In his final show before the 2016 presidential election, John Oliver only devoted a little time to the presidential race. He advised voters to study the candidates and ballot measures in their areas and then turned to Donald Trump. Oliver has spent months mocking Trump and warning about how dangerous he could be, but last night he had some self-criticism.
“This election hasn’t so much appealed to our better angels as it has groped our better angels, mocked their weight and called them ‘sixes at best'” Oliver said. Turning to Donald Trump, he said, “We are at a point where this man has a genuine shot at the presidency, despite having blown up a political party, undermined confidence in our electoral system, declared open season on journalists and unleashed a river of racism and misogyny.”
Oliver wondered how anyone could have ever thought a Trump candidacy could be funny but then reminded the audience that three years ago he was on The Daily Show and he practically begged Trump to run. In a clip from the time, Oliver says to Trump “Do it. I will personally write you a campaign check now on behalf of this country, which does not want you to be president but which badly wants you to run.”
Oliver tried to apologize for his encouraging jokes about Donald Trump and said he hoped Americans’ ‘common decency’ would stop Trump being elected. But he reminded his audience that on The Daily Show in 2008 he assured Jon Stewart that the Chicago Cubs would never win the World Series.
“I’m an idiot,” Oliver said. “But that clearly shows no outcome is certain, so if you are thinking you don’t have to vote on Tuesday because there is no way the impossible could happen, take it from somebody who has learned from painful experience: you are wrong about that.”