Jon Stewart thinks the media’s focus on Donald Trump misses the larger point, which is that our democracy is being threatened by much larger systems, he told CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union Sunday. The comedian appeared on the news network to promote his new show, The Problem With Jon Stewart.
“You were talking a second ago about identifying the weak points in the guardrails of democracy,” Tapper said during the interview. “It’s also obvious — and I know you have spoken about this in the past — that Donald Trump has also identified those weak points. He is now endorsing candidates for secretary of state in battleground states, candidates who are all in on the big lie.”
Stewart responded, saying that the focus on Trump is misplaced. “I think we make a mistake focusing this all on Donald Trump, as though he’s, I don’t know, Magneto, and some incredible supervillain that has changed the very nature and temperature of the United States,” Stewart said. “He’s just been an effective vessel. But … he’s not singing new songs … He’s maybe singing them a little better than Goldwater. But I think it’s a mistake to focus it all on this one individual, and not to focus it more on the idea that power is its own reward, whether it be in the financial industry or in government. Like, power doesn’t cede itself.”
Comedian Jon Stewart sounds a note of hope amid a divisive political landscape telling @jaketapper, “we still have time” to save US democracy.
He adds, however, that we are seeing, "unfortunately, the messiness of democracy is oftentimes one of its greatest weak points.” pic.twitter.com/kWCp8vS067
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 17, 2021
The threats to our democracy have been in place for long before Trump entered the political scene, Stewart said. “Unless we can figure out a better way to balance that power for workers and voters and different groups, we will be vulnerable. I don’t know that autocracy is purely the domain of Donald Trump. I think that we all have a bit of a tendency to … grant amnesty to people that are doing things that we would prefer, even if that means that they’re slightly undemocratic. There’s many times where I think to myself, like, ‘Just do an executive order, for God’s sakes! Just get it done!’ “
Stewart added, “I think our focus unhealthily on this one individual comes at the price of systems and dynamics that have been in place long before this cat ever learned how to surf those waves.”
Later in the interview, Tapper asked, “But that’s not to say that you are not worried about what’s going to happen in 2024?”
“Oh,” the comedian said, “I’m worried about everything.”