Stephen Colbert’s Election Night Finale Was Poignant and Deeply Heartbreaking

He put jokes aside and delivered a sobering commentary.

“By every metric, we are more divided than ever as a nation,” a sober Stephen Colbert told his Showtime audience at the end of a televised election special on Tuesday night. “Both sides are terrified of the other side.”

Colbert’s whole moving monologue is worth watching from beginning to end—even though it was broadcast before the election had been officially called for Donald Trump early Wednesday morning—for its seemingly improvised portrait of a deeply partisan nation, and the comedian’s plea for post-election harmony.

“They designed an election that was meant to confuse us and bore us a little bit,” Colbert said, lamenting a time before social media seemed to divide friends and families along party lines. “But now politics is everywhere and that takes up precious brain space we could be using to remember all the things we actually have in common.”

The he added: “Now, please. Get out there. Kiss a Democrat. Go hug a Republican.”


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.