Stephen Colbert’s Election Night Finale Was Poignant and Deeply Heartbreaking

He put jokes aside and delivered a sobering commentary.


“By every metric, we are more divided than ever as a nation,” a sober Stephen Colbert told his Showtime audience at the end of a televised election special on Tuesday night. “Both sides are terrified of the other side.”

Colbert’s whole moving monologue is worth watching from beginning to end—even though it was broadcast before the election had been officially called for Donald Trump early Wednesday morning—for its seemingly improvised portrait of a deeply partisan nation, and the comedian’s plea for post-election harmony.

“They designed an election that was meant to confuse us and bore us a little bit,” Colbert said, lamenting a time before social media seemed to divide friends and families along party lines. “But now politics is everywhere and that takes up precious brain space we could be using to remember all the things we actually have in common.”

The he added: “Now, please. Get out there. Kiss a Democrat. Go hug a Republican.”

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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