once had with someone who claimed that “by saying that Trump supporters are not all racists, they are giving tacit support to a man of racist language.” Stewart remembers pointing out that many people are guilty of the exact same thing, no matter what side they are on and then asks the man to pull out his cell phone.
“I was like, ‘Guess how those are made, guess who makes them?’” Stewart said. “’Oh yeah, but that’s … ‘ What, what is it? It’s not different, we all do that. All of our shit stinks and getting beyond that takes incredible work.”
Which brought him to the hypocrisy of Trump’s campaign and now future cabinet members:
“He said Hillary was an unqualified Secretary of State because the way she handled classified material. His selection for Secretary of State will be David Petraeus, who pled guilty to mishandling classified material. He said she was unqualified because she gave a speech to Goldman Sachs. His Secretary of the Treasury is somebody from Goldman Sachs. We’re in post-accountability.”
Stewart goes on to point out the ridiculous way the campaign drags on and on to the point where the two sides literally want to punch each other in the face, which unfortunately we’ve already seen too much of.
How long is the campaign? A year and a half? I assume [television media is] talking right now about whose running in 2020. They don’t give a flying fuck about governance, they care about campaigns and that’s where the fun is for them. That’s devastating. And not only is it devastating news-wise, it’s devastating to all of us.
Because if a campaign is too long, the fault lines between different tribes in our societies solidify. A campaign is 18 months long and you’ve got to choose a side for 18 months and then a disagreement becomes an argument and an argument becomes a fight and a fight becomes a feud and a feud becomes a war.
And those lines harden to the point where you can’t get past that … Because what you become is just teams. And the campaigns are just too long. Have you ever been in a parking lot after, like, a Giants game and it’s between a guy in a Giants jersey and a guy in, like, a Cowboys jersey? They will fight. They will punch each other. What is that fight? Like, “Hey! Your shirt, it’s got a star on it. It’s supposed to have an NY. I’m going to have to punch you in the face.” There’s no reason for that, other than basic human primitive nature, and if we turn our discourse into that, then that’s what it will become.
And he’s right. That’s exactly what it has become, and things are only getting worse.
At the end of his interview, Stewart says, “F*cking buckle your seat belt and get ready. And I think the key for us is to be like, who needs a ride?”
You can read more of his remarks, transcribed by The Huffington Post, here.
Featured image via Getty/Craig Barritt