John Oliver takes a moment to celebrate Biden's election win: Like 'a reverse 9/11'
John Oliver split Sunday's Last Week Tonight episode into two parts: part examining "the absolute year of a week" that led up to Joe Biden's election victory, and part celebrating the fact that Donald Trump "isn't going to be president anymore."
Oliver showed video of crowds gathering in various cities around the country, singing and dancing and shouting "f--- Trump" in the streets. "It was like that all day here in New York," he said. "There was a mood here that can only be described as a reverse 9/11. Why? Because it combined complete euphoria, an abiding disgust for Rudy Giuliani, and this time people actually were dancing on the rooftops in New Jersey. It was a really good day. Never forget."
"It is genuinely hard to overstate the level of relief that has been flying around parts of this country, especially at the end of a truly draining week," he added.
Oliver dug into the chaos of news media dealing with an election that wouldn't be called on Election Day but would be dragged out over days as officials counted mail-in ballots, and how Trump and his campaign spread misinformation about voter fraud that was never proven. But, when all was said and done, the host, who voted for the first time this year as an American citizen, emphasized that "Trump lost this election."
"He lost," Oliver said. "All that bulls--- which we've grown accustomed to seeing work did not work this time... And it's not like Trump and his family are gonna stop. They're gonna carry on grifting and lying like they've always done. But once he's out of the White House, it's just not gonna have the same effect anymore. It's not gonna directly impact every American's life, and that alone is f---ing fantastic."
Then came a dose of reality. While Biden received the most amount of votes ever cast for a U.S. president, Oliver reminded his audience that "more than 70 million people voted for [Trump] and everything he said and stands for, and that is something we are going to have to reckon with for the foreseeable future."
In one of his campaign speeches, Biden said Trump has been trying to divide America "based on race, religion, gender, national origin. It's wrong. It's not who we are." "That is a really nice sentiment, but dividing America based on race, religion, gender, and national origin has frequently been very much who we are," Oliver retorted. "In fact, you could well argue that, in the history of America, the one-sentence version of Trump's presidency is, 'He kept showing them who we are.' So, we cannot and should not ignore that millions voted for Trump. Meaning, they either actively supported his bigotry or at the very least were comfortable enough with it to vote for him anyway, which isn't great."
Oliver also acknowledged that Trump and "Trump-ism" aren't going away. So, to try to answer the question of who we, as a country, are, Oliver pointed to Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. "Kamala Harris is now going to be vice president. The first woman vice president, the first South Asian-American vice president, the first Black vice president, and the second Black person we've sent to the White House in the last 12 years. That's incredible," Oliver noted. "Unfortunately, we did elect a white supremacist in between them. And the fact is all of that together is kind of who we are. We're the country that did all those things and it's important not to deny that reality."