The 2016 presidential election was remarkable in a lot of ways, one of them being the absence of Jon Stewart behind the desk at The Daily Show. Stewart had lampooned the news through the last few election cycles, and some actually went so far as to blame Trump’s victory on his absence.
While that seems incredibly unlikely, Stewart has kept remarkably quiet through the course of the election, aside from the occasional appearance on The Late Show. Now, Stewart has given voice to his thoughts about the election during an interview with CBS This Morning’s Charlie Rose. Stewart bit back at the idea that all Trump supporters were racist, calling the idea “liberal hypocrisy.” He said:
I thought Donald Trump disqualified himself at numerous points. But there is now this idea that anyone who voted for him is – has to be defined by the worst of his rhetoric … Like, there are guys in my neighborhood that I love, that I respect, that I think have incredible qualities who are not afraid of Mexicans, and not afraid of Muslims, and not afraid of blacks. They’re afraid of their insurance premiums. In the liberal community, you hate this idea of creating people as a monolith. Don’t look as Muslims as a monolith. They are the individuals and it would be ignorance. But everybody who voted for Trump is a monolith, is a racist. That hypocrisy is also real in our country.
Stewart also believes that Trump’s election is a response not just to Democrats, but also to Republicans who made it so difficult for President Obama to enact his policies. Stewart explained, “They will reap the benefit of his victory, in all of their cynicism … I will guarantee you Republicans are going to come to Jesus now about the power of government.”
While Stewart was surprised by the election results, he wasn’t fundamentally shaken by them the way many were. “The same country with all its grace and flaws, and volatility, and insecurity, and strength, and resilience exists today as existed two weeks ago … 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.”
Check out a clip from the interview below, and read the rest of Stewart’s thoughts here.