We’re still waiting for that answer...
The 2016 election had just about everything to satisfy the voracious appetites of America’s political junkies except for one glaring absence, the musings of former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart. Stewart proved why he is so important to the national dialog when he sat down with Charlie Rose and “CBS This Morning” to share his thoughts on the election and what it means about America’s character.
During the interview, Stewart pointed out the major thing journalists missed when interviewing Donald Trump. “One of the things that I think struck me as odd about this election was … nobody asked Donald Trump what makes America great.” Being that Trump’s central theme was returning America to this mythical time of unsurpassed greatness, it would have been helpful if Trump illustrated what he really means.
“What are the metrics?” Stewart asked. “Because it seems like, from listening to him, that the metrics are that it’s a competition.”
While many Americans see Trump’s election as part of a cultural shift against multiculturalism, Stewart believes it’s the continuation of a fight the country’s been having since its inception. “America is not natural. Natural is tribal,” Stewart said. “We’re fighting against thousands of years of human behavior and history … that’s what is exceptional and this ain’t easy.”
Stewart thinks Trump’s election shined a light on a national problem that existed well before he arrived on the political scene. “His candidacy has animated that thought that a multi-ethnic, multicultural democracy is impossible,” Stewart said.
But Stewart doesn’t believe Trump’s election has drastically changed the country just yet. “I don’t believe we are a fundamentally different country today than we were two weeks ago,” Stewart said. “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.”
And with that type of deep perspective, it’s clear that Stewart hasn’t changed much either.