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.”

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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