Jon Stewart speaks to Charlie Rose about Donald Trump and what the result of the 2016 presidential election says about our country. Stewart, former host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, said to label every Trump supporter racist is "hypocrisy." He said it is akin to treating Muslims as a "monolith" because of the actions of some Muslims.
From Thursday's broadcast of CBS This Morning:
JON STEWART: Here's what I would honestly say. I don't believe we are a fundamentally different country today than we were two weeks ago.
The same country with all its grace and flaws, and volatility, and insecurity, and strength, and resilience exists today as existed two weeks ago. The same country that elected Donald Trump elected Barack Obama.
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. And the ultimate irony of this election is the cynical strategy of the Republicans, which is: 'Our position as government doesn’t work is we're going to... make sure that it doesn’t work. And then I'm going to use its lack of working as evidence of it.'
Donald Trump is a reaction not just to Democrats but to Republicans. He's not a Republican. He's a repudiation of Republicans, but they will reap the benefits 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...
I think what many would say is what makes us great is America is an anomaly in the world. Nobody -- there are a lot of people, and I think his candidacy has animated that thought, that a multi-ethnic democracy, a multi-cultural democracy is impossible. And that is what America by its founding and constitutionally is...
I would rather have this conversation openly and honestly than in dog whistles. You know, somebody was saying, 'There might be an anti-Semite that's working the White House.' And 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? We also have to caution ourselves to the complexity of that history.
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 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 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.
And so this is the fight we waged against ourselves and 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’s ever done. That's what's exceptional about America. And that's what's -- like, this ain't easy. It's an incredible thing.