I will always wonder if this election wouldn’t have gone differently if Jon Stewart hadn’t retired prior to the campaign. To me, he is the epitome of a well-spoken and reasonable human being. Unfortunately the people who needed to listen to him the most were the very ones who never watched his show. More and more we are a culture that preaches to its own choir.
Would I classify him as liberal? Heck, yeah. But he’s not afraid to smack sense into even those of us on the left. That’s what I admire about him the most. He has integrity.
For example, I just watched this 6 minute interview of him on CBS This Morning and it really made me take a hard look at myself. If you have the time, I encourage you to watch it. But for those of you who don’t, I will share with you one of the many wise things that he says.
“There is now this idea that anyone who voted for him [Trump] has to be defined by the worst of his rhetoric. 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 at Muslims as a monolith. They are unique individuals. 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 this is the fight that we wage against ourselves and each other, because America’s not natural. Natural is tribal. We’re fighting against thousands of years of human behavior and history to create something that no one’s ever… that’s what’s exceptional about America, and that’s what… like, this ain’t easy.”
Okay, I have to confess, Jon Stewart just bitch-slapped me but good. Because I have to admit it: I was demonizing all Trump supporters for demonizing… well… everyone else. As if my lumping them all into one steaming pile was better than their doing the very same thing to others.
Another thing Jon Stewart pointed out was that we’re still the same country we were last month. Whether that’s good or bad is up to each one of us, I suppose. But I really do have to work on my attitude. I think we all do, all across the spectrum. I’m going to try a lot harder to appreciate the shades of grey. I suspect there are a heck of a lot more than 50 of them in this country. Isn’t that, after all, the whole point of it?
I will say, though, that I still can’t relate to someone caring about their insurance premiums more than the safety and rights of others, but hey, that’s just me. Oh, there I go again. This is going to take practice.