Thursday on “CBS This Morning,” former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart offered his reactions to last week’s presidential election victory by Donald Trump.
While he had some question about Trump, he also had criticisms for Trump’s detractors, regarding their understanding of American history and hypocrisy when it comes to Trump supporters.
When asked by host Charlie Rose if now was the time to have a conversation about “who we are” as a country, Stewart said “absolutely” and that he’d rather have the conversation openly than in “dog whistles.”
“I would rather have this conversation openly and honestly than in dog whistles,” Stewart said. “You know, somebody was saying, ‘There might be an anti-Semite that is working in the White House.’ I was like, have you listened to the Nixon tapes? Like, forget about advising the president – the president. Like, have you read LBJ? Do you know our history?”
He criticized those quick to attack Trump voters as racist, pointing out that to do so would be creating Trump voters as a “monolith,” which in the case of ethnic and religious groups is something liberal detest.
“We also have to caution ourselves to the complexity of that history,” he said. “I thought Donald Trump disqualified himself at numerous points. But there is now this idea that anyone who voted for him has to be defined by the worst of his rhetoric. There are guys in my neighborhood who I love, I respect, that I think have incredible qualities – that 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,” Stewart continued. “Don’t look at Muslims as a monolith. They are 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. And so that is the fight that we wage against ourselves and against each other because America is not natural. Natural is tribal. We’re fighting against thousands of years of human behavior and history to create something that no one ever [has]. That is what is exceptional about America. This ain’t easy and that’s an incredible thing.”
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