As the results of the 2016 presidential race were still coming in last night, with now President-elect Donald Trump leading in voting, the host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert spoke about attempting to make sense of it all.
“I think we can agree that this has been an absolutely exhausting, bruising election for everyone,” Stephen Colbert stated.
“That’s right,” a serious male voice could be heard agreeing with the host.
Colbert described the outcome of the election as being one that he “did not imagine.” He went on to say that he and the rest of America “feel the way Rudy Giuliani looks,” to surprised laughter from the audience.
“Has America lost its mind?” Stephen Colbert wondered what people in other countries must be thinking. He answered his own question with a quip about 300 million guns and personal anxiety.
Colbert then turned serious and spoke about how, through the course of the 2016 presidential race, the United States has become “more divided than ever.”
The host cited a piece from the Washington Post stating that more than 40 percent of members of both the Republican and Democratic parties believe that the policy ideals of the other are “a threat to the nation.”
Further, close to half of the members of both parties stated that the other “makes them afraid.”
Stephen Colbert concluded that both Democrats and Republicans are “terrified” of each other. He wondered if that was the reason voting booths have curtains because they allow people to hide.
Colbert asked how U.S. politics have become “so poisonous.”
“I think it’s because we overdosed, especially this year,” the host stated. “We drank too much of the poison.”
Stephen Colbert described having just a “little bit” of poison to help with hating the “other side.”
“And it tastes kinda good,” Colbert said. “And you like how it feels.”
The Late Show studio was silent, but for the host’s voice.
“And you know you’re right. Right?” Colbert asked.
The Late Show host said that when he was a child, people didn’t spend so much time thinking about politics. He described coming home from school during the Watergate scandal and being unable to watch The Beverly Hillbillies, instead finding former U.S Senator from North Carolina, Sam Ervin, speaking about the affair on television.
Colbert described that as being a pivotal moment in U.S. politics when people became more divided following the “Er” moment “when we all stopped trusting each other.”
Despite this, the host reminisced about times past when even the most politically active person generally only spoke about elections once every two or four years.
“And that’s good that we didn’t think about it that much,” Stephen Colbert stated.
The comedian explained that without so much politics, people had time in their lives for other people and other things.
Stephen Colbert spoke about his mother, Lorna Colbert, being born two days before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on in August 1920.
The host reflected on his mother, in her early 90s, speaking about voting for Hillary Clinton, given the chance. Lorna Colbert passed away on June 12, 2013, as reported by People. He talked about how his mother had voted for John F. Kennedy, but no other Democrat, through her entire life.
Before noting that gambling is specified as a sin in The Bible, Colbert compared elections to gambling, which he stated was a poison on its own, with too much emphasis on winning, rather than consequences.
“Informed? Yes. Politicking all the time? I don’t think so,” Stephen Colbert considered the intention of the founding fathers in regard to the involvement of everyday citizens in government.
The Late Show host described the constant barrage of information about elections taking up people’s limited “brain space,” preventing them from remembering “all the things we actually have in common.”
“Get back to your life,” Stephen Colbert urged Americans.
The host then went through a list of “silly” things residents of the United States could agree on, including the proper way to eat Kit Kats and the fact that “work email sucks.”
[Featured Image by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images]