Jon Stewart on Biden vs Trump
A useful insight from the former late night comic.
Clearing out my old tabs, this Daily Beast summary from a couple days ago (“Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Reveal Why Biden Is the Right Man to Lead America Past Trump“) was quite insightful:
Colbert asked Stewart to weigh in on the 2020 election. “Who are you liking this year, Biden or Trump?” he inquired. “Is it a coin toss at this point?”
“It’s a toss-up, I’m going back and forth,” Stewart joked. When Colbert noted that 14 percent of voters in a recent New York Times poll just “aren’t sure yet,” Stewart dropped his head into his hands.
As for the 2020 race, Stewart admitted, “Biden wasn’t my guy,” explaining that he was more in the Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren lane. “I’m not crazy about the ‘Uncle Joe’ character,” he said.
But while he doesn’t “like that shtick,” Stewart said, “I feel like that’s not the core of who that guy really is.” Given that the country is “in terrible anguish right now,” he said, “When I see Biden past the shtick, I see a guy who knows what loss is, who knows grief.”
“That’s it,” Colbert chimed in.
“And I think that that kind of grief humbles you,” Stewart said, adding that it’s something he appreciates about Colbert as well. “There’s a humility to the randomness of tragedy that brings about a caring that can’t be faked. And it can’t be contrived.”
“What I think in this moment this country needs is a leader of humility,” he continued. “That understands that he doesn’t understand, that understands the humanity of this experiment and the difficulty that it is in maintaining it, and that we have to connect with each other on a much deeper level without the bullshit. And it gives me hope that that can bring about—that maybe he is the man of the moment.”
“Trump doesn’t have that gear,” Stewart said. “He’s still in the mindset that COVID was created to stop him from a second term.”
“Right. It requires you to care about something other than yourself,” Colbert added.
“So I’m not just making the negative case for Biden anymore,” Stewart said. “It’s not just, ‘Well, we gotta get rid of that fucking guy.’ I actually believe something in his life experience can benefit this country at a moment where it desperately needs it.”
I think that’s it. Trump is a sociopath. He has no moral compass because, fundamentally, the only person he truly cares about is himself. Biden has twice suffered unspeakable tragedy—a car crash that took his first wife and daughter as a young man and, more recently, the loss of the son who was following in his footsteps to cancer—and emerged as a more decent human being.
The full video is below: