With the Republican and Democratic national conventions behind us, John Oliver used Sunday’s Last Week Tonight to take a look back at what he calls two “topsy-turvy” weeks of political theater.
“The DNC showed the Democrats to be a coalition of constantly squabbling if fundamentally like-minded Katy Perry fans,” said Oliver on Last Week Tonight. “As for the RNC, it showed that the Republican party doesn’t seem to currently exist. Because to all intents and purposes, we didn’t really get a Republican convention this year. Sure, there was a Cleveland-based gathering of delegates featuring all of Donald Trump’s favorite family members and Tiffany and celebrities whose most notable upcoming projects include the Emmy Award in memoriam reel, probably, but almost everything that you would expect from a GOP convention was absent: many prominent Republicans chose to skip it, as did both living former Republican presidents, and for the party of Reagan, the tone was unusually and relentlessly negative.”
Then he cut to a clip of Trump speaking at the RNC in Cleveland, during which the presidential hopeful claimed to be “the voice” of voters.
“I am your voice is a fair claim. He does speak for some people,” said Oliver. “Although, you would kind of hope that they would then react the way most people do when they hear their own voice, which is, ‘Oh s—, I don’t actually sound like that. Do I? That is f—ing horrifying.”
Next, Oliver explained why a “party that used to be organized around a set of shared principles is currently organized around one man,” which alone means his “judgement is pretty much the only thing that is important when considering who to vote for in November.”
The way Oliver sees it, Trump has managed to get away with saying “countless awful things throughout this campaign” that would make any other candidate unelectable.
“Just this week, he declined yet again to release his tax returns, lied about getting a letter from the NFL agreeing with him that the debate shouldn’t clash with football games, called Angela Merkel a moron, implied that Brazil brought the Zika virus on themselves, and encouraged a foreign power’s hack on his political rival,” said Oliver. “Now, two of those didn’t happen — but you’re not sure which two, and that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Because Trump hasn’t said one crazy thing; he’s said thousands of crazy things, each of which blunts the effect of the others. It’s the bed of nails principle. If you step on one nail, it hurts you. If you step on a thousand nails, no single one stands out and you’re fine. That is how Donald Trump has managed to say pretty much anything in this campaign, seemingly without consequences.”
To further demonstrate his take on Trump’s judgement, Oliver pointed to Trump’s interview with ABC News last week. Speaking with George Stephanopoulos, the candidate criticized DNC speaker Khizr Khan, a Muslim man whose son, a U.S. Army captain, was killed in the Iraq War. Trump also listed the sacrifices he’s made for the nation — creating jobs, building structures, having “tremendous” success — none of which Oliver finds to be actual sacrifices.
RELATED: John Oliver’s Greatest Takedowns
“They are self-serving half-truths from a self-serving half-man who has somehow convinced half the country that sacrifice is the same thing as success,” Oliver said. “Honestly, the main takeaway from these two weeks is that, incredibly, we may be on the brink of electing such a damaged, sociopathic narcissist, that the simple presidential duty of comforting the families of fallen soldiers may actually be beyond his capabilities ― and I genuinely did not think that that was a part of the job that someone could be bad at.”
Watch Oliver’s full remarks below.