Jon Stewart did not have many jokes to make on Thursday about President-elect Donald Trump’s election, but instead offered empathy for some Trump supporters.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” the former “Daily Show” host said he feared for individuals who could be affected by Trump’s policies, but did not believe that the results reflected a changed America.
“I don’t believe we are a fundamentally different country today than we were two weeks ago,” Stewart said.
“The same country that elected Donald Trump elected Barack Obama. 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 placed much of the blame for the anger that propelled Trump’s election on congressional Republicans, arguing that their opposition to President Barack Obama’s main legislative priorities resulted in the government dysfunction that Trump ran against.
“Donald Trump reaction not just to Democrats, but to Republicans. He is not Republican. He’s a repudiation of Republicans. But they will reap the benefit of his victory, in all of their cynicism,” Stewart said.
Stewart offered understanding for Trump supporters, arguing that liberals who have labelled all Trump supporters as racist because of the president-elect’s racially inflammatory rhetoric aren’t seeing the hypocrisy in their own pronunciations.
“There’s now this idea that anyone who voted for him has to be defined by the worst of his rhetoric. There are guys in my neighbourhood that I love, that I respect, that are not afraid of Mexicans, and not afraid of Muslims, and not afraid of blacks. They’re afraid of their insurance premiums,” Stewart said.
“In the liberal community you hate this idea of creating at people as a monolith. Don’t look at Muslims as a monolith. They’re individuals, and that’s ignorance. But everyone who voted for Trump is a monolith, is a racist. That hypocracy is also real in our country.”
The former “Daily Show” host also pointed out that there were plenty of precedents for racism in the White House, including private beliefs held by former Presidents Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.
“I would rather have this conversation openly and honestly than in dog whistles. ‘There might be an anti-Semite that’s working in the White House.’ I’m like ‘Have you listened to the Nixon tapes? Forget about working for the president. The president,'” Stewart said.
Watch below, via CBS:
“I feel badly for the people for whom this election will mean more uncertainty and insecurity.” — Jon Stewart tells @CharlieRose pic.twitter.com/7niarHKw2Q
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) November 17, 2016
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